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Cactus style infuses all-new Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.

Cactus style infuses all-new Citroen C3
Spike of Cactus goodness in third-gen Citroen C3, including Airbumps on the doors.
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What's all this about?

It's the all-new, third-generation Citroen C3 B-segment hatchback. And already we rather like it.

Oh, do you now?

Yes. Now that DS has gone off to become a marque in its own right, Citroen needs to prove it can do something fun and funky like the DS 3. The excellent C4 Cactus is a start. And it's the Cactus that influences a lot of the design in the striking new C3.

In what way?

The distinctive face of the C3 is similar to the Cactus, with its pinched LED daytime running lights set up high and larger lamp units residing below. Rugged body cladding adorns the C3 front and rear, and this is complemented by a strip of Cactus-esque Airbumps along the bottom of the doors. Further design details we approve of include the 'floating roof' - courtesy of a blacked-out A-pillar - and the 3D rear light clusters. Natty.

Can you have the C3 in a variety of different colours?

Indeed you can, with nine options for the body and a further three hues available on the roof, making for 36 possible combinations. Pick from red, white and black for the top bit of the Citroen and various other details will be finished in the matching shade, such as the front fog lamp surrounds, the door mirrors, the rear quarter panels and the Airbump detailing.

What's the interior like?

Attractive and again reminiscent of the C4 Cactus. There are simple door pulls and Airbump door cards, while the seven-inch touchscreen dominates the centre of the dash. Various elements of the interior can be finished in several different materials, while four main 'ambience themes' will be offered, which are Standard, Metropolitan Grey, Urban Red and, weirdly, Hype Colorado. All the usual connectivity and driver assist software will be offered within, while the Citroen Advanced Comfort programme has been enacted on the C3, promising comfy seats, an airy interior, loads of sound-deadening and a supple ride. Also, we've got a new piece of tech, called ConnectedCAM Citroen.

Which is what, precisely?

A wide-angle (120-degree) full HD, two-megapixel camera with GPS and a 16GB internal memory, mounted behind the rear-view mirror. It's essentially a manufacturer-fit dashcam. You can use it to take photos or 20-second videos, which can either be stored as keepsakes or uploaded to social media platforms, or it will automatically activate in the event of a crash. In this instance, it records the 30 seconds prior to the incident and the 60 seconds after it, which is useful for eventual insurance claims.

Neat. How does the Citroen C3 get about?

If you're talking about motive power, there are three output variants of the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder PureTech petrol engine, and two derivatives of the 1.6-litre, four-cylinder BlueHDi mill. Choose from 68-, 82- or 110hp for the petrol, and 75- or 100hp for the diesel. Both the BlueHDi units and the 110hp PureTech get stop-start, while the standard transmission is a manual; the six-speed EAT6 automatic gearbox will be offered as an option.

When does the C3 go on sale in the UK?

We're expecting it to hit the showrooms in January 2017, with prices and specifications announced closer to the date.

Matt Robinson - 29 Jun 2016

2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.

2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.2016 Citroen C3. Image by Citroen.    - Citroen road tests
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