2018 Citroen C3 Shine Launch Review

Citroen C3 Launch Overview

Citroen has a long and varied history in Australia. Although previously successful, carrying the premium European cachet, over the last few years the brand has seemed to drift away to almost nothing. This was a combination of both local issues and financial pressures from the parent company.

Enter a new Australian distributor, Inchcape, who has successfully brought Subaru to Australia for years, and we have seen dramatic turnaround.

Add to the renewed enthusiasm, a parent company that has invested heavily into new product line and you have the foundations for a strong return in the market.

This all leads me to the Citroen C3 Launch. The C3 is an all new vehicle based on a multi-use platform from the PSA group.

The Citroen C3 is extremely customisable even though there is one model, one engine transmission combination and one drivetrain.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Citroen C3 External

Citroen has managed to build a personality into the exterior design of the C3. It looks like fun.

The bonnet with the new double chevron grill sits high and proud. It looks bold and like it is smiling as well. This carries through a high waistline to the well styled rear three quarter section.

The typical double layer headlight design continues the tall and proud look. It’s like a small cocky fox terroir that walks proud amongst the taller dogs at the dog park.

C3 has height-adjustable halogen headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights and front fog lights.

Style and looks are a purely subjective thing, but to my eyes the C3 doesn’t have a bad side. It looks great from any angle.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Some standout external features include:

  • Airbump technology that protects lower doors from bumps and scratches in urban environments
  • A choice of 33 exterior colour combinations with customers able to choose from nine body and three roof colours.
  • Linked to this expansive colour palette are coloured highlights applied to door mirrors, fog lamp surrounds, and Airbump and rear quarter panels, all matched to the roof colour.
  • Optional (no cost) 17-inch diamond cut ‘CROSSWAY BLACK’ alloy wheels that look good!

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Citroen C3 Internal

The first car we jumped in had the optional ‘Hype Colorado Interior’ that has what I call brown highlights. Now normally I am turned off immediately by brown interiors, but this colour combination was appealing.

As I always do in any car, I slid the driver seat all the way back and jumped in.

Entry between the steering wheel and ‘B’ pillar is a little tight for those larger bodied versions such as myself, but once inside there is absolutely plenty of room.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

There is something about the C3 that immediately makes you feel comfortable inside. The seats, manually adjustable, were overall supportive and comfortable although they had no additional lumbar support adjustment.

The steering wheel has a two toned bezel, slightly squared off at the bottom. It is thick rimmed, leather and provides great feel for the driving experience. The large centre hub is unusual design, but it seems to work. All the audio controls are situated on the spokes as well.

In front of the driver is a large clear dash, with large outside dials, a two tiered central section, the top section for fuel and temperature etc. and the lower section for a MFD. This is good, clear design that aids functionality.

One thing to note, and it is purely a personal objection, is the multi-use stalk for the cruise control. It is well hidden by the steering wheel spokes, seems overly complicated and takes a long while to get used to.

However having said that it features a brilliant speed design recognition system that asks you if you want to keep the cruise control to the changing speed limits.

The centre console stack is dominated by the 7 inch touch screen that houses all the controls. This leads to a somewhat bare lower console area. The jury is mixed as to whether having some buttons is a good thing or not.

All round visibility is pretty good. The bugbear of modern cars, the ‘A’ pillar that sometimes conceals complete cars, isn’t too bad on the C3.

As I mentioned the first car we sat in had the optional Colorado two tone interior. This incorporated soft touch highlights along the dash, around the steering wheel and other selected places.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Other than that the interior materials are a little harsh where you lean your elbows on like door trims etc.

Also there is no centre console bin for storage. The dash is hard plastic as well. It looks co-ordinated, but at odds with the overall ambience of the vehicles.

Both front seat occupants have more than enough head, leg, shoulder feet room. The C3 is surprisingly roomy. I must admit I forgot to sit in the back seat, so I can’t comment, but note that with the front seats all the way back there isn’t much knee room for rear passengers.

Somehow I feel that the buyers of this vehicle are mainly two occupants with occasional passengers, and the drivers wouldn’t in general be larger than the average bear as I am.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

The rear seats fold in a 50/50 configuration, but not flat unfortunately. Boot space is again adequate for a couple for a weekend away or an extended holiday.

The rear hatch opens wide but will catch taller drivers if they are unaware.

Boot capacity is between 300L and with the seats folded and removable parcel shelf 900L.

Citroen C3 Standard Features

Offered in one highly specified variant, the all-new C3 will feature as standard:

  • 81kW PureTech turbo-petrol S&S engine with EAT6 6-speed auto
  • Safety Pack:
    • Lane Departure Warning System
    • Speed Limit Recognition and Recommendation
    • Driver Attention Alert
  • Mirror screen (Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto and MirrorLink®)
  • 7-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • Front, side and curtain airbags
  • 17-inch diamond cut ‘CROSSWAY’ alloy wheels
  • Reversing camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Automatic headlights and windscreen wipers
  • Climate control
  • Airbump®
  • Bluetooth™ + USB
  • Speed Sign Recognition and Recommendation
  • Bi-tone Onyx Black roof (not available with Perla Nera Black)
  • Electrically adjustable door mirrors,
  • Auto-dimming electrochromatic rear view mirror,
  • Boot light and
  • Front courtesy and reading lights

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

The Citroen C3 will also feature a number of no-cost options including:

  • 17-inch diamond cut ‘CROSSWAY BLACK’ alloy wheels
  • Body-coloured roof
  • Bi-tone Opal White roof (not available with Polar White)
  • Bi-tone Sport Red roof (not available with Ruby Red)

Further customisation is available via six options including;

  • Almond green solid paint: $290
  • Metallic paint: $590
  • Urban Red interior atmosphere: $150
  • Hype Colorado interior atmosphere: $400
  • Citroën ConnectedCAM® $600
  • Panoramic glass roof: $600

Citroen C3 Engine and Drivetrain

One of the most significant improvements for the all-new C3 is the adoption of the turbocharged 1.2-litre PureTech e-THP three-cylinder engine.

This engine produces power of 81kW @ 5500rpm and torque of 205Nm @ 1500rpm. This is matched to the new electronically-controlled, six-speed automatic gearbox designed and developed in conjunction with Aisin.

With a combined fuel efficiency of 4.9 litres/100km and emissions as low as 110g/km, the all-new C3 is a frugal conveyance, thanks in part to its innovative engine ‘Stop & Start’ technology.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Citroen C3 – What is it like to drive?

The immediate thought arrived at by just reading the power and torque figures is that it will be sluggish. This is far from the truth. The little three cylinder matched to the clever AISIN six speed box, provides more than enough for normal driving conditions.

The key here is the driveability of the car, which underlines the total design philosophy. It is smooth, quiet, functional and zippy enough for inner-city driving. We also had a few stints on the freeway and didn’t feel wanting at all.

Don’t mistake it for a hot hatch, but you won’t be feeling that the engine is letting you down in the driving experience.

That is the key, the Citroen C3 provides an engaging driving experience. It allows the driver to feel part of the car with great feedback through the steering wheel, little road noise or rumble from the tyres and enough feel to stay connected.

I would surmise that the C3 would spend most of its life buzzing around inner-city streets with the occasional foray to the wider world for a weekend. For this it is perfectly designed.

I actually really enjoyed the test drive.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Citroen C3 Standard Dimensions

The Citroen C3 has an

  • overall length of 3996mm,
  • wheelbase of 2539mm,
  • width of 1829mm and
  • Height of 1474mm.
  • Turning circle is 10.9m
  • GVM of 1640kg,
  • Towing capacity is 450kg and tow ball rating is up to 10%

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Citroen C3 Safety

The Citroen C3 has achieved a 4 star ANCAP safety rating. Now before all you Ralph Naders get on your high horse, let’s just analyse what let it down and what Citroen is doing to fix it.

Let’s state up front that had it been released late last year it would have achieved a 5 star rating probably. This year 2018, ANCAP has introduced the requirement for AEB for its maximum rating.

So all those cars that had a 5 star rating last year, and don’t have AEB (autonomous emergency braking) would get a four star rating this year.

Citroen is aware of the issue and working to fix it ASAP. The C3 is still a very safe vehicle with some segment exclusive features as well.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

Let’s look at what the C3 does have.

  • ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Emergency Braking Assistance,
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC),
  • Hill Start Assist Function Driver,
  • Front passenger, front lateral and curtain airbags,
  • Driver’s, passenger’s and rear seats unfastened seat belt warning,
  • Front seat belt pretensioners,
  • Five 3-point inertia reel seat belts,
  • Remote central locking with deadlocks,
  • 2 ISOFIX mountings on rear outer seats,
  • Immobiliser,
  • Static cornering lights,
  • Lane Departure Warning System,
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system,
  • Speed Recognition and Speed Warning Coffee Break Alert,
  • Electric child locks and
  • ConnectedCAM CITROËN™

Citroen C3 Conclusion

Citroen is back in business. The Citroen C3 is a clever design that fit for purpose is spot on. Drivers that simply want transport from A –B, please look elsewhere.

Drivers that want their transport to be a reflection of themselves and their personality, or in fact want the car to have its own personality, please form the queue to the left.

The Citroen C3 does what it is designed to do with style.

2018 Citroen C3 Shine

What’s Good:

  • Front occupant space
  • Design and style
  • Engine/transmission

What’s Not:

  • Interior in places a little plastic and harsh
  • No driver lumbar support
  • Currently a 4 star ANCAP rating

Model – Citroen C3 Shine

  • Model Price $26,990 RDAP
  • Engine              1.2L 3 Cyl Turbo (Euro 6)
  • Drivetrain           6 Sp Aisin AT 2WD
  • Power               81 kW @ 5500 rpm
  • Torque              205 Nm @ 1500 rpm
  • Safety               4 Star ANCAP
  • CO2               110 g/km
  • Economy actual              4.9L/100 km ADR
  • Servicing TBA
  • Tow Rating Max 450 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 45 kg
  • Warranty 5 Yrs. / Unlimited km 5 Yrs. Roadside Assist
Citroen C3 Shine
  • Rating


Citroen is back in business. The Citroen C3 is a clever design that fit for purpose is spot on. Drivers that simply want transport from A –B, please look elsewhere.

Drivers that want their transport to be a reflection of themselves and their personality, or in fact want the car to have its own personality, please form the queue to the left.

The Citroen C3 does what it is designed to do with style.

About Rob Fraser 1903 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.