2022 Citroen C3 Review: First Drive

The Citroen C3 is a quirky car which is enough to get it noticed. But to make sure people take it home, it needed something a bit extra. Citroen reckons that the "extra" can be a turbo-petrol engine.

By Dhruv Paliwal | on December 15, 2022 Follow us on Autox Google News

The Citroen C3, with its turbo-petrol engine, has added a dose of spice to the segment. Is it enough to satiate your appetite?

The Citroen C3 is a quirky car which is enough to get it noticed. But to make sure people take it home, it needed something a bit extra. Citroen reckons that the "extra" can be a turbo-petrol engine. To be precise, a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol unit that makes 109bhp of power and 190Nm of torque, with your only transmission option being a 6-speed manual. While sane-headed people might be puzzled at this rather odd display of power, I can already see the enthusiasts licking their lips at the prospect of a light and small car with a healthy amount of power to make your everyday drive fun!

Citroen C3 Profile

How Quick is it?

Quite quick, to be honest. If I had to draw parallels, the only other small car that felt similarly quick is the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Turbo. The engine of the C3 starts pulling from low-down in the RPM band, and after a brief pause, while the turbo spools up, the revs rise in an exciting manner. The engine continues to pull through the mid-part of the rev range quite gracefully, and even as you near the redline, it does not feel stressed. Once you are in the meat of the power band, subsequent gear changes keep you there. As a result, if you are hustling the turbo C3, you only experience the turbo lag once. However, if you are driving it sedately, the turbo lag isn’t that bad as the C3 continues to gain momentum, albeit at a more docile pace.

Citroen C3 Engine

For most parts, Citroen seems to have cracked the code for making this engine work in the C3. There are small doubts about the real-world fuel efficiency, but during the short time we had the car, its MID showed figures went as low as 8 km/l. But remember, we showed the throttle pedal no mercy.

Do you Miss an Automatic?

At first glance, I wondered why is Citroen not offering an automatic transmission with this engine. Initially, I thought they did not want to increase the price to an even more exorbitant figure. And while that might be the case, there is another reason that makes also makes sense in my head. Quite simply, an automatic transmission could have sucked the fun out of this engine. Thankfully, with a manual transmission that has a light clutch and smooth gearshifts, the experience is not bothersome. The only problem some people might face is the shape of the gearstick, which is quite unusual to hold in your hand. But, I got used to it in a day - then it made sense, and it will be the same for most people too.


The Citroen C3 Turbo has made enthusiasts happy with its dose of peppiness. Not many cars offer such a quick experience at this price, or they require you to add aftermarket parts to be able to do so. The touchscreen onboard is fantastic, and it has wireless smartphone connectivity too! That aside, the feature list remains slim - there is no reversing camera, and even the ORVMs are manually adjustable. The build quality is not doing it any favours either, as the test car we had sported uneven body panel gaps that were noticeable by the naked eye. The C3 then remains what it was, a quirky-looking small car, but in this iteration, it packs more firepower than before.

Citroen C3 Rear Three Quarter

  • 2022 Citroen C3 Puretech 110

Engine: 1,199cc / 3-Cylinder / Turbocharged

Fuel: Petrol

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual / Front-Wheel Drive

Power: 109bhp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 190Nm @ 1,750rpm

Price: ₹8.15 Lakh (Ex-showroom)

X-Factor:  The Citroen C3 Turbo offers performance unmatched by cars even above its segment!

• Linear power delivery
• Braking
• Touchscreen quality

• Lack of features
• Build quality

Tags: Citroen Citroen C3

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