History of the Citroen C3
An article detailing the development and history of the Citroen C3 hatchback.
First introduced to the market in 2002, the Citroen C3 is one of the most popular superminis available on the current market. Designed by Renault Twingo designers Donato Coco and Jean-Pierre Ploue, the first addition C3 shared many components with the popular Peugeot 206.
Available in a range of petrol and diesel engine options including 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6 petrol engines and 1.4 and 1.6 HDi engines, the Citroen C3 was presented as a versatile model. All first generation C3s came with five speed manual transmission or optional semi-manual, while the SX model was the only one to feature a four speed fully automatic transmission.
A new variant of the C3 was introduced in 2003. The C3 Pluriel was able to be configured as a closed or convertible model thanks to its folding fabric roof and detachable roof bars. Featuring a range of engine options, the C3 Pluriel was a popular option until it was withdrawn from the market in 2010.
After four years on the market the C3 was treated to a facelift in 2006. The new C3 featured both a redesigned front end and rear end, a restyled radiator grille and and a repositioned number plate. The interior featured a restyled dashboard with a high quality finish, updated trims and a new instrument cluster, while the exterior also received updated light clusters. In 2006, a 1.6 16 valve HDi engine was also added to the line up.
A mini MPV version of the Citroen C3 was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 2008. Built in Slovakia, the C3 Picasso was designed to compete with popular MPVs like the Vauxhall Meriva and was launched onto the market in April 2009. Available in three trim levels, the Picasso was named WhatCar? Diesel MPV of the Year and Top Gear magazine’s Family Car of the Year.
In July 2009 the second generation of the original C3 was introduced. The new C3 featured a panoramic windscreen which gave a 108 degree field of vision and a new curved body design. Longer than the previous C3, the second generation was available in four different trim levels and a host of different engine options.