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Wheels of the Week: The tech-savvy Citroen

The styling of the Citroen C3 makes it a head-turner, but it’s tech is now also attention-grabbing, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

The Citroen C3 is a small hatchback that has built a growing reputation over the past 20 years for its quirky styling, but was not a tech head-turner.

The 2023 edition changes this trajectory. With the entry-level price at R229,900, one would expect little more than Bluetooth connectivity. But look at what you get for the price:

  • Large touchscreen: A 10-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and media, and Mirror Screen technology for something more.
  • Citroen Mirror Screen: mirrors smartphone’s display onto the touchscreen via Apple Car Play and Android Auto, bringing Waze, Google Maps or Spotify to the car’s infotainment system.
  • Driver digital instrument cluster: A 7-inch colour TFT cluster screen offers multiple modes to display the car’s vital statistics and monitor fuel consumption and tyre pressure. It is probably the one obvious tech shortcoming of the vehicle: for 7-inches, it is not generous in what it displays, and fore example does not offer a rev counter.
  • Safety features: Aside from passenger airbags and keyless entry, it offers active safety brake, and rear park distance control as standard.
  • USB ports: It is kind to backseat passengers, with two USB ports in the rear, and one on front.

It provides a spacious interior and, the most pleasant surprise, a huge amount of storage, with a 300l boot.

This is aside from a comfortable ride, thanks to the car being designed with a high ground clearance of 180 mm and elevated driving position. The driver seat is height-adjustable and the steering wheel tilt-adjustable. Citroen says it offers refined chassis-suspension dynamics for a “flying carpet effect”, which may be pushing it a little, but it does amount to a beautifully smooth ride.

Finally, the fun part, and the real head-turner: ready-made colour and chrome packs match the exterior highlights – 10 exterior colour combinations – to either dualtone or single-tone roof options, as well as two dashboard colours. This allows one to customise the car to one’s own style.

In short, the car is both tech-savvy and style-savvy.

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