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Citroen’s all-new C3 Shine has some admirable safety and tech features for such a small car,
plus more room – in certain places – than expected.
Report by Ernest Litera.
C3 continues Citroen’s tendency for practical if quirky small cars.
Extremely customisable with 33 exterior colours and three interior styles to choose from.
Standard traffic speed sign recognition and optional factory dashcam.
Citroen has taken a different approach to most in the small car segment with its quirky, all-new C3 Shine hatch.
For one thing, it’s claimed to be the first car with an optional factory-fitted dashcam, which can be operated manually or, in the event of a crash, automatically stores vision from 30 seconds before and 60 seconds after the event. Footage is easily extracted via a smartphone app.
A first for Citroen in this class is a traffic speed sign recognition and recommendation system. The recommended limit perceived by the C3 is shown on the dashboard, and it prompts you to change the cruise control limit when changing speed zones by a single press of the cruise control stalk. Above 65km/h, the lane departure warning system will let you know if you veer out of your lane.
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The Shine is spacious up the front and it feels like you’re in something much bigger. Seats aren’t overly adjustable, but they are wide and soft enough to be comfortable on longer drives. The interior is quirky in styling yet it functions simply enough. Sat-nav isn’t built in, relying on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to provide direction. Most infotainment controls are placed in a smartphone-like app arrangement.
Boot space is surprisingly ample for its small proportions, although its expandability is slightly hindered by 60/40-split-fold seats that don’t lie flat. Because of all this boot space, the C3 Shine provides only temporary comfort in the back seats for adults, being a little squishy even for smaller people. Nor are there lights, air vents or seat pockets in the back; all the comfort is focussed on the front. Recognising the limited rear space, there’s a childseat point for the front passenger seat, although RACV recommends that children should be in the back seat until they are at least 12 years old.
If not for small families, instead the C3 Shine is poised to suit individuals, with 33 exterior colour combinations and three interior options giving buyers a stronger sense of ownership and personality. Airbump panels help to protect the paintwork from all-too-common carpark dooring incidents, and if they are damaged they can be replaced quite easily.
The C3 does well navigating suburban streets. Considerable compliance in the suspension makes it floaty and comfortable over rough surfaces at the sacrifice of turn-in agility, despite a tight turning radius. However it is very capable around sweeping bends once the suspension settles. As with most vehicles of its size, the three-cylinder turbo engine won’t blow your socks off, but it works well around town.
Six airbags. Blind spot information. Lane keep assist. Speed sign recognition and warning. Reversing camera and sensors. Tyre pressure monitor. Dusk-sensing headlights. Rain-sensing wipers. LED daytime running lights.
Connectivity and standard features
Automatic air-conditioning. 7-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Mirror Link connectivity. Split-fold rear seats. Height-adjustable driver’s seat. Leather steering wheel and gear knob. Airbump panels on doors.
These comments are from RACV’s experienced team of vehicle testers. Check out the full range of RoyalAuto car reviews, news and other motoring information at royalauto.com.au.
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