“We didn’t have to make any compromises with this car,” says designer Boris Reinmöller. Considering the fact that the Citroën ë-C3 is a fully electric small car that will also be offered with a combustion engine in spring 2024, this is a remarkable statement. Because with a car like this, every cent counts, often to the chagrin of those who designed it. After all, the Stromer variant with a WLTP range of up to 320 kilometers should only cost 23,300 euros. So below the magical limit of 25,000 euros that VW is targeting a good year later. In 2025, the French will release another version of the electric small car for 19,990 euros, which will travel 120 kilometers less on a single battery charge than the first Citroën ë-C3. A clear declaration of war on the VW Group. Even though this model will be a city car. Gallic self-confidence is growing. Behind closed doors, the French already refer to VW as the “announcement world champion”.

Especially since the fourth generation of the Citroën ë-C3 is impressive. On the outside, it looks more Land Rover than a well-sucked Mediterranean country road crawler. Although the B-segment SUV, at 4,015 meters, has increased in length by 19 millimeters in length, with the width remaining the same and an almost identical wheelbase, the height of which has increased by 93 millimeters compared to its predecessor, it stands stocky. This is also ensured by the maximum 17-inch wheels. These spatial conditions benefit the passengers in the rear, as there is enough headroom in the back beyond the 1.85 meters in the Citroën and the knees can also be accommodated to a certain extent. You don’t want to travel from Munich in the second row, but that’s definitely enough for shorter distances. However, the gate could swing open further to make entry easier. Speaking of which: The trunk has increased by ten liters to a volume of 310 liters, but when you fold down the rear seat back there is a significant step and the capacity increases to 1,188 liters.

With the new three-line light signature and the vertical radiator grille, the appearance is reminiscent of the Citroën Oli study. There are also standard LED headlights and a narrow, shiny strip with double angles, an element that can be found throughout and throughout the car. Because one thing is clear: the Citroën ë-C3 must not appear cheap, otherwise all the price acrobatics will fall flat. This succeeds. Especially since the two-tone paintwork is standard. However, it is not possible to do without hard plastic, but the interior should be enhanced with grained surfaces or a textile cover and piano lacquer applications, which was not yet completely the case in the vehicle shown. The horizontal ventilation slots are another Oli element. There is also the 10.25-inch touchscreen and the digital instrument band above the steering wheel, which is flattened at the top and bottom.

A look at the familiar driving mode selector, which is familiar from many Stellantis models, makes it clear that the smart car platform is ultimately a derivative of the well-known e-CMP architecture. This also affects the technical data of the BEV variant. With 83 kW / 113 HP, the electric car achieves a top speed of 135 km/h and the 44 kilowatt-hour battery is sufficient for a WLTP range of 320 kilometers. “This is more of a car for shorter journeys and the city,” explains product manager Guillaume Noel. With a maximum charging speed of 100 kW, you won’t tear up any trees either. “It’s better to have a real 100 kW than a supposedly high charging speed that is only maintained for a short time,” explains Noel, pointing to the fact that the batteries are filled from 20 to 80 percent in 26 minutes.

“We put the money where it is more important, especially in comfort,” explains the product manager and refers to the standard Advanced Comfort suspension, which is familiar from higher-class cars such as the C5 Aircross and which is available for the first time in a B segment Citroën. This also includes the Advanced Design seats, which are also familiar from the French manufacturer’s larger models. Speaking of retrospectives. Anyone who chooses the paint in Monte Carlo Blue will make Citroën veterans’ eyes light up. Because this shade of blue corresponds to that of the Citroën 2CV, the legendary duck.