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Citroen has thrown away the rule book with the launch of its all-new e-C3 which is the ultimate proof that electric cars need not break the bank. It looks great, is packed with kit, has a decent enough driving range, but the price-tag is the key factor with cars starting from just shy of £22k.

Citroen e-C3 side
Citroen e-C3 rear
Citroen e-C3 interior

The good

Modern design, decent range and very tempting price-tag

The bad

Range may be a deterrent

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
Driving range of 199 miles
0-62 from
max speed up to
co2 from

Test Drive

Citroen e-C3 – First Drive (2024)

With the first mention of electric cars, it conjures up all manner of thoughts, but at the forefront is always the hefty price-tags they seem to carry.

But the situation has improved recently due to a number of Chinese brands launching in the UK market and offering EVs that are generally well equipped, but don’t carry a premium price.

And that has put pressure on the mainstream car makers to not only match, but better these new arrivals – a challenge that has been met head-on by French manufacturer Citroen.

With the launch of the new fourth-generation C3, we also get the e-C3, a compact five-door hatchback that is powered by a 44kWh battery and can cover 199 miles on a single charge. Generally, the driving range would be the key factor on any new EV, but in this case it’s the pricing structure.

There are just two trim levels called Plus and Max and the cost is £21,990 and £23,690 respectively and that could prove quite a gamechanger in the industry.

It may be cheap in price, but the car is anything but cheap in its design, quality and technology. It boasts a strong road presence stretching four metres in length and looks exceptionally modern with redesigned light clusters incorporating a three-level lighting signature that resembles blades on closer inspection.

There is the new oval Citroen badge along with a reinterpretation of the traditional chevrons, along with front and rear skid plates, black wheel arch mouldings, a contrast-coloured roof and smart alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the interior is modern and clutter-free with a 10-inch colour infotainment screen offering access to the likes of the sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, DAB radio and plenty more besides.

The vital driving data such as speed, battery charge and range are projected onto a small screen above the steering wheel which is clear and easy to read.

We tested a pre-production version of the range-topping e-C3 Max and that added automatic air conditioning, a rear parking camera, tinted rear windows, plus a winter pack that adds a heated steering wheel, heated front seats and a heated windscreen to the mix.

Citroen is renowned for developing vehicles that offer excellent standards of refinement and it has not cut any corners with the e-C3 as both Plus and Max versions get the excellent Advanced Comfort seats and Advanced Comfort suspension – features that are essential on our UK roads these days.

With 111bhp and 125Nm. of torque, the e-C3 can complete the 0-62mph sprint time in a respectable 10.4 seconds and it tops out at 82mph. There are quicker EVs out there, but this car is certainly quick enough with instant pace at the slightest throttle pressure and a constant stream of power on tap to overtake slower moving vehicles.

There are no drive modes as such, but a C button reduces the level of regenerative braking for a more comfortable ride. If not activated, the car can be slowed by easing off the accelerator pedal, but single pedal driving is not possible.

On open country lanes, the e-C3 is beautifully balanced with confident grip and no sign of body movement. The all-round visibility impresses and the car can cruise with ease at 70mph.

It’s agile in busier town settings and the tiny steering wheel offers ample driver feedback. We noticed a slight whine under heavier acceleration, but these were pre-production cars we were testing.

The cabin is spacious with plenty of room for two adults up front and a trio of youngsters in the back. Storage options are good too with a boot capacity of 310 litres, increasing to 1,188 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

In addition, there are numerous storage compartments throughout the cabin, including a glovebox, front cup holders, a wireless charging pad, central cubby, door bins and some trays.

Fast charging is available on the e-C3 with a 20 to 80 per cent charge possible in just 26 minutes or in 4 hours, 10 minutes if using a 7.4kW wallbox.

And safety specifications, including driver assistance aids, are comprehensive across the range.

While we were concentrating on the electric version, we also took a run out in the C3 powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine matched to a six-speed manual gearbox. In keeping with its electrified sibling, the price is very competitive – there is just one trim called C3 Plus and it costs £17,790.

With 99bhp power and 205Nm of torque, it could reach 62mph from a standing start in 10.6 seconds and maxes out at 114mph. The combined fuel economy figure is yet to be determined but it has carbon emissions of

Once again, the C3 was an absolute delight to drive and having full control of the gear changes is always a plus point in our book. After driving the EV, the petrol-driven car seemed louder which is to be expected but it also coped exceptionally well on the varied road route. There was ample power and this will be a very popular variant which is expected to account for 55 per cent of sales.

And for anyone looking for a model somewhere between the EV and petrol, a self-charging hybrid version will be arriving towards the end of the year.

All in all, the importance of the e-C3 cannot be emphasised enough. We have become accustomed to paying heavy premiums for electric cars up until now and hopefully a lot more mainstream manufacturers will follow Citroen’s lead.