It's said that every so often, a product comes along that shakes up the status quo. Next year, Citroen seems poised to do just that with its newly unveiled e-C3. With its roots tracing back to the iconic 2CV, the e-C3 is setting its sights on becoming the next game-changer in European electric vehicles.
Starting at a modest $25,000, the e-C3 places itself comfortably ahead of even the most affordable Chinese EV options in Europe. It virtually matches the Dacia Spring - which we reviewed recently - but the e-C3 promise far better value with its larger cabin and bigger batter. And in 2025 Citroen promises to deliver an even more economical version equipped with a smaller battery, with a price tag at $21,450.
The big asterisk here is that the announcement repeatedly mentioned net price, suggesting that it either doesn't include VAT or it factors in government incentives.
A good case can be made that the e-C3 is the most economical "legitimate" EV on the block. It's a full-fledged five-seater, unlike the aforementioned Dacia Spring and the Fiat 500, while packing a slightly higher the battery capacity than the latter.
Citroen attributes its competitive pricing to the thrifty Smart Car platform, which was primarily reserved for the 'CC21' C3 variant in regions like India and Latin America. Even with a foundational EV design, in those markets the company managed to fit a combustion engine.
The e-C3 will roll off the line with a 44kWh lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery, boasting a WLTP range of 199 miles. The more affordable version will give drivers around 124 miles before it needs juicing up.
Speaking of which, LFP batteries are interesting little beasts. They're cheaper, last longer, and ditch cobalt altogether. But, just like that deceptively fit-looking cousin who gets winded walking up a flight of stairs, LFP batteries are a tad more sensitive to temperature changes, especially in the cold.
Citroen's data suggests that the average driver in the B-segment covers less than 50 miles daily, making the e-C3 more than adequate for everyday usage.
And the e-C3 has plenty of comfort to offer too. Citroen’s Advanced Comfort hydraulic bump stops should keep riders feeling easy. Performance-wise, it's comparable to the gasoline-powered C3. Sporting a single motor with 113 hp (83 kW), it can do the 0-62 mph in about 11 seconds, maxing out at an admittedly modest 84 mph.
A standard head-up display, two higher-end trims with a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, and even a smartphone dock on the base model should keep techies happy.
As for aesthetics, Citroen aims to mature a bit from the playful vibe of the current C3. Yet, it retains a playful touch with swappable, color-contrasting 'color clip' inserts available in hues of orange, neon-green, and white.
In the grand scheme, the e-C3 holds a significant place in Citroen’s heart. With the C3 making up a whopping 40% of the brand's passenger car sales, it's a critical player in the firm's lineup.
Kinda looks like a pocket Suzuki Vitara.
I hope it is more reliable and better built than their petrol cars.
I am pretty sure this is better than Spring in absolutely every aspect. It might be a catch though, we will know soon.