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Old 17th November 2022, 21:51   #1
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Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Hello !
Some context before I come to the actual problem statement --
Dzire diesel was my primary car for city and outstation travel for last 14+ years before I sold it off as it was nearing 15 years and I was not sure if the registration would be renewed or not. In the 14+ years of ownership I drove it for appx. 2.2 lakh kilometers across multiple states and all types of roads. With excellent mileage, fuss free ownership and japanese reliability, I never had to think twice before taking it out in any weather or any road condition. Link to forum post on completion of 2 lakh kms (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post5044344 (The 200,000 km hall of fame | Pics & experiences with your 2 lakh km car))

I had started the process of replacing Dzire with a suitable option when I got a good deal on a used Audi A6 with the bonus offer of buying my Dzire as well with RC transfer. Link to forum post (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/luxur...-guidance.html (Planning to buy a pre-worshipped Audi A6 | Need advice and guidance)).

After buying it, I covered 5K km in a month with multiple trips. During one of the trips, I crossed a water logged area and the Audi underbody protection sheet which is made of some cardboard stuff went soggy and came off. I did not know it earlier and realized that driving such cars in rainy season is tricky and many owners play safe in rainy season.

In 2012 I had bought Honda City top variant with automatic gearshift and sunroof. However it remained a secondary car because of low city mileage (8-9 kmpl) and low GC. Since Dzire has been sold, it has become the beater car with drops to school, market and other smaller runs. It is a pain to take Audi in traffic with horrible pot holed roads. As a rule, if the distance is less than 10km, I do not take Audi out. With low fuel economy, the weekly petrol bill of Honda City reaches 2-2.5K and monthly spend about 10K (petrol is 108.5 rupees a liter in Rajasthan). If I keep it for another 5 years, my fuel bill will reach appx. 6 lakhs with the current rate.

Also, imagine a situation like kisan andolan when the delhi-jaipur and other highways were jammed for months and one had to take detour through narrow crater like village roads, none of the above two are suitable options. Highways can be jammed otherwise due to accident or road blockade and diversions through uneven, rough, patchy roads are not friendly options for both the above cars. If I had Dzire, I would not even bat an eyelid before taking the same.

Actual Problem Statement --
So, I have been thinking of replacing 10 year Honda City with a frugal but fun to drive car. I have explored CNG and hybrid options but while they give good mileage, they are not fun to drive. I also want a car which is highway friendly and has good luggage space for short trips.

I shortlisted all the C1 segment cars (as defined in the monthly sales report) and then prepared a comparison excel. I took the most powerful engine on offer for each model in petrol.
c3 comparison.xlsx

One of the cars I shortlisted was C3 turbo due to its great engine, handling and dynamics and ability to go anywhere. It is there on the top with high Power/ton and Torque/ton figures.

So I test drove it two days back and instantly liked it. The suspension is one or two segment above and engine just pulls effortlessly giving a good mileage of 15-16 kmpl. Its wireless car play works like a breeze and in a wink of an eye my phone got paired. There is a microphone button on the steering console so that you can invoke siri as well for voice commands. You press the button and then speak "call so and so" and your call gets dialled. I find this feature very necessary today. You can take office calls while driving etc.

It is good to look at, drives well, has a great engine and I can not only use it in city but also take it on Highway trips. C3 110ps puretech engine is a tried and tested engine and is quite reliable. Also C3 has scored NCAP4 rating in one of earlier crash tests. I am ok with all the missing features and some of them I can get it aftermarket also.

But there are few concerns - the dealer network is puny (only one dealership in whole of Rajasthan). Service and parts availability remains a concern in spite of all the assurances. Due to frugal nature of the interiors, home minster is not very happy.

Money wise, I get C3 in appx 10lakhs or so while for others I will have to stretch my budget which is already stretched due to Audi A6.

Should I go ahead and buy it or Should I consider other options or Should I drop the whole plan and continue with Honda City for next 5 years ?

Last edited by autobahnjpr : 17th November 2022 at 23:13.
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Old 18th November 2022, 14:07   #2
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autobahnjpr View Post
So I test drove it two days back and instantly liked it. The suspension is one or two segment above and engine just pulls effortlessly giving a good mileage of 15-16 kmpl.
Hahaha! I also drove the C3 Turbo and fell in love with it. For the price, it does offer a lot of driving pleasure and comes across as being well-engineered. If you buy it, then wait just a little longer as a variant with the all-too-important rear wiper was just spotted.

With every car, there is a long list of pros & cons. The Citroen gives you power & driving pleasure, but not a wide feature list or an expansive service network. If you like it, go for it . Not like it's the only car in your house either.

From the 2022 Enthusiast Cars Thread (2022 Lineup | The Best Enthusiast Cars in India):
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post


What's hot: Striking design! Very funky, yet likeable at the same time, good-looking cabin that is practical too, fast 1.2L turbo-petrol is genuinely fun-to-drive, 6-speed MT is slick and light to operate...definitely one of the better gearboxes in the segment, sorted suspension offers a very good ride & handling package, compact size and light controls are perfect for the urban environment, 10-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay is excellent to use, lots of customization options and accessories to make your car truly unique

What's not: Missing plenty of features = electric ORVM adjustment, IRVM dimmer (not even manual), climate control, rear wiper & defogger, reversing camera, alloy wheels, tachometer! Just 2 variants at launch (no true top variant), no automatic transmission on offer, quality of cabin materials doesn't feel great; cost-cutting is pretty evident in certain areas, some ergonomic issues like the placement of rear power window switches, unusable rear headrest, cabin width makes the interiors suitable for 4 adults...not 5, long-term reliability & after-sales service quality are big unknowns; dealer network is tiny
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Old 18th November 2022, 17:44   #3
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autobahnjpr View Post
One of the cars I shortlisted was C3 turbo due to its great engine, handling and dynamics and ability to go anywhere. It is there on the top with high Power/ton and Torque/ton figures.

It is good to look at, drives well, has a great engine and I can not only use it in city but also take it on Highway trips. C3 110ps puretech engine is a tried and tested engine and is quite reliable. Also C3 has scored NCAP4 rating in one of earlier crash tests. I am ok with all the missing features and some of them I can get it aftermarket also.

But there are few concerns - the dealer network is puny (only one dealership in whole of Rajasthan). Service and parts availability remains a concern in spite of all the assurances. Due to frugal nature of the interiors, home minster is not very happy.
The only fly in the C3 Turbo ointment is the 1.2 Puretech engine. The cam-belt-in-oil sheds belt particles which clogs the oil galleries and the sump oil intake.

I looked this engine up on the internet after I saw this car in the TBHP 2022 list as it piqued my interest. So I looked it up. There was a recall for this engine and post 2017 engines (that we get here) are said to have different belt material. But the internet is rich with 1.2 puretech cam-belt-in-oil problems and belt replacement DIYs.

So till warranty is intact should be fine, i guess? After that maybe sort of like DQ200 ownership?
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Old 18th November 2022, 18:15   #4
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Yes. I checked that. It was for earlier period about 2012-2016 and mostly belt replacement. Since 2017 no complaints/recall found on the net. In 2018 it was awarded the International Engine of the year for 110ps and 130 ps variants.
(https://www.ukimediaevents.com/engin...lts.php?id=113)
The same engine powers lot of cars in the Stellantis family (Peugeot, Citreon, Jeep, Chrysler and Fiat etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
The only fly in the C3 Turbo ointment is the 1.2 Puretech engine. The cam-belt-in-oil sheds belt particles which clogs the oil galleries and the sump oil intake.

I looked this engine up on the internet after I saw this car in the TBHP 2022 list as it piqued my interest. So I looked it up. There was a recall for this engine and post 2017 engines (that we get here) are said to have different belt material. But the internet is rich with 1.2 puretech cam-belt-in-oil problems and belt replacement DIYs.

So till warranty is intact should be fine, i guess? After that maybe sort of like DQ200 ownership?
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Old 18th November 2022, 19:33   #5
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autobahnjpr View Post
Yes. I checked that. It was for earlier period about 2012-2016 and mostly belt replacement. Since 2017 no complaints/recall found on the net. In 2018 it was awarded the International Engine of the year for 110ps and 130 ps variants.
(https://www.ukimediaevents.com/engin...lts.php?id=113)
The same engine powers lot of cars in the Stellantis family (Peugeot, Citreon, Jeep, Chrysler and Fiat etc.)
The 2018 and up 1.2 puretech engines are improved but its still not in the clear as far reliability is concerned as per reports found on the brand specific forums.

Its correct that it powers a lot of cars but stellantis is an amalgamation of a bunch of broke companies and isn't something I find confidence inspiring. If the group can reverse their fortunes in the future then good!

The C3 Turbo as a standalone product is fantastic. Its a good buy if the engine belt-in-oil problems are sorted, which I'm doubtful of really. Last thing to wish for is a problem prone engine and a company with thin presence in the country.
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Old 18th November 2022, 19:52   #6
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Assuming petrol and MT, the alternatives in your case are essentially the Brezza and the Nexon. With the City already serving you since a decade don't you think there will be a too much vanilla in your automotive life going with either of those two
Time for a dash of orange ?
  • The qualities the car have already been explained well and to me this seems to be a perfect fit in your requirements.
  • Also helpful is the under under 10 lakh on road price for the car which will barely get you the base+1 trims of the competition.
  • Your proximity to Delhi is a big plus in favour of the car for service and spares availability.
    That being said the service network or even the future of Citroen is no match to the other players in the segment.

Buying a Citroen is a risk for sure but in your case I think it would be worth it for what it offers at that price point.
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Old 19th November 2022, 12:07   #7
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

I checked the website and we don't have a citroen dealer in trivandrum dist. The nearest is in ernakulam dist. I'm at thrissur dist now and I am thinking of dropping in at the showroom on the way back.

Btw dropping this here for my own reference in the future:
1) CORRECT engine oil and change interval is ultra important. Shorter the better.
2) 5 years is the safe bet period for belt change. Irrespective of mileage.

Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?-newct1228timingbelt.png

Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?-continentalaftermarketenenmagazinetechnologyproductswhyournewbeltinoilrunsforalongtime.png
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Old 19th November 2022, 12:41   #8
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

I love C3 and fear about reliability of turbo engine in the long run say after 5-6 years. Now coming to the next question if C3 NA is less riskier that C3 turbo?
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Old 19th November 2022, 20:58   #9
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

I took a short test drive of the C3 1.2 turbo in kochi, the showroom experience was nice. I'm told the turbo comes only in the feel package.

Seats are quite supportive and firm. Seating is high, seat height can be adjusted. Can see the bonnet edge from inside. Steering is small, which I liked and has ice controls on it. Liked the dashboard layout, design and infotainment unit. Apart from that quite basic inside. Mirror adjustment is through stalks on the inside. Controls are correct, indicator on the right unlike vags. Bonnet is heavy, the feel is about the same weight as crysta.

The ride is pliant, stable and comfortable. The turbo engine has strong low end it didn't stall I thought it would as I'm driving a manual after a long time. There is no tachometer that is a gross omission. The engine comes on strong once in its powerband like a turbo should. There are 6 gears to row through which i think might a bit too many for a manual. I put it in 6th for a short time under 80kph and it didn't bog down. NVH is very well controlled on the inside.

I liked the car.
--

Quote:
Originally Posted by KPR View Post
I love C3 and fear about reliability of turbo engine in the long run say after 5-6 years. Now coming to the next question if C3 NA is less riskier that C3 turbo?
Same belt in oil timing system, but naturally aspirated would be a low stress motor and thus less heat.
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Old 20th November 2022, 08:46   #10
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

If you are looking at such heavy fuel bills, why not opt for a CNG car from Maruti Suzuki?

Jaipur has a huge traffic problem and traffic is very slow moving during office hours. Fuel economy is bound to take a hit in such driving scenario. I recently traveled in a company CNG car (CNG Dzire) from Jaipur to Alwar and was surprised to see the economic running.

If I were in your place, I would content with the Audi for premium feel and power while I would keep a CNG car for coty use and short travel in and around Jaipur.
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Old 20th November 2022, 10:03   #11
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Well, considering that you are looking for a car primarily for city usage, why not get an EV, such as Tiago EV? Very low running costs, you can charge it at home and the price starts at 8.5 lakhs. For highway trips you can always use your Audi, get this primarily for city runabouts.
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Old 20th November 2022, 10:15   #12
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

Thanks for you observation and that you liked the car
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
I took a short test drive of the C3 1.2 turbo in kochi, the showroom experience was nice. I'm told the turbo comes only in the feel package.

Seats are quite supportive and firm. Seating is high, seat height can be adjusted. Can see the bonnet edge from inside. Steering is small, which I liked and has ice controls on it. Liked the dashboard layout, design and infotainment unit. Controls are correct, indicator on the right unlike vags. Bonnet is heavy, the feel is about the same weight as crysta.

The ride is pliant, stable and comfortable. The turbo engine has strong low end it didn't stall I thought it would as I'm driving a manual after a long time. NVH is very well controlled on the inside.

I liked the car.
--



Same belt in oil timing system, but naturally aspirated would be a low stress motor and thus less heat.
Primary reason is CNG cars are not fun to drive. If you see my comparison excel, power and torque figures are comparatively lower for Maruti cars. Plus the ride quality of C3 has to be experienced to be believed. None of the MSIL cars in the segment can match it. After driving Audi, somehow less powerful cars seem unpalatable. It is definitely an option but I would have to settle for calm and easy driving in that case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddleShifter View Post
If you are looking at such heavy fuel bills, why not opt for a CNG car from Maruti Suzuki?

Jaipur has a huge traffic problem and traffic is very slow moving during office hours. Fuel economy is bound to take a hit in such driving scenario. I recently traveled in a company CNG car (CNG Dzire) from Jaipur to Alwar and was surprised to see the economic running.

If I were in your place, I would content with the Audi for premium feel and power while I would keep a CNG car for coty use and short travel in and around Jaipur.
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Old 20th November 2022, 16:36   #13
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

I’d say go for the Kiger turbo CVT. My cousin owns one after he was in the same situation, his wife wouldn’t drive his Octavia 1.8 TSI due to the length and GC. Since then it’s his beater car within the city and loves it.
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Old 20th November 2022, 16:52   #14
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

I know this is the wrong thread to ask this, but any similar concerns / information about the Turbo engine used in the Nissan Magnite ? Any preventive maintenance I should carry out for the engine / CVT / other parts ? Asking Nissan CS / Dealer is a no go as they are incompetent and useless

Many thanks in advance
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Old 20th November 2022, 21:26   #15
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Re: Should I buy the Citroen C3 Turbo?

I wasn't home yet so casually checked to see if the cochin showroom was open today (sunday) and it was. So went there and took another test drive. The sales executive we met yesterday was on leave but she arranged for her colleague to take our booking on her behalf. If the wait is too long might think of other options including used and since i'm off the AT train there are a whole lot of options. I am told a new citroen dealership will be opening at trivandrum in a couple of months.
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