Instantly liked the Citroen C3 Turbo: Is buying it a sensible decision?

Service and parts availability remains a concern in spite of all the assurances. Due to the frugal nature of the interiors, home minster is not very happy.

BHPian autobahnjpr recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


Some context before I come to the actual problem statement:

A 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. Here is a link to the forum post on completion of 2 lakh kms.

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.

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 the 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.

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 dialed. 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 the frugal nature of the interiors, home minster is not very happy.

Money wise, I get C3 in approx 10 lakhs or so while for others I will have to stretch my budget which is already stretched due to the 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 the Honda City for next 5 years?

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

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.

These are my thoughts from the 2022 Enthusiast Cars thread.

Here's what BHPian Sankar had to say on the matter:

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?

Here's what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:

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.

Here's what BHPian nd26 had to say on the matter:

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.

Here's what BHPian PaddleShifter had to say on the matter:

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.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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