Tag: Citroen

Touring Gauteng in the updated Citroën C3

Citroën South Africa recently hosted national media at the upmarket Hotel Sky in Sandton for the launch of the updated Citroën C3.


In recent times, manufacturers have introduced products with minor revisions in what they call a “soft launch.” In other words, a press release and a call from the fleet manager asking when they can drop off the vehicle for you and your team to review.

So to host an opulent event (in typical French style) for a car that has mainly cosmetic updates seemed strange. However, this wasn’t just the launch of the C3 but also an introduction into the new mother ship, Stellantis!

A recent merger between the PSA Groupe and FCA has birthed Stellantis which houses brands such as Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Abarth to name those relevant to our market.

Stellantis falls into the world’s top four motoring groups, with Q1 2021 seeing them come out as the sales leader in Europe with a market share of 26,6%. While overall group sold for the first 3 months were over 1,5-million vehicles.


With a strong product offensive still on the cards for 2021, which will see a host of new models from the aforementioned brands, we look forward to seeing what the local arm of the group has in store!

Back to the topic at hand, we piloted the range-topping Shine model which uses a 1.2-litre 81kW 3-cylinder engine and is paired exclusively to a 6-speed auto. There is a cheaper Feel model on offer which employs a naturally aspirated engine with the same displacement to the tune of just 60kW. And you have to change your own gears. Prices start at R269 900 for the Feel and hits R324 900 for the Shine.

So what’s actually new? Well, there’s nothing to report in terms of the oily bits – that’s all carried over from the previous model. Instead, the most notable changes are upfront which include resigned headlights that feature new LED signatures. The front bumper has been incorporated into the headlights while Citroën’s updated logo takes centre stage both front and back.


Some love it others hate it, but the AirBumps are here to stay! If you’ve gotten used to BMW’s new grille, the AirBumps don’t seem like too much of a hurdle to get over. Especially as they are actually practical and protect your car from those who have a little less respect in the parking lots!

Speaking of parking lots, we were leaving the ones in Sandton and on our way out to Hartebeesport. In and around the city, the engine had plenty of punch enabling you to accelerate into gaps with ease. There was however some harsh feedback through the steering wheel over more jarring road surfaces. While the 16-inch alloys look great, they do contribute to a slightly firmer ride than if you had opted for the 15-inches on the Feel model.

On the open road, the engine again impressed as it was able to cruise up to the national speed without breaking a sweat and managed to maintain that speed even when traveling at steeper gradients. The 3-cylinder engine also makes a lovely noise when pushing on!
Overall NVH levels were on par for this segment and the niceties fitted to the cabin made our trip that much more enjoyable.

The 7-inch infotainment system is fitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while there are a host of other standard features. The C3 also comes with an array of safety features which includes active safety braking, lane keep assist, collision warning and driver attention warning. The seats were a standout for me as they were extremely supportive and cosseting but are only available in cloth.

All-in-all, the C3 remains a solid contender in this segment – with a host of standard features and an enjoyable driving characteristic. Citroën have slightly tweaked the recipe to make the new C3 a more desirable car and in doing so, reminded us why it should be a product certainly worth being on your shortlist.

TheMotorist digital magazine – Edition 05

Edition 05 of TheMotorist digital magazine is here!

Our latest digital magazine has arrived. This month we have great motoring  content for our readers, including a driven feature on the BMW M4 GTS.You can access and subscribe to the digital magazine at this link: https://goo.gl/XDDL2m

Have a great read Motorists!

 

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Citroen South Africa’s C4 Cactus: A proper hipster car

Citroen South Africa’s space aged plant.

If there’s one thing we can give Citroen, is that over the years they’ve been the one car maker that couldn’t give anything about what the average person considers as the norm. As a result, to say they have created bold designs would be an understatement. Think of all the cars that Citroen South Africa has brought here. For instance, remember the Citroen DS? Yes the car almost everyone’s grandfather owned. It looked like a large roach that had self-levelling suspension. Yet today, you look back at the design of the DS and the inner *hipster (see footnote) in you comes out, urging you to source one, restore it and drive it around with a large beard on your face.

Many will agree that Citroen’s designs have always been somewhat ahead of the times. Nothing has changed with one of their new cars, the C4 Cactus. Need we say more? With a name like Cactus for a car, one can’t expect anything less than a ridiculously interesting design, perhaps with protective Airbumps on the doors so no one scratches your Cactus in a parking lot. Oh wait, that’s exactly what Citroen did with this car. On first impressions, we looked at it and thought “yuck”, then after some time we realised that the only reason why we gagged was because we were in shock. After some more time we even started to think the C4 Cactus was oddly good looking. “Are we losing our minds?” we thought, as the character of the Cactus charmed us to the point where we couldn’t believe that a car named after a plant could induce such big grins behind the wheel.

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This is mainly due to the fact that upon entering a Citroen C4 Cactus, you feel like you’re in the future. The cabin is flat, wide and so very space age that they may as well throw in R2D2 to ride shot gun with you. Everything in the car is controlled by one screen. This includes the air-conditioning, the radio and the central locking too. And then there’s the driving experience, it feels very light behind the wheel, and not in a bad way. You almost feel like you’re gliding around, possibly the same feeling our grandfathers had in their DS’s. The model we had was the top of the range Shine Puretech with the 81 kW 1.2 litre turbocharged engine.

 

One would think that because the engine is quite small, the Cactus would be as fast as its namesake, but it’s the complete opposite. That little engine must’ve eaten all its vegetables because it packed a small punch enough to make us burst out in laughter at just how ridiculously quirky this car is. The Cactus is the best laugh R294 900 can buy you in this segment. How can you not smile when telling people you’re meeting up with to look out for a white Cactus approaching?

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As good as the Cactus is as an experience, and as good as it is to drive on a long road and in town, the only frustrations we have with it, was the fact that the steering wheel is not reach adjustable, and at high speed, the roof racks tend to get noisy. Besides that, the car is a very unique blast to drive. No wonder it’s a finalist for the 2016 SAGMJ Car of the year. Citroen South Africa must be very pleased about that. The fact that the small engine sips fuel is another aspect that really impresses. At the end of the day all these little things about this car come together to encompass what Citroen has always strived to be, which is to be different.

Who knows, perhaps a few decades from now our children will be looking for old Cactus’s/Cacti to restore so they too can embrace their inner hipster. Till then, if you want something otherworldly, spacious and scratch resistant, then the C4 Cactus may just be up your ally. For me information on the car, click here.

*Hipster: “Artistic” men and women who detest the “mainstream”. They’re generally identifiable through their vintage clothing, round wooden glasses and large Asterix and Obelix-like beards.

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