Why The Citroen C3 Is Not Just A Maruti Baleno Rival

Modified On Jul 21, 2022 08:20 PM By Sonny for Citroen C3

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It is the same size as premium hatchbacks and sub-4m SUVs but its affordability comes with a caveat

The Citroen C3 is the first mass-market offering from the Stellantis Group in India. It has a unique user proposition in the sense that it is a sub-4 metre offering but offers space, performance and comfort by skipping on some feel-good features. This makes it a bit tricky to identify who its competitors are but we have the answer for you.

C3 vs Premium Hatchbacks and Sub-4m SUVs

In terms of dimensions, the Citroen C3 is quite comparable to the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Tata Altroz and even sub-4m SUVs such as Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite.































The C3 is the shortest and narrowest model here, but not by much. It is taller than the hatchbacks while being the same height as the Renault sub-4m SUV thanks to its SUV-like design. However, in terms of wheelbase, the Citroen is the longest, which should translate to more space inside the cabin.

In terms of engines too, the C3 is comparable to premium hatchbacks and subcompact SUVs. There’s a 82PS 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine and the 110PS 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol unit, both with manual transmissions only. Even the Altroz made do with only a manual gearbox for a year after its launch. Meanwhile, the Baleno is only offered with one petrol engine, and even the turbocharged engine in the Kiger and Magnite offers less performance than the C3’s turbo unit.

The C3 falls behind these segment models when it comes to the features and technology on offer. Citroen’s entry into the mass-market does not get power-adjustable ORVMs or automatic climate control. Meanwhile, the top-spec Baleno comes with a 360-degree camera view and a head-up display. While Citroen has equipped the C3 with a digitised instrument cluster and a 10-inch central display for the touchscreen infotainment system, it lacks practical comforts like a rear defogger and wiper, power-folding ORVMs, and rear AC vents as well as premium kit like connected car technology and LED lighting.

C3 Interior
Baleno Interior


The technology deficit between the C3 and any model in the subcompact SUV and premium hatchback segments might make the Citroen seem like it's out of contention but in terms of performance, space and comfort the Citroen C3 is more than a match to its competitors.

C3 vs Compact Hatchbacks

In terms of features and prices, the Citroen C3 is a closer match for the likes of compact hatchbacks in India. It can be considered a larger alternative to the Maruti Wagon R, Celerio, and Tata Tiago. 



Wagon R



Price range (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Rs 5.71 lakh to Rs 8.06 lakh

Rs 5.47 lakh to Rs 7.20 lakh

Rs 5.25 lakh to Rs 7 lakh

Rs 5.40 lakh to Rs 7.82 lakh

Maruti Celerio

The C3’s pricing is very similar to all of the above-mentioned compacts, especially the variants that are offered with the 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated engine. However, all three rivals are available with an automatic transmission as well.

The Citroen has the edge over these hatchbacks in terms of styling, cabin space (thanks to the larger proportions), and brand-renowned ride quality. In the top-trim with the 82PS engine, it is a serious alternative to the compact hatchbacks. If you’re willing to stretch your budget and prefer something with more grunt, you can consider the C3’s 110PS turbo-petrol which is the most powerful petrol option in the compact and mid-size hatchback segments.


Tiago Interior

However, the mass-market Citroen offering is not exactly ahead of the competition in terms of features. It misses out on power-adjustable ORVMs, rear washer and wiper and alloy wheels which are optional. Equipment such as auto AC and rear parking camera are absent in the Wagon R and Celerio as well but can be found in the Tiago.

Final thoughts

The highlight of the C3 remains its brilliant ride quality, spacious interior with a big car feel and punchy turbocharged engine. It is quite French too, as in, it does not follow the market trend. At a time when brands are trying to distinguish themselves with technology driven features, the C3 has arrived with fashionable design and a class-leading 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system but misses out on a few goodies. Therefore, it slots in between segments as an affordable subcompact offering that is an alternative not only to the premium hatchback or compact SUV segment but also to cars that sit below it.

Read More on : Citroen C3 on road price

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