Citroen eC3 Review: French Carmaker’s Electrified Move In India

Published On Jun 08, 2023 By Shreyash for Citroen eC3

Is it justified to pay approximately Rs 4.5 lakh more for C3’s electric version? Let’s find out

The cost of operating an ICE car is no longer limited to how many litres it consumes every km, but also to how much it emits per kilometer. Yes, pollution standards are tightening, gasoline prices are soaring, and the government's greater emphasis on EVs and infrastructure is encouraging buyers to buy an EV. And if you want a hatchback, there are a few available in the entry-level EV market. One of them is the Citroen eC3. Will it be a good fit for a family of three or four over its competition? Let's find out.


See it from any angle, and you will say it’s a C3 and not the eC3. Yes, there are a few badges on the rear and sides, along with a charging flap provided on the front fender on the driver’s side, hinting that it runs on electrons and not octanes. Citroen could have done a bit more in this aspect, by at least giving it a new grille, panels or at least a new badge to differentiate it from the standard C3. Especially given the price premium.  

The eC3 gets a rugged appearance thanks to its all around body cladding and roof rails. What adds to its SUV-like appearance is its upright stance, standing on 15-inch alloy wheels with a ground clearance of 170mm. However, there are some elements like flap-style door handles and fender-mounted indicators which aren’t present in the modern hatchbacks nowadays. Moreover, it lacks the flair that EVs usually have these days. Will it be a bother for you? Let us know in the comments below. 

Interior Quality, Fit & Finish

From the inside, the cabin of the eC3 too is similar to that of the C3 hatchback. Elements like dotted pattern on the dashboard, design of the vents, contrast color door pockets and floor mats on the eC3 look trendy. Citroen also offers the option of a grey or orange themed dashboard. 

All of this may appeal to those who like quirky and stylish elements, but those who want quality, the eC3’s cabin leaves a bit to be desired. The materials used inside the cabin could have been better, and the creases on some areas could have been more uniform. On the positive side, the eC3's seating position is high which gives you good overall visibility and hence confidence while driving which makes it easier to handle in tight traffic situations to even the newer drivers. 


Citroen eC3 door pockets

When it comes to practicality, all door pockets can accommodate 1-litre water bottles, the center console has cup holders, a deep open storage behind them to keep wallet and other stuff, and a shelf just below the AC controls which can be used for keeping a phone. There’s also a little space under the handbrake, and behind it you get another bottle holder. However, the rear power window controls are located in front of the bottle holder, making it difficult for the passenger to access the switches when a large 1-litre bottle is placed there. 

The eC3’s cabin is equipped with three USB charging ports, one at the front and two at the back. There’s also a 12V power socket for front passengers. Although, there’s no option for wireless charging and type-C port which could have been there at this price point.


The eC3’s feature list doesn’t do any justice with the way the EV has been priced. Other than the infotainment unit, the fabric seat upholstery, manual AC and manual adjustments for ORVMs feel too basic for the top-end version of an electric vehicle which costs about Rs 13 lakh on road.

The 10.2-inch touchscreen, however, supports wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Although, the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay disconnects abruptly sometimes, and we also experienced a bug while adding and removing bluetooth devices to the car’s infotainment system. These are easy fixes with software updated in the future. The screen's touch response is smooth, and there is low latency in the screen's response time. Also, even if you're using it for the first time, the user interface is simple to grasp.

The instrument cluster is digitised, again not as good as expected. It displays basic information like battery percentage, range, trip A and B and charging details. But all this info is shown in separate screens, and the driver needs to toggle into different modes to see each of these parameters. Citroen could have done a better job here by providing a better MID which could have showcased more information on a single screen. 

The eC3 comes with a 4-speaker sound system that doesn't cause any problems at normal volume; but when the volume is increased, the audio feels a little distorted. Other features on the list include seat-height adjustment for the driver's seat and tilt adjustable steering wheel. 

But, the list of missing features is longer. Passive keyless entry, rear camera, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring system, automatic AC, leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic headlamps would have helped it feel more value for money.

Space and Rear seat comfort

Citroen hasn’t made any compromises in this department at least, as the eC3 offers a good space for two people at the rear. The headroom and legroom are also enough for an average Indian height, and the person wouldn’t feel confined inside the cabin as the ample glass makes the cabin feel airy. And as mentioned, you get two USB chargers to keep the smartphones juiced up. 

The backrest angle is relaxed, and the cushioning is supple, making modest city trips pleasant. However, the lack of adjustable headrest and armrest is not justified. Overall, the comfort levels are satisfactory; nevertheless, Citroen could have improved them by not sacrificing on these minor details.

Boot Space

eC3 boot space with all rows up
eC3 boot space with seats folded

The eC3 offers a boot space of 315 litres, which is again similar to the C3. Unlike its competition, Citroen also offers a full-size spare wheel with the eC3 without compromising on the numbers. The rear seats can also be folded down for extra room. What adds to convenience is the flat boot floor which helps in easy accommodation of big suitcases inside. 

Range And Charging Time

The eC3 ran for 232km in the city before finally coming to a stop. This is 82km less than the claimed range and is right where we expected it to be. However, there was an issue that we encountered at the end. The car's MID was still showing a range of 5km on 1 percent charge when the car refused to move. In our experience with other EVs, there’s still some charge reserved for emergency situations even after the battery power reaches zero percent.

The eC3 supports both domestic and DC fast charging options. When plugged into a 15A home charger, the battery will need eight hours to get from 10 to 80 percent. Talking about the DC fast charging support, we have tested the eC3 at a 120kW DC fast charger, and you can check the detailed result here

City Drive

Starting the electric C3 is like starting an ICE engine, you insert and rotate the key to bring it to life. At least, the top-end variant of the eC3 should have been equipped with push button start/stop feature. It gets a drive selector to shift between drive, reverse and neutral, and the process feels quite slow. It takes time to shift from drive to reverse and vice versa, hence making quick U-turns in city traffic quite difficult. Also, on the inclines, the use of handbrake is necessary to compensate for the absence of hill hold assist.

Citroen’s electric hatchback houses a 29.2kWh battery pack which has an ARAI-claimed range of 320km on paper. The unit is mated to an electric motor which has an output of 57PS and 143Nm. Sounds less, doesn't it? Still, the stated 143Nm torque is available right from the start and this feels surprisingly alive to drive. The pedal response is quick, especially between 20-50kmph or 30-60kmph which makes overtaking a breeze and going into gaps effortless. So it’s definitely a quick car for doing city commutes.

Despite feeling quick in the city, the eC3 is slower by 100kmph than the C3. That is because it slows down post 60kmph and takes another 10 seconds to reach 100kmph. And this is why it feels less active to drive on highways. Not to mention, the top speed is capped at 102kmph which will limit its use on expressways. 

The eC3 can be driven in two driving modes – Normal and Eco – which can be shifted with a press of a button. Again, changing the drive modes requires you to take off your foot from the accelerator pedal, which feels unnecessary. The Eco mode continued to offer good drivability but dulls down throttle response to prevent quick discharge of the battery. The Normal mode will only be required when you are in a hurry, or are on a highway. 

Is It Citroen Enough?

The eC3’s suspension system easily soaks undulations in the city. Speed breakers and potholes are dealt with in comfort but it does pick up the odd bump and make you feel it. Even at higher speeds, the stability keeps you confident. However, there is a catch. Citroen cars are known to have superior ride quality around the world. We have seen this with the C5 Aircross too in India. We’re not making any comparisons, but since the eC3 comes from a brand like that, you expect it to have exceptional ride comfort, or at least much better than the competition.

Price & Variants

The eC3 is currently offered in two variants – Live and Feel – ranging from Rs 11.50 lakh to Rs 12.76 lakh. The eC3 rivals the Tata Tiago EV, while being a bigger and slightly more expensive alternative to the MG Comet EV


The eC3 is a good looking electric hatchback with a good amount of space and practicality on offer. The highlight certainly remains the effortless drive within the city limits. The driving range is good for city usage; and unlike its competition, it offers uncompromised boot space.

However, Citroen left a lot of boxes unchecked like the quality of materials inside the cabin, some off niggles in drive but most importantly -- the lacking feature list. We don't expect these misses at such a high price point, especially with the competition like the Tiago EV. 

So the question arises, who should buy the Citroen eC3? If you are a businessman who is looking to do daily city commute at a much lower running cost compared to petrol cars, and prioritize space and practicality over features and appearance, the eC3 is an ideal choice. 

Citroen eC3

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
Live (Electric)Rs.11.61 Lakh*
Feel (Electric)Rs.12.70 Lakh*
Feel DT (Electric)Rs.13 Lakh*
Shine (Electric)Rs.13.20 Lakh*
Shine DT (Electric)Rs.13.35 Lakh*

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