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CitroŽn C3

Modular and convenient: an innovative boot adapted to today's requirements

A boot of impressive capacity
The C3 boasts a huge boot of a capacity that is exceptional on the B segment. This feature further identifies the C3 as a multi-purpose car. The boot has a capacity of around 305 l VDA. The dimensions are particularly attractive, with a load length of 0.66 m, a width between wheel arches of 1.04 m and an exceptional height of 0.59 m under the parcel shelf.
The rear seat features a 60/40 split-fold function, which increases boot capacity to remarkable levels.
For maximum convenience, the boot is equipped with two straps and four lashing rings.

The "Moduboard": the world's first clever boot
B-segment customers are not just looking for boot capacity; they also expect practical and functional design with, in particular, neat stowage solutions.

For this reason, CitroŽn has invented the "Moduboard", a new way of using boot space. Easy to use, the Moduboard is designed to separate the boot into compartments. Many different layouts are possible, offering a wide range of possibilities for daily use. The Moduboard makes it easy, for example, to position long objects and to protect fragile or dirty objects. 

The Moduboard can also be used to create a flat floor, running from the boot sill to the backs of the front seats, and able to support the same load as a conventional boot floor. This is a key advantage for customers looking for versatility and simplicity of use. The Moduboard is stored vertically against the back of the rear seat for increased convenience. 
Alongside the Moduboard, the rear wheel arches feature an injected polypropylene trim with an additional right-hand stowage compartment.

Top–level safety features

Optimised expertise
Customers set great store by safety, and rightly so. CitroŽn's approach to global safety involves taking all steps necessary to avoid accidents in any circumstances, notably by giving the driver a greater sense of responsibility. The objective is to give the driver all the information and assistance necessary to make the right decisions, while letting him concentrate on his driving. 
If, despite all precautions, an accident does occur, the occupants are well protected by a reinforced passenger compartment and a range of complementary appliances and equipment. 

Continuing the policy adopted by CitroŽn on its most recent vehicles, and notably the C5, the C3 offers a particularly high level of safety. This is because the issue of safety was addressed as a whole, from on-board well being, which improves driver concentration, to impact resistance and the protection of the occupants  through particularly surefooted roadholding. New technologies have been applied systematically in all these areas, in order to provide new services and functions that provide more information for the driver, while  letting him concentrate on the road.

Particularly surefooted roadholding
Particular attention was given to the running gear, the objective being to make sure that the C3 would always be dependable, with firm, clear reactions.

The front suspension is of the MacPherson type with coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers. 

The rear suspension features a totally new design with a flexible transverse beam and hydraulic shock absorbers. This configuration offers the best trade-off between comfort and dynamic performance.

A high-performance braking system
The C3's braking system features discs at the front (vented on the 1.6i, 16V and 1.4 HDi 16V), discs at the rear (1.6i 16V and 1.4 HDi 16V), a 4-sensor ABS device and electronic brakeforce distribution for braking stability. 

Electronic brakeforce distribution
This function makes maximum use of braking power by delivering the maximum level of power admissible for each wheel. In this way, it optimises "front-rear" and "right-left" braking.

Emergency braking assistance
An emergency braking assistance system is also available: when the driver stamps hard on the brake pedal (indicating an emergency situation), the main piston sets off a second piston that raises the pressure of the braking system to maximum levels. This function considerably reduces the braking distance and also makes the driver less reticent about stamping hard on the pedal at the start of the braking process. 

To further improve braking safety, the hazard warning lights of the C3 come on automatically in the event of sudden deceleration. They are switched off when the vehicle accelerates once more or when the driver activates the corresponding control button. 

On-board well being to sharpen driver reactions
On-board well-being involves a wide range of features and characteristics, for example, the remarkable on-board silence, the layout of the controls that fall naturally to hand, the seat design, the relaxing driving position (steering wheel adjustable for height and reach, headrests adjustable for height and tilt), the raised seating position with a clear view of the road and the large glazed areas for good peripheral vision. The objective is to leave the driver free to concentrate on his driving. 

Advanced safety features
Multiplex electrics, similar to those of the C5

The electric and electronic equipment supplied for reasons of comfort or safety is increasingly popular with customers, and may also be required by legislation in certain cases. To cope with the increased quantities of data circulating on-board the car, it was necessary to upgrade the electrical architecture and to adopt multiplexing.


Multiplexing involves linking the different electrical components using a limited number of harnesses. The BSI (built-in systems interface) and BSM (built-in supply module) make up the main components of the electrical data network. They process the data from the different networks and send it out to the item of equipment concerned. They process the data from the different networks and send it out to the item of equipment concerned.

The BSI and BSM are interfaced with different items of equipment on the car through multiplex networks that apply two communication protocols (VAN and CAN):

  • a VAN Comfort network (Vehicle Area Network for functions including the instrument cluster, navigation, car radio and air conditioning),

  • a VAN Body network (for functions including the airbags and upper part of the steering column), 

    a CAN network (Controller Area Network for such functions as engine control, electric power steering and headlamps).

Equipment that allows the driver to give the road his full attention
The possibilities offered by multiplexing and the BSI have provided the basis for a wide range of functions designed to bring customers enhanced levels of comfort, driving pleasure and safety. These functions leave the driver free to give the road his full attention and so give him a greater sense of responsibility. The car provides the driver with all the information necessary for decision-making without actually acting for him. 

See and be seen
The intermittent windscreen wiper function is indexed to vehicle speed for improved visibility. On the versions featuring air conditioning with automatic temperature control, the windscreen wipers are rain sensitive.
With their complex-surface design and  clear lens, the main headlamps of the C3 throw off considerable light. H1 lamps are used for the high-beam function and an H7 lamp for the dipped-beam function. The fog lamps (H1) are built into the skirt of the front bumper. 
The hazard warning lights come on automatically in the event of sudden deceleration.

The black panel
The black panel function improves visual comfort at night by switching off all the data on the instrument cluster (except the speedometer) and the remote display units.

An intelligent locking system
The C3 features a two-button plip control system: one button for locking and locating the car, the other for unlocking. If the vehicle is unlocked using the plip control but neither the doors or boot are opened within 30 seconds, the vehicle locks again automatically. This function protects the vehicle if the driver unlocks it accidentally.
As soon as the vehicle starts to move, the boot locks automatically and is thereby protected against theft. It will remain locked until a door is opened or until the car comes to a stop.

When the engine is turned off, the electric window lift controls remain active for 30 seconds after the driver's door has been opened.

The one-touch electric control used to raise and lower windows features an anti-pinch function. 
These characteristics are shared by the sunroof, which can also be programmed in any one of nine possible slide positions.

The C3 also offers many other intelligent functions designed to promote the comfort and safety of the occupants. Examples include interior lighting controls, a function that adjusts the volume of the car radio in accordance with vehicle speed, windscreen wipers timed to operate after the windscreen wash function, windscreen wiper rate adjusted when the car is stationary, automatic cut-off of energy-consuming functions such as the audio system and lighting, 30 minutes after the engine is switched off, and an excess speed warning.

Innovative equipment for child safety
Child safety locks on rear doors controlled by an electric function on the dashboard. For safer, more relaxed travelling, the status of the child safety locks is shown by an indicator on the dashboard. Certain versions, including all those fitted with the child pack, feature an electric control on the dashboard, illuminated at night, which activates or deactivates the child safety locks.

Child mirror
For easier contact with passengers in the rear (children or adults), an additional mirror is placed below the interior rearview mirror so that the rear passengers can always be seen. This mirror can be positioned horizontally under the roof to enhance the driver's vision at night, or turned towards the passengers to facilitate contact.

Moreover, the rear side seats are equipped to accommodate child seats meeting Isofix recommendations. The front passenger seat can also be equipped with a system of this type. 

More protection systems of enhanced efficiency
High standards of impact resistance and occupant protection

The C3 was designed using an entirely new platform. This made it possible to reach even higher levels of safety and to satisfy the most stringent impact tests, in particular those of EuroNcap. 

Designed to limit structural deformation…
High-yield strength steel makes up 41% of the structure of the C3. This reduces vehicle weight while maintaining a high level of stiffness.

…and to soak up impacts
To enable the structure to crumple in the event of impact, high-yield strength steel is not used 
for the entire vehicle.

A "body block" system is fitted on the steering column. With this type of system, the column retracts by 50 mm in the event of impact, thus minimising the impact of the driver's chest on the steering wheel and significantly reducing the injuries that could be caused on impact.

The CitroŽn C3 is fitted with six airbags (front, side and curtain) to protect the driver and passengers at front and rear. The fuel supply is cut off if any one of the six airbags is deployed.

The passenger airbag can be deactivated by means of a key. Two side airbags built into the front seats provide chest protection, while two curtain airbags protect the heads of the occupants at front and rear, thus providing effective protection for the occupants in the event of side impact.

The seatbelts at the front are height adjustable. They are equipped with pyrotechnic pretensioners with force limiters, in order to reduce the pressure on the chest in the event of impact, and so further enhance the level of protection. 
The three rear seatbelts are three-point. The central belt at the rear is installed on the seat itself. As a result, it is easier to use and to position in all cases, including for child seats. This configuration is also more attractive on the eye, since the belt is not attached to the rear roof cross member. 

Moreover, the C3 seeks to reduce the consequences of impact with a pedestrian: a particular effort was made to design a non-aggressive front end.

The structure is designed to offer an effective response to the problem of dissipating a maximum amount of energy over a minimal area while ensuring that repair costs are not too high in the event of an accident of average severity. The objective is for the C3 to obtain an excellent Thatcham classification and so to limit insurance costs.

Vehicle protection

The C3 is well protected against theft and break-ins. The barrage of protection devices installed on the C3 include the new-generation coded engine immobiliser, already used on the C5, central locking of the doors and tailgate, an HF remote control unit and transponder, a function that automatically relocks the vehicle if it is unlocked accidentally, and a function that locks the boot automatically as soon as the car starts to move.

© 2001 Julian Marsh