After a successful launch with the C3, Citroen has now decided to launch an EV counterpart to the C3. Named the eC3, it’s got the same charming appearance, quirky styling, and badge value, but does it still make more sense that it’s an ICE alternative? To find out, we conducted a “Citroen eC3 First Drive Review” and flew down to Chennai, where Citroen had a closed test track to experience the eC3 in a controlled environment.
I’d say the eC3 makes for a great city commuter and occasional highway cruiser, but I wouldn’t call this an enthusiast package. Considering all its credentials, I’d recommend taking a test drive. Remember that this EV performs best inside the city and should be an excellent package for busy city streets. Prices are yet to be announced by Citroen, but if they do end up pricing the eC3 as aggressively as the C3, not only will it put a lot more things into perspective, but it would also make this one hot EV.
Now in terms of performance, it won’t blow you away. On paper, it makes about the same amount of power as an entry-level hatchback or SUV. Its direct competitor, the Tata Tiago EV, uses a 24 kWh battery that produces 74 bhp and 114 Nm of torque but promises a similar range. In comparison, the eC3 is powered by a larger 29.2 kWh battery that makes about 56 bhp of power and 143 Nm of torque. There are two driving modes on offer, Eco and Standard.
Put your foot down, and the eC3 lunges forward in a relatively calm and sluggish manner, with standard mode slightly more responsive. What also doesn’t help its case is that it’s gained roughly 300 kgs in weight, which has taken quite a toll on its agility.
I am testing this on an open test track, and perhaps the lethargic performance would go unnoticed in the city. In terms of handling, the agility has gone down thanks to the weight gain, and the eC3 understeers while entering corners, but once you’ve found the right line, it’ll stay planted like it’s on rails and managed to take turns at triple-digit speeds with commendable stability. Braking seems to be well-contained, and despite the weight gain, the brakes have a sufficient amount of bite to bring the eC3 to a complete halt.
In terms of range, Citroen claims the eC3 can do 315 km on a full charge, but from our testing, I’d ideally say it can do about 200 – 250 km on a full charge, depending on your driving style. NVH levels on the eC3 are well contained, with only a bit of tire noise creeping into the cabin once you reach higher speeds. The eC3 has a top speed of 107 km/hr, which is electronically locked, and the car refuses to exceed this speed.
The interior, too, remains unchanged on the eC3. However, instead of a manual shift lever, you’ve now got a little toggle switch that allows you to change gears, but apart from that, the interior remains as minimal and easy to use as it always was. Thanks to the battery pack, the floor height has gone up, but it has made no difference to practicality, and the overall room on offer is still relatively abundant. Speaking of practicality, even the boot capacity remains unchanged.
Now aesthetically, the Citroen eC3 is handsome as the C3, and that’s because little to no changes have been made to the overall design of the vehicle. It’s still as charming and bold as it ever was. Although the ground clearance has gone down by 10 mm, which hasn’t made a huge difference and would take a trained eye to notice. There is also now a new exclusive orange shade available for the eC3, but that’s about it for aesthetics.
Also, Read – Toyota Innova HyCross | First Drive Review 2023
SPECS & PRICES
Electric Motor Type – Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Battery Type – High energy density Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
Battery Capacity – 29.2 kWh
Power – 56 bhp
Torque – 143 Nm
Top Speed – 107 km/hr
Claimed range – 320 km
Boot Capacity – 315 Litres