Other manufacturers should take note of Citroën’s dedication to redesigning the C3

LISTEN 14:11

It’s been six years since Citroën debuted the second-generation C3 and three years since the car’s last facelift. Now, Citroën is kicking off the 2017 model year with a redesigned C3, and let me just say that it is a huge departure from the outgoing model. The front end has been completely redesigned; the side panels now include Airbump panels like we’ve seen previously on the C3 Cactus, and the new generation brings a new range of personalization options previously unavailable to the C3. Furthermore, there is some new technology to talk about, and Citroën has even gone so far as to add in the option of four different interior themes. In the power department, there is are three gasoline-powered engines and two diesel-powered mills to choose from, making this a versatile option in the world of compacts.

After seeing the spy shots, we really didn’t expect the C3 to change all that much but, upon first glance, the three-year wait from the last facelift is well worth it. Furthermore, this thing actually comes with its own built-in dashcam, which is something that you don’t generally find in a new car – at least not that I can recall anyway. The most interesting thing about this debut is that it was just earlier this month that we caught the C3 testing under heavy camo, and we certainly didn’t expect to see the sheet pulled off the car so soon. With that said, let’s quit wasting time and take a good look at what Citroën is bringing to the table with the all-new C3.

Updated 06/29/2016: Citroën dropped the official details on the new C3.

Continue reading to learn more about the Citroën C3.


2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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The new C3 is what Citroën likes to call “distinctively offbeat,” and is highly customizable at the time of purchase. To start off, you can select between nine different primary body colors that include, Polar White, Perla Nera Black, Shark Grey, Arctic Steel, Ruby Red, Almond Green, Cobalt Blue, Power Orange, and Soft Sand. On top of that, there are three different colors to pick from for the roof – Opal White, Onyx Black, and Sport Red – leading to 36 possible exterior color combinations.

The single hexagonal grille is now a thing of the past as the C3 steps up to a more modern look with a real radiator grille and air dam positioned below it

Up front, we notice some pretty big changes. To start off, the whole front fascia has been redesigned. The single hexagonal grille is now a thing of the past as the C3 steps up to a more modern look with a real radiator grille and air dam positioned below it, both of which are backed by an oval mesh of sorts. The fog lamps have been dropped to a lower position on the fascia and are now recessed quite heavily into the lower fascia with roof-colored inserts surrounding them. Citroën also switched up the headlight game to give the front end a completely new look. Instead of those large, single headlight units, smaller, oval units are now recessed into the front fascia. Above them in the space between the hood and fascia, you’ll find a set of LED running lights. The hood itself is now elevated a little more than before and now runs all the way to the top chrome strip between the running lights.

Moving over to the sides, the cladding from the lower fascia follows the lower body over the front wheel arch, along the side skirt, and over the rear wheel arch where it wraps around the lower rear fascia. For the 2017 model year, the C3 now gets Airbump panels on the lower doors like the C3 Cactus. The side view mirrors are now positioned closer to the waistline. Shorter and wider, the mirrors get roof-matching caps that really add a bit of accenting beauty to the overall exterior appearance.

Around back there is plenty of more change to talk about. First off, that cladding comes off of the rear wheel arch and gets significantly taller as it wraps around the bottom of the rear fascia. The taillights have been completely redesigned, now in an oval shape with reverse lights integrated into the bottom of the lens. The small overhang on the hatch is painted in the same color as the roof and sports a high-mount brake light in the middle. All told, the new C3 is most certainly fresh and, as far as the exterior is concerned, is the best model evolution I’ve seen in quite some time.


2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Interior
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The inside of the new C3 represents another huge departure from the outgoing model. To start off, there are four different interior designs to pick from. Standard Ambience is neutral and uncluttered, featuring yellow over-stitched upholstery. Metropolitan Grey Ambience brings soft colors and textiles on the dash and seat upholstery. Urban Red Ambience adds a red dashboard surround and red stitching to go with an interior combination of dark and bright colors. Finally, there is Hype Colorado Ambience that features soft materials, special color-contrasting upholstery, and a two-tone leather steering wheel.

Citroën says the C3’s interior is “a spacious interior designed as a living area”

Citroën says the C3’s interior is “a spacious interior designed as a living area,” which pretty much translates to a more open cabin with less clutter. The dashboard, for instance, runs the entire width of the interior. The design of the interior trim and chrome-finished vents also add to this feeling of width. As far as customization goes, some elements of the interior can be painted, or wrapped with textile or TEP lining. The finish is always designed to match the color of the upholstery perfectly. Something else Citroën did to enhance the wide feel is to add wider seats that give you the feeling of more space and freedom within the cabin.

As an improvement over the outgoing model, the new C3 now features an extra two centimeters of shoulder room, and the front seats are positioned to provide the best forward visibility possible. Storage is also a key factor here, with a central cubby in the front, large storage bins in the front doors, and what Citroën claims to be the largest glove box in the segment. Furthermore, there is 300 liters or 10.59 cubic-feet of storage space in the boot.


2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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The C3 now comes with a seven-inch touchscreen display that acts as a command center for the entire vehicle, with access to all of the car’s main functions. This setup further enhances the “uncluttered” feel by removing the need for a large number of buttons or switches on the dash and center console. This system includes connectivity via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirror Link, and features live maps and traffic from TomTom.

The car has a keyless entry and keyless start system, which means you can enter the vehicle and start it without even removing the key fob from your pocket

Furthermore, the car has a keyless entry and keyless start system, which means you can enter the vehicle and start it without even removing the key fob from your pocket. This isn’t the highlight of new technology, though. There is also a reversing camera, with parking aids, and hill start assist to help prevent rearward rolling on hills.

Making its debut in the new C3 is the ConnectedCAM Citroen. The ConnectedCam is basically a built in dash cam that is located right behind the rearview mirror. It doesn’t function quite the same as aftermarket dash cam units, but it does have the same view as the driver. The driver can snap pictures at will and upload them instantly to social media and, by pressing a holding a button, the driver can record up to 20 seconds of video that can be shared at a later time after the car is stationary. Furthermore, in the event of a collision, the camera will automatically switch on and will hold up to 1.5 minutes of video (30 seconds before the collision and 60 seconds after.) The camera itself is full HD, has two megapixels of resolution, a wide 120-degree angle lens, GPS, and 16 gigs of built-in memory. As such, the GPS system in the camera can be used to help owners locate their vehicle in a jam.


2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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In the drivetrain and chassis department, Citroën started out by adding an advanced suspension system to the new C3. Citroën didn’t go into major details, but it appears to use pseudo MacPherson suspension with deformable struts – a system that easily filters out bumps and vibrations from the road. Under the hood, you’ll find one of three gasoline engines or one of two diesel mills. On the gasoline front, there is a PureTech 68, 82, and 110, which deliver 67, 80, and 108 horsepower, respectively. On the diesel front, there is the option for the BlueHDi 75 or Blue HDi 100 that deliver 73 ponies and 98 ponies, respectively.

In the drivetrain and chassis department, Citroën started out by adding an advanced suspension system to the new C3

All five engines come standard with stop & start technology, which means the engine shuts itself off when you come to a stop at a street light or stop sign and will automatically restart when you apply the throttle for takeoff. This system might not amount to much in fuel savings for some, but if you spend a lot of time in stop and go traffic, you’ll certainly notice the difference. In addition to this, the new C3 can also be equipped with Citroën’s EAT6 fully automatic transmission as opposed to being stuck with a manual transmission.

Citroën didn’t elaborate on any performance specs, but with maximum horsepower sitting at 108 from the PureTech 110, I wouldn’t expect this thing to outrun much more than a Prius. Then again, you’re not buying the C3 to go fast, are you?


2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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As far as safety goes, the C3 comes with features like Lane Departure Warning, Blind-spot monitoring, and driver attention alert that alerts the driver to take a break after two hours of driving at 45 mph or higher. Furthermore, the C3 comes equipped with Citroën Connect Box with SOS and Assistance Pack, which is basically a black box and Citroëns form of OnStar. In the event of an accident, a short message is sent to a processing service. That service receives the vehicle’s identification, driver’s phone number, and geographical location. There are three different service levels available. The Monitoring Pack is free and includes a virtual service log and eco driving advice. The Mapping pack provides geolocation for the vehicle, and the Tracking pack maximizes the chance of finding the vehicle if it has been stolen.


Pricing for the new C3 is not year available. In the U.K., the outgoing model sells for between £10,550 ($15,353) for the entry-level model and £16,535 ($24,062) including V.A.T. With that said, I wouldn’t expect too much of a price increase if Citroën wants to stay competitive. Pricing may start out as high as £11,000 after V.A.T., but I wouldn’t expect it to even go that high.


Ford Fiesta

2017 Ford Fiesta Exterior Spyshots
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By the time the new C3 hit showrooms, Ford’s new Fiesta should have already been in the mix for a short period of time. For the 2017 model year, we expect the new model to be a bit larger than before, and should feature a sportier exterior with a more comfortable and upscale interior. Engine output from the current Fiesta ranges from 123 horsepower from a 1.0-liter EcoBoost unit to 197 horsepower from a 1.6-liter, turbocharged, four-banger. We expect the next-gen model to come complete with a new range of engines that offer a little more power and better fuel economy. As of the time of this writing, the current model sells for anywhere between $14,090 and $20,970 with the next-gen likely to command upward of $2,000 more across the entire range.

Read our full review on the upcoming Ford Fiesta here.

Volkswagen Polo

2015 Volkswagen Polo High Resolution Exterior
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The Polo is one of the smallest models offered by Volkswagen, and it is a direct competitor to the Citroën C3. It was refreshed for the 2015 model year, and will likely carry on until at least 2018 before it sees another makeover. The standard Polo models are available with a range of 1.0-liter engines that deliver between 60 and 94 horsepower and 95 to 160 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough to keep the Polo competitive with the C3. There is also the Polo Blue GT that delivers 147 horsepower from its 1.4-liter TSI diesel and a Polo GTI that delivers 190 horsepower. As of the time of this writing, the Volkswagen Polo is priced anywhere between £11,525 for the entry-level model and £21,000 for the range-topping Polo GTI. At current exchange rates, that is a range of $16,771 to $30,560.

Read our full review on the Volkswagen Polo here.


2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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I must say I’m a little shocked to see that Citroën has pulled the sheet of the new C3 so quickly. Sure, models like the Ford Fiesta are ready for their next-gen changeover, but just earlier this month we weren’t sure if we would see the new C3 in time for the Paris Auto Show. But, here it is in all its glory. On that note, I also want to tip my hat to the guys that camouflaged that last test mule we saw – I never thought the C3 would look like it does based on those spy shots. With that said, I think Citroën went above and beyond, and the C3 will certainly remain fresh for at least a few years to come. Well done, Citroën. In a world where generational evolutions have become nothing more than a lazy joke from most manufacturers, you’ve brought something fresh to the mix. Walk with your head held high; the new C3 is just what your lineup needed.

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    • Built-in dash cam only records 20 seconds at a time
    • Not available in the U.S.
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Today sees the global reveal of the New Citroën C3 – a fresh, bold and colourful B-segment, 5-door supermini that delivers new levels of advanced comfort and personality to the sector.

2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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Citroën is renewing its best-selling C3 model, which has already sold more than 3.6 million examples since it was originally launched in 2002. New Citroën C3 is set to shake-up the market with its highly customisable character and the very latest automotive technologies, including a world premiere for ConnectedCAM Citroën™, an on-board HD camera that allows drivers to share their road-trip photos and videos directly with friends and family.

The New Citroën C3 is everything you would expect a modern Citroën to be – colourful, stylish, brimming with new technologies, supremely comfortable and with a bold, fun-loving personality.

The New C3 embodies all the core values of Citroën;

OPTIMISTIC: New C3 combines a characteristically Citroën front-end, with soft lines, flowing curves and striking colour schemes to deliver a powerful and energetic look.

Highly customisable, New C3 is audacious and full of personality by design, to ensure each owner can create a bespoke look that suits their individual style.

The exterior has a two-tone paint option, with a choice of three roof colours and complimentary touches of colour around the car (fog lights, door mirrors, rear quarter panels and on the Airbump® panels). Inside, customers have a choice of four different interiors that all deliver a spacious, yet intimate feel, thanks to the shape of the seats and an uncluttered dashboard.

HUMAN: New C3 is focused on the well-being of everyone on-board.

The Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme has influenced the creation of New C3. Comfortable seats, a panoramic glass sunroof that fills the cabin with light, colours and fabrics inspired by travel and home interior design, a 7-inch touchscreen that groups together all of the key vehicle functions and a keyless entry and start system, all combine to emphasise a feeling of reassurance, comfort and calm.

SMART: New C3 introduces ConnectedCAM Citroën™, which is a world premiere for the brand.

ConnectedCAM Citroën™ uses a fully integrated camera, located behind the rear view mirror, to capture images and video that can instantly be shared on social media channels, or saved as evidence in the event of an accident. The New Citroën C3 now offers even more options that improve the driving experience, with an advanced driver assistance system including voice controlled 3D navigation, a reversing camera, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. Finally, the efficient, high-performance powertrain options continue the technological theme with PureTech petrol and BlueHDi Diesel engines, and the latest generation EAT6 fully automatic gearbox available as part of the range.

Citroën CEO, Linda Jackson, said; “The New C3 has all the Citroën values and all the qualities to give the brand new impetus, which is especially important as the previous model accounted for almost one in five sales in Europe. A comfortable car with real personality, it is set to appeal to new customers looking for a modern car with character.”

2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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Xavier Peugeot, Citroën Product Director, added; “With its unique body style, personalised features and connectivity, New C3 is a bold, fresh, modern car. It illustrates the ongoing Citroën product offensive.”


1. Distinctively offbeat

With a distinctive design, New C3 offers freshness, energy and personality that is unique to the supermini market. The striking new front-end gives a powerful impression of robustness, which continues along the body of the car, with fluid curves and muscular flanks lending vigour and power.

New C3 features the two-tier front light signature synonymous with Citroën. Double chrome strips extend from the chevrons and go all the way across to the LED daytime running lights. The protective front bumper blends into the rest of the bodywork to enhance the sense of height and width at the front for a ‘go-anywhere’ look and feel. The fog lights even feature stylish coloured surrounds.

In profile, the black windscreen pillars and floating roof accentuate the dynamic outline of New C3. The car’s protective character is evident in the balanced proportions between the body panels and the glazed areas. The horizontal styling features on the sides of the car continue the deliberately high bonnet line, producing a reassuring posture, and the wheel arches are fitted with extensions for a crossover appearance. At the rear, the generously sized, muscular wings give the car a dynamic appearance, an impression accentuated by the very short overhang.

The Airbump® panels (air-filled bumps with a scratch-proof surface, as seen on C4 Cactus) are a Citroën signature feature, offering personality and style, as well as protecting the vehicle. The thermoplastic polyurethane material used in the Airbump® panels resists everyday degradation, protecting them from sunlight, water, scratches etc. Each panel positions a line of air-filled bumps at the bottom of the doors to protect the most vulnerable areas of the car in the urban environment. The Airbump® panels also have a white or red graphic motif, depending on the version.

The unique, high-tech identity of New C3 continues at the back with 3D rear lights, low level protection to lend everyday robustness and an updated C3 badge – now, the figure 3 appears in black with a chrome surround.

Aerodynamically, the roof is 4cm lower than the previous model with every surface designed to optimise airflow.

2. A spacious interior designed as a living area

Citroën’s designers drew inspiration from travel and home interior design to create an interior that aims to feel like an extension of the driver’s home. Offering a safe, contemporary and comfortable cabin, New C3’s interior design principles focus on delivering uncluttered space.

The perception of space is heightened by the horizontal dashboard, which runs across the whole width of the vehicle. The design of the interior trim and the shape of the chrome-finished air vents also combine to enhance the perception of width.

The customer has a choice of finishes inside the cabin. Some elements can be painted, wrapped with textile or TEP lining (with or without over-stitching) and finished with chrome or coloured touches. The finish is always designed to perfectly match the seat material.

The seats, integral to on-board wellbeing, have a uniquely wide and generous design, which amplifies the impression of space and comfort. This is further enhanced by the use of bright, warm materials.

3. New levels of customisation for a B-segment model

New C3 is the first model of its type to offer such an extensive and coherent range of personalisation options and two-tone exterior colour schemes.

With a total of nine body colours (Polar White, Perla Nera Black, Shark Grey, Arctic Steel, Ruby Red, Almond Green, Cobalt Blue, Power Orange and Soft Sand) and three roof colours (Opal White, Onyx Black and Sport Red), there are a total of 36 possible combinations, giving New C3 a fresh, modern look.

The exterior offers a range of two-tone paint options, with the three roof colours accompanied by matching touches around the car (fog lights, door mirrors, rear quarter panels and on the Airbump® panels).

The customer can select from four possible interior designs. These are;

Standard Ambience – uncluttered and neutral with yellow over-stitched upholstery.
Metropolitan Grey Ambience – a warm and bright alternative, with soft colours and textiles, on the dashboard trim as well as the seat upholstery.
Urban Red Ambience – a combination of dark and bright colours. The dashboard trim features red over-stitching and a red dashboard surround.
Hype Colorado Ambience – features soft upmarket materials and special upholstery for a colour-contrast effect, and a two-tone leather-covered steering wheel.


The Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme was influential in the design of New C3, to offer drivers and passengers a feeling of well-being.

1. An overriding emphasis on driver and passenger well-being

2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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The emphasis on well-being starts with the comfortable seats, the panoramic sunroof that fills the car with natural light, and the generous space and storage compartments throughout the cabin. The clutter-free interior delivers a sense of harmony, which is also expressed with the soft and bright textiles used throughout the interior.

For physical comfort, there is 2cm more shoulder width than in the previous model and the shape and position of the front seats provides optimum forward visibility for the rear passengers.

New C3’s seats provide generous width, lumbar support and comfort to help cushion the impact of uneven road surfaces.

Particularly agile thanks to its 10.7m turning circle, the 5-door, 5-seat New C3 measures just 3.99m long.

2. Advanced ergonomics for a smooth driving experience

New C3 offers a hassle-free user experience, with easy, intuitive access to all main the vehicle functions. Under the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, New C3 promises great everyday practicality, usability andspaciousness.

The designers paid special attention to the car’s storage and stowage spaces. For example, there is an ingenious central cubby that maximises the free space at the front of the vehicle, along with large storage bins in the front doors and the largest glove box in the segment – all to deliver optimum functionality without compromising the simplicity of the interior. The New Citroën C3’s boot volume is also impressive at 300 litres.

A pleasant driving experience calls for an intuitive, interactive and responsive interface between the car and the driver, which New C3 offers through its 7-inch touchscreen. Acting as a vehicle control panel, this provides quick and easy access to all of the vehicle’s main functions and makes for an uncluttered dashboard.

Convenience continues with the car’s keyless entry and start system, which means the driver can lock or unlock and start the car without needing to take the key out of their pocket or bag.


1. ConnectedCAM Citroën™

The ConnectedCAM Citroën™ is making its first appearance in New C3. It is a connected camera (wide 120° angle, full HD, 2 million pixels) with GPS and a 16GB internal memory. Positioned just behind the rear-view mirror, it records what the driver sees for two main purposes;

2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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1. The driver can click a button to safely take photos as keepsakes or for instant sharing on social media. A longer press of the button captures video for up to 20 seconds, which can then be shared once the car is stationary. Stored content is directly accessible via the ConnectedCAM Citroën™ free app.

2. In the event of a vehicle collision, the video system switches on automatically. The video can run for up to 1½ minutes (30 seconds before and 60 after the incident). This footage can be useful as evidence following an accident.

With the ConnectedCAM Citroën™, a driver can also locate their vehicle and store its position to ensure they can find it in unfamiliar or busy places.

2. A wealth of useful technologies

The PSA Group platform was optimised for this new model, to deliver an excellent external footprint/interior space ratio, and superb levels of comfort and efficiency.

For comfort, an advanced suspension system was used, based on a proven architecture (pseudo Macpherson suspension with deformable struts). This effectively filters out road surface irregularities – a typical Citroën suspension characteristic. Soundproofing is impressive too, as is safety, with features such as a new ‘H’ crossbar under the seats, for the best possible impact protection.

New C3 comes with a choice of latest-generation, highly efficient PureTech petrol and BlueHDi Diesel engines. There is a choice of three PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines, with manual transmission: PureTech 68, 82 and 110 (Stop & Start), and two manual Diesel powertrains: BlueHDi 75 (Stop & Start) and 100 (Stop & Start).

For the ultimate in driveability and comfort, New C3 also adds the option of the brand’s EAT6 fully automatic gearbox.

New C3 is packed with useful driving aids and safety technologies to enhance the journey and improve the driving experience.

Driving aids:

Citroën Connect Nav (via the 7-inch touchscreen)is a new-generation connected satnav system that can be controlled by voice or touch from the 7-inch screen. It ties in with connected services such as TomTom Traffic for real-time traffic information, geolocation and price details for service stations and carparks, weather forecasts, and information on local points of interest. There is also an optional ‘danger zones’ function that provides visual and audible warnings of accident black spots in real time.
Mirror Screen technology duplicates smartphone content directly onto the 7-inch touchscreen. Here, the driver can access their multimedia content by touch or voice recognition. Available with Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto (available early 2017) and MirrorLink®.
The reversing camera, complete with parking aids, switches on automatically whenever reverse gear is selected, to provide visibility and positioning lines via the 7-inch touchscreen.
Hill-Start Assist holds the car for two seconds on gradients of steeper than three percent once the brake pedal is released, to help the driver pull away safely.

Technologies for safety:

2017 Citroën C3 High Resolution Exterior
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The Lane Departure Warning System helps guard against driver fatigue and momentary inattention. If the car crosses into another lane without the indicator being activated, the system will issue a visual and audible warning.
The Blind-Spot Monitoring System detects the presence of any vehicles in the driver’s blind spots. Warnings are shown using indicators built into the wing mirrors.
Driver Attention Alert warns the driver when it is time to take a break – i.e. after two hours’ uninterrupted driving at speeds above 45mph, then every hour thereafter.

Utility services:

Citroën Connect Box with SOS and Assistance Pack puts the driver in touch with a specialist assistance service. In the event of an accident, a short message is sent in manual or automatic mode via GSM to a call processing service. The message includes the vehicle’s identification, the driver’s phone number and precise geographical location details.
Services available through Citroën Connect Packs (requiring the Citroën Connect Box with SOS and Assistance). There are three different levels available; Monitoring pack (free), which includes a virtual service log and eco-driving advice; Mapping pack (optional), for geolocating the vehicle; and the Tracking pack (optional), which maximises the chance of finding the vehicle if it has been stolen.

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