At the start of this year, if you wanted to buy an electric supermini from one of the Stellantis group brands, it would have cost you more than £30,000. Then, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric Yes Edition was announced, priced at just under £27,000. And now, we have another major leap forward for value in the shape of the new Citroen E-C3, which will cost just under £22,000 in entry-level form.

It’s an impressive-looking price drop, but is there some kind of catch? Well, instead of the 136hp motor and 50kWh battery we’ve become used to with entry-level Stellantis EVs, the E-C3 instead gets a 113hp motor and a 44kWh battery. The latter means an official range of just under 200 miles, compared with more than 220 miles for the Corsa. How important those missing miles are will depend on individual use cases, but it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to us for a car that will likely mostly be used for town driving. In design terms, perhaps the major difference with the previous C3 is a 10cm height increase, which Citroen says means more interior space, and also ‘SUV-style’ ground clearance to improve access. This sort of change could be bad news for handling, but we’re pleased to report, given the model’s likely urban deployment, that the E-C3 is fun to drive around town, where it sort of feels like a tall go-kart, with pointy steering and responsive electric acceleration. Although the 113hp motor is less powerful than those fitted to previous Stellantis EVs, it doesn’t feel slow – while it’s not a crazy speed machine, it’s easily able to exploit gaps in traffic around town and also capable of overtaking on motorways.

On faster roads, you do feel that extra height via a bit of lean when cornering, but it’s nothing alarming, and no one was expecting this to be a hot hatch anyway.

As for ride comfort, this is reasonable for a supermini, but no more than that, which is arguably a disappointment given numerous references to ‘Advanced Comfort’ in Citroen’s promotional material – possibly a compromise linked to the weight of the EV battery. There’s also an irritating electronic beeping sound to the indicators.

The E-C3 gets an interesting control set-up, similar to fellow Stellantis brand Peugeot’s I-Cockpit, except in our view better. You look over a small steering wheel to see the instrument display, but this is mounted on a thin screen a long way back on the dashboard, close to the bottom of the windscreen. Although this isn’t strictly the ‘head-up display’ Citroen bills it as, it is much closer to the driver’s eyeline, meaning you get the fun driving benefit associated with the small wheel (which suits a small car such as this one well) without your ability to read the driver display being compromised. You also get a responsive 10.25in infotainment touchscreen, and physical ventilation controls.

Despite the value price point of the E-C3, interior materials with our range-topping Max-spec car (£1,700 more expensive than the entry-level Plus equipment grade) are by no means bargain basement. Okay, there is some hard plastic door trim, but you get a bit of white leather-effect trim on the armrests, which is quite visually attractive as well as comfy (although unfortunately this is adorned with annoying labels telling you to ‘be cool’ and ‘have fun’). A sort of bathmat material on part of the dashboard adds some more visual interest, while gloss black plastic around the centre console controls – familiar from other Stellantis models – adds a higher-grade element. Black and white seat trim looks good too.

Citroen claims the extra height of the E-C3 has boosted legroom, thanks to the angle of the seats, and it is fair to say that both leg and headroom for back seat passengers are good for a supermini. A 310-litre boot has quite a high lip, but is fairly deep. 

Orders for the E-C3 will open in July, followed by a 100hp petrol version in September. Hybrid and lower-range (even cheaper) EV versions are then due to join the line-up next year. But even with the launch spec, the E-C3 is an impressive small EV at a price point that should merit very strong consideration from those looking to electrify on a budget. 

Positive: Very low price for an EV, fun to drive around town, good interior space 

Negative: Ride not as comfortable as hoped, irritating door trim messages and indicator noise

Standard equipment: 17in alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, Citroen Advanced Comfort suspension, electric folding and heated door mirrors, front and rear skid plates, two-tone paint with contrast roof, decorative roof rails, automatic wipers, air conditioning, driver display, 10.25in touchscreen with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, cruise control, rear parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking. 

Engines: Electric: 113hp Petrol: 100hp 1.2

Equipment grades: Plus, Max

Transmissions: Single-speed automatic, six-speed manual

Citroen E-C3 Max 83kW 44kWh

P11D: £23,635

On sale: July 2024

Residual value: tbc

Depreciation: tbc

Fuel: tbc

Service, maintenance and repair: tbc

Cost per mile: tbc

Range: 199 miles

CO2 (BIK %): 0g/km (2%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £8/£16

Luggage capacity: 310 litres

Battery size/power: 44kWh/113hp

Score: 9/10