Right off the bat, we should point out this Citroën C3 is not the same car sold in Europe. It rides on a different platform and has been engineered primarily for emerging markets such as South America and India. While the Euro-spec C3 made in Slovakia earned a four-star rating in the European New Car Assessment Programme in the crash test conducted back in 2017, this C3 manufactured in Brazil failed the evaluation with a worrying zero-star rating.
Sadly, it's far from being the first car tested by Latin NCAP to "achieve" a zero-star rating as the Hyundai Tucson, Fiat Argo/Cronos, Suzuki Baleno, and the Kia Picanto also failed to grab any stars in the crash tests. In the case of the Citroën C3 (codenamed CC21), Latin NCAP points out the small car exhibited an "unstable structure, weak protection in frontal impact, lack of side head protection, and lack of seatbelt reminders."
Citroen C3 in 2023 Latin NCAP crash test
Offered as standard with just two airbags (in 2023!), the Citroën C3 scored only 30.52 percent in Adult Occupant and 12.10 percent in Child Occupant categories. It was rated at 49.74 percent for Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users and 34.88 percent for Safety Assist. Latin NCAP didn't perform the pole impact test because the car lacks a standard side head protection system. In fact, it's not even an option. In addition, the airbag for the front passenger seat can't be disconnected.
There aren't seatbelt reminders for any of the passengers while the one for the driver doesn't meet Latin NCAP's requirements. The footwell area is characterized as being unstable while whiplash protection to the adult neck is poor. Another problem is with the ISOFIX anchorages marking.
All things considered, Citroën has a lot on its plate provided it wants to improve the vehicle's crash-test rating. Understandably, Latin NCAP Chairman Stephan Brodziak criticized parent company Stellantis for how it engineered the C3:
"It is shameful that Stellantis, that knows how to develop safer cars at affordable prices, have designed a car with such poor safety as the Citroën C3. A car of this nature represents an offense to the health and integrity of Latin Americans, who are equally vulnerable in crash or run-over situations as the inhabitants of those countries where Stellantis would never dare to sell a car with such low safety."