Citroën 2CV vs. Citroën 3CV: What are the main differences?

Pascual Migale, a member of the Citroën Classics Club of Buenos Aires, answers this question.

The most popular vehicle that Citroën commercialized in Argentina was, without a doubt, the 2CV / 3CV. This vehicle, which has evolved over the years, has great differences. To know them in detail, what better than the experience of Pascual Migale, partner of Citroën Classics Club of Buenos Aires.


The fundamental difference between the two, of course, has to do with the power of the engine. The Citroën 2CV had an engine of 425cc while the Citroën 3CV had 602cc. The 2CV evolved to 18 CV while the 3CV knew how to have up to 32 CV power. The 3CV featured a larger braking surface to balance the increased power deployed by its engine.

CitroenThe difference in maximum speeds ranged between 15 and 20 km / h, but what was really different was the reaction of both models. The Argentine traffic evolved and the 3CV was the one that knew how to behave much better at the times when it was a sales rage.


Regarding the suspension, the 2CV did not have hydraulic shock absorbersInstead, it featured friction dampers. For that reason he "rocked". The interconnected horizontal bellows suspension evolved and, in the 3CV, a system of greater diameter, with more powerful springs was installed.

The shock absorber systems also accompanied this evolution, as the system of beaters and friction dampers, which fitted the CITROËN 2CV, were replaced by hydraulic shock absorbers. One for each wheel.


The winks headlights The 2CV was located on the upper sides, between the rear windows and the third windows, while the 3CV located them in the front part of the front fender.

Citroen 2 CV
Citroen 2 CV.

The opening of the doors was really different. In the 2CV the doors opened from front to back, while the 3CV did it from back to front, as is today the traditional way of opening the doors of road vehicles.

As for the covers, the 2CV offered 125 tires and the 3CV 135. Also, the rates of the 2CV were rounded while those of the 3CV were flat. As a curiosity, the same wheel wrench was used to remove the front fenders.

The opening of the hood of the 2CV was developed from the outside of the vehicle, rolling it to the middle of the car or to the end, depending on what the user preferred. As for the 3CV, it could already be done internally and in three different positions.

The rear lights on the 3CV were much larger than the ones on the 2CV. Another fundamental difference was the voltage. It went from having 6 volts per dynamo, to having a 12 volt alternator and a much more powerful light. This was seen mainly in the distance it offered from illumination to being able to circulate at higher speeds. Despite being a popular car, It had the great advantage of being able to align its headlights using an interior command.

The 2CV did not present factory exterior mirrors, instead with the evolution towards the 3CV they had already been added.

The tailgate is another big difference between the two. In the second evolution of the 3CV, the gate was opened with the rear window included. This equipment never existed in Europe, it was something exclusive to South America.


Citroen 3 CV
Citroen 3 CV.

As for the interior between one and the other, he changed the board and the upholstery, mainly the colors and the door panels.

The 2CV's speedometer gave up to 110 km/h although it was not the final speed that he really developed. For its part, the 3CV dashboard offered up to 120 km/h and it came smoothly at that speed.

As for the driving position, the fundamental thing was the pedal board. The 2CV came directly from the ground, it had two pistons with the clutch and brake pedals, while the 3CV already had a hanging pedal that came from above - like those of today - and that offered greater comfort when driving.

The 2CV and the 3CV were always very popular cars, they were born to motorize the middle and lower middle class due to their mechanical simplicity and their economy in consumption, but being an entry-level vehicle -as we say now- it never gave up its true technology avant-garde.



Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

Related articles

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Back to top button
This website uses its own and third-party cookies for its proper functioning and for analytical purposes and to show you advertising related to your preferences based on a profile prepared from your browsing habits. By clicking the Accept button, you agree to the use of these technologies and the processing of your data for these purposes. More info

Adblock Detected

Consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker