Recommended. Individual, fun, good to drive and great value. There’s a lot to love here.
It has to be said that Citroen – much like its sibling Peugeot – is in a pretty good place right now. It’s putting out some excellent cars – they look good, drive well, have great engines and are packed with tech.
The C4 Grand Picasso is a great example, as too is the C4 Cactus. And Citroen seems to think so, because at first glance the new C3 could be mistaken for the Cactus – it’s basically a smaller version.
This is no bad thing and, like most of Citroen’s range, it looks cool, funky and delightfully French in a way that only this manufacturer can do. It’s certainly come a long way since its launch back in 2002 and it’s far more exciting than even the previous generation car.
There are three levels on offer – Touch, Feel and Flair. Touch is your basic runabout and standard kit includes digital radio, cruise control, a host of safety kit and not a whole lot else, but all the basics are there for a fiver under £11,000.
Feel gets you a nicer-looking car with a black roof (you can also have red or white at no extra cost) and alloys, Apple CarPlay, auto air con, electric windows all round, 7in touch screen and other bits and bobs.
Flair adds the Airbump side strips first seen on the C4 Cactus, more coloured trim to add to the look, leather trim inside, fog lights, auto lights and wipers, parking sensors and a reversing camera – a good list for £15,000 or so.
Engine-wise there’s a boggo 68hp petrol (avoid), a livelier 82hp petrol and the more lively again 110hp petrol. All are thrummy three-cylinder units. All are clean – CO2 ranges from 109g/km down to 103g/km – and efficient enough, with MPG around 60 on paper.
Diesels are 75hp and 100hp – both super-clean at 95-92g/km and MPG from 76-80. They’re worth the extra purchase cost if you do the miles. If you do average miles, though, the 110hp petrol that we drove is the best all-rounder.
It’s a light and lively drive, with 62mph up in 9.3 seconds – the quickest in the range. Both the engine and the drive itself feel light, with a nice ride and tidy handling. It’s all good fun.
In the real world we managed 40+ to the gallon easily.
The new C3 is as much about being cool as anything and the interior is very much that, with a rounded rectangle theme going on and cementing Citroen’s reputation for having a quirky and individual feel to things.
It’s nice and comfortable and has a feel to it that belies its cost, which is always a good thing. The touch screen system – seen in all Citroens and Peugeots these days – is very well-presented and easy to use.
The only slight downsides are that it’s a bit tight in the back for passengers and the boot is on the small side – but for this class it does as well as, if not better, than rivals in those areas.
But overall the C3 is an impressive motor – great value for money, packed with stuff, individual-feeling and it has that certain something that all Citroens have. If you’re looking at rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo in the hotly-contested supermini market, the C3 is well worth a test drive.
1. Delightfully individual.
2. Good engines.
3. Impressive value.
We don't like:
1. It’s a bit tight in the back.
2. The boot isn’t huge.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The 110hp petrol is the choice.
Most sensible: The 75hp diesel hits 80mpg on paper.
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