Independent review by Bill McCarthy
- Good amount of boot space
- Distinctive design
- Various gadgets to choose from
- Great value for money
Standing out in the ferociously competitive supermini sector takes some doing, inhabited as it is by some fine cars.
Quirky, could often be code for different but rubbish, but not in the case of the French firm, which always prided itself on offering an attractive alternative to the mainstream.
This latest model retains that funky individuality for those looking for an alternative with a raft of styling changes, 97 colour customisation combinations available and 11 driver assistance systems.
Design and Practicality
There are multiple body colours available, which can be mated with a choice of bi-tone roof colours and roof decals.
While still a small hatchback, it has the look of a mini SUV, with redesigned LED light clusters, rubber airbumps, large alloy wheels, and repurposed signature Citroën chevrons. It has a real road presence for such a small car.
As well as a styling accessory, the airbumps have a functional purpose, protecting bodywork from the likes of runaway supermarket trolleys.
The styling continues inside with colourful touches such as door pulls, contrasting door bins, and a generally funky layout. It features newly-designed and comfortable ‘Advance Comfort’ padded seats which give the impression of sitting in an armchair.
The dash is finished in a faux wood veneer and fittings are of a solid plastic rather than soft touch materials.
In practicality terms, space for front occupants is good with decent head and legroom, but it's tight in the back for adults for any lengthy journey. Boot space is also generous with 300 litres available, expanding to 992 litres with the rear seats folded.
A central 7-inch touchscreen controls navigation, infotainment, and smartphone connectivity, whether Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, while USB and AUX connectivity is also provided.
General switchgear is logical and less fiddly than on previous models, while the binnacle features an instrument cluster with white LCD and analogue gauges and a satin chrome surround.
Many functions are also housed within the multi adjustable, multi-function steering wheel.
The range-topping model offers plenty for your money, with 17-inch alloy wheels, dark tinted rear windows, Citroën Connect Navigation system, power folding door mirrors, auto air conditioning, and automatic rain-sensing front windscreen wipers.
Other features include Welcome and ‘Follow-me-home’ headlights and a reversing camera with sensors.
It has comprehensive safety features including assisted braking, driver attention alert, collision alert, six airbags, lane departure warning, speed sign recognition, and coffee break alert.
On the road, the 3-cylinder 1.2-litre engine has plenty of character and grunt.
The raspy engine responds well to the touch of the accelerator, whether dashing around city streets or longer runs on the motorway.
Mated to a slick 6-speed gearbox, the 1.2-litre power unit propels it from 0 to 60mph in 10.5 seconds with impressive economy approaching 50mpg, when driven most economically.
Despite the throaty rasp of the three cylinders, it feels pretty refined with suspension on the soft side for passenger comfort and noise generally suppressed, although there is some intrusion from the large 17-inch wheels.
So, the handling is not quite as sharp as some competitors, although barely noticeable to your average driver. Light steering, however, does mean the car is very manoeuvrable, particularly when parking.
The Citroën C3 is quite the package for those looking for a car that's great value for money and slightly different to its competitors. Its quirky looks, varied equipment levels, and comfortable ride allow it to stand out from the crowd, whilst its practicality and low running costs make it suitable for many.