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The Citroen C3 is the French brands answer to the Ford Fiesta and Opel Corsa in the Supermini segment. It may not be the most stylish Citroen but its new PureTech engines offer strong economy.
The Citroen C3 comes with a choice of various economical petrol engines while the newer PureTech engines claim a further 25% increase in efficiency without compromising performance. The entry level 1.0 litre eHDi 70bhp feels under powered while the 1.2 eHDi with 90bhp feels like it can manage much better. Both are available with a choice of 5-speed manual transmissions or the CGT automated manual. There is a more powerful 109bhp PureTech engine available which is a lively and punchy option, but is only available with the 5-speed manual gearbox.
All of the above mentioned engine units are relatively composed with the exception of the entry level 1.0 litre option. Being a Citroen, comfort is a trait of their engineering meaning the car is more about a relaxing drive than performance or handling. For this reason, while it is perfectly comfortable around town, it’s surprisingly refined on motorways too. If you require a more engaging drive, we would recommend the Ford Fiesta or the Volkswagen Polo which both pip it for the fun factor.
The Citroen C3 last received an update back in 2013 which resulted in both exterior and interior tweaks that consisted of a new grille, LED daytime running lights, updated lights and reflectors at the rear. The cabin feels airy too and if you opt for the top of the range Exclusive trim, you get the extra long Zenith windscreen which is quite impressive. The 1.2 PureTech engine is the engine to go for offering ample power and low volumes of engine noise under acceleration.
Top spec models look more appealing to the eye inside the cabin but lack a quality feel to the touch. Once you go above the entry level VT trim, smartphone connectivity is there. The dashboard design still looks modern by any standard with inset dials and a colourful dash trim. Go below knee level however, and the plastics are of an obviously low quality. If you go to the options list you can spec up the C3 with items like leather seats and automatic lights and wipers or you could consider an Opel Corsa in SE trim which offers great quality and an excellent level of standard equipment over the Citroen.
Strangely electronic stability control is not standard equipment on the Citroen C3 where it would be on all of its competitors. It is made available as an optional extra on some trim levels however. You do get driver and passenger airbags as standard. It last passed the Euro NCAP safety test in 2009 with a score of 4/5 scoring just 40% in the safety assist category due to the lack of ESP as standard.
In terms of boot space, the C3 offers a very large class leading 300 litres of space. The design of the C3 also enables you to stack luggage quite high. The rear seats also fold thanks to a 60/40 split configuration making a very large 1121 litres of space should it be required. It also has a clever storage area located under the boot floor for the parcel shelf should you require the extra space in the cabin. Space for four adults is good thanks to the height of the roof in the C3 while legroom is also more than ample.