Citroen C3 review
If you’re looking for a supermini that prioritises comfort and efficiency, then the Citroen C3 is the one to have
The latest Citroen C3 stands out from the rest of the small car crowd thanks to its funky styling and plethora of personalisation options. It’s frugal when it comes to fuel economy as well, and the ride is one of the softest in the supermini class, which makes the C3 a relaxing car to live with, but not the most fun to drive.
The technology on-board could be better but you do get a decent amount of equipment for your money with the C3 and boot space is equally generous. Citroen's supermini is a solid choice for buyers seeking something with a little ‘je ne sais quoi’.
About the Citroen C3
The third-generation C3 arrived in 2016 and instantly erased memories of its disappointing predecessors. Following a mid-life refresh in 2020, the C3 looks even sharper and is now offered in You!, C-Series, Elle and Shine Plus trims, while other special edition versions come and go from the range.
The Citroen C3 competes in one of the most hotly contested areas of the car market: superminis. So it’s going up against the likes of the Dacia Sandero, Peugeot 208, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.
In truth though, the Citroen doesn’t really try to take on any of those four established names in their respective areas of strength. It doesn’t claim to be as agile as the 208 or the Corsa, or to be as refined as the Polo. While the C3 now starts from under £14,000 – making it one of the cheapest cars on sale right now – it’s still undercut by the Dacia Sandero. However, the C3's unique style means it offers something distinctly different to its class competitors.
Other rivals for the Citroen C3 include the Hyundai i20 and Kia Rio, along with the Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza from the Volkswagen Group family. The Renault Clio is one of the standout choices in the class, while the Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris are both in the mix, too.
Running gear includes a platform that is a development of the old C3 Mk2. That's no bad thing as it provides a comfortable ride, while the more important running gear, such as the engines and gearboxes, are a lot fresher and offer good everyday running costs.
Petrol power comes from Citroen's versatile 1.2 PureTech three-cylinder engine, in 83 and 110 guises. The latter gives the C3 great performance, while economy is on a par with the less powerful engines courtesy of a standard-fit stop-start system. Diesel power is taken care of by a 1.6 four-cylinder unit, currently offered solely in BlueHDi 100 guise.
All C3s are front-wheel drive and come with either a five or six-speed gearbox as standard. If you want an auto, your only option is to pick the PureTech 110 petrol in a top-spec trim, where an EAT6 auto is offered.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingIf you’re looking for a supermini that prioritises comfort and efficiency, then the Citroen C3 is the one to have
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe C3 is more comfortable than thrilling, although higher-powered petrol engines are pretty strong
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThree-cylinder petrols offer frugal fuel economy, while BlueHDi diesel achieves an impressively low CO2 figure
- 4Interior, design and technologySome neat practical touches and a funky design make the C3’s cabin stand out from the class average
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceDecent boot for a modern supermini, but few other tricks to make the Citroen C3 stand out from the rest of the class
- 6Reliability and SafetyProven engines and well-known chassis parts should bring solid reliability, while there's decent levels of safety kit, too