Citroen C3

The French firm has added the Latte special edition to the Citroen C3 line-up

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

A C3 Pluriel with a bit of extra froth, the Latte is a likeable car. It feels much better built than earlier Pluriel variants and the new colour suits it well. Yet despite the relatively generous spec, it’s pricey – before the cashback deal – and lacks the power required to shift its weighty body. With more rivals now getting folding metal hard-tops, the Citroen could have tough times ahead.Rival: Mitsubishi Colt CZCThese days, many drop-top superminis have full folding metal roofs, and the Colt CZC is one of the latest to join the craze. Its cabin is more solid than the Citroen’s, but it’s still cramped.* Engine: 1.5, 107bhp* 0-62mph: 10.5 seconds* Price: £13,999

When you’re feeling a bit flat, struggling to keep up and looking tired, a caffeine boost can make all the difference. Citroen’s C3 Pluriel is suffering all these ailments, so to give it a lift the French firm has added the Latte special edition to the line-up.

Having already cut a dash at July’s British Motor Show, the Latte stands out from the crowd with its Ivory paint. Never before seen on any Citroen, it’s exclusive to this car – for now. A spokesman admitted that sufficient demand could see it offered on other models.

Silver detailing taken from Exclusive variants adds a classy air, giving the Latte a mature, grown-up feel that suits it well. It is hoped the elegant look will appeal to female motorists, who buy three in every four C3 Pluriels.

Inside, colour-coded door trim brightens the interior, and two-tone leather comes as standard. Neat detail touches include ivory-coloured seatback map-holders and borders on the floor mats. However, the leather door pull trim, fixed by Velcro, looks cheap.

The front seats are set high, yet the driving position is comfortable, helped by a fully adjustable steering wheel. But don’t think the car is a full four-seater – rear legroom is negligible, and only children will be able to get comfortable. Still, the split tailgate opens to reveal a handy boot, with 60:40 folding seats.

Other features include air-con and electrically adjustable door mirrors. Oddly, alloy wheels are an option, and stability control is not available.

And while the C3 Pluriel is billed as a cabriolet, the summer could be over before you figure out how to use the hood! The electric canvas ‘sunroof’ is easily operated by a switch inside, but the fully open look in our pictures takes real effort to achieve. And then there’s nowhere to store the roof rails...

On the move, the car is noisy over bumps, too, particularly from the rear roof mechanism. Yet the Latte still feels more solid than earlier models. And while the ride is harsh in town, it’s better on faster, undulating roads. Handling is not the sharpest, but this model is safe and capable; it’s just a shame the light brakes are so grabby.

Petrol engines make up 90 per cent of C3 Pluriel sales, and the Latte comes only with a 1.4-litre unit. It’s smooth and refined at low revs, but the 1,158kg kerbweight means performance is pedestrian – the car has to be worked hard to keep up with fast-moving traffic.

At £14,245, the Latte is £350 more than the standard Exclusive. However, Citroen has added a generous sweetener with its £1,500 cashback deal. The Pluriel has never looked better.

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