2017 Citroen C3
When I first saw this car, I assumed someone has magically shrunk a C4 Cactus or simply my eyes were playing tricks on me and I needed to see an optician to have them checked.
There are five engines in the C3 range and the only thing we need to mention here is, that all of the petrol’s engines are 1.2-litres with either 68bhp, 82bhp or 110bhp, while the turbo-diesels are a pair of 1.6-litre options with either 75bhp or 100bhp.
The ride on the lower-power version feel fine for normal day to day travelling around town, but on the motorway it runs out of steam rather quickly. So if you are frequent motorway visitor, spend a bit more and get the110 bhp model.
As for the diesel, it has plenty of power that makes getting up to speed and staying there easy. However the ride is not really smooth with a lot of vibration coursing throughout the car, which is a constant reminder that you are driving diesel.
The C3 doesn’t really ‘handle’, in the way we’ve come to expect from modern cars these days. The steering, While it can be considered accurate, it shows precious little consistency. This might not sound really important but on a long drives, it can become quite tiring.
I am going to start with the C3’s interior layout and highlight the good bits: there is an excellent amount of adjustment, which includes seat-height adjustment and a steering wheel that moves extensively up and down, as well as in and out.
The seats offer precious little support. This means you end up gripping onto the steering wheel to avoid falling into your passenger’s lap during cornering.
Although this might offer small amount of enjoyment for short while, the enjoyment will soon wear out and the reality will take hold.
However all is not lost, spend a bit more and you can add an extra option, a driver’s armrest to give you something to lean on to, but this option is only available on the top-spec Flair model only.
Another reported Issue is the clutch footrest. It fits beneath the narrow gap between the clutch pedal and central tunnel, which if you have anything larger than a size-nine shoe traps your foot.
On the mid-spec Feel trim and above you get a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system. Annoyingly, this means you don’t get separate heater controls, and you have to delve into the touchscreen menus every time you want to change the temperature.
Every version of the C3 gets number of useful techno-gubbins such as a DAB radio and Bluetooth, but you need to upgrade to Feel trim before you benefit from a 7.0in touchscreen and handy smartphone link. This allows you to connect your mobile phone and use its apps, including the sat-nav, through the screen.
The C3’s menus aren’t particularly well laid out and can be sluggish responding to inputs, which is rather annoying. I also dislike that the heater is controlled via the touchscreen, instead of separate dash-mounted buttons that would make changing the temperature less of a faff.
In the C3 there’s little to quibble over concerning front seat space. Even if you are tall you get head and leg room to spare, and for a small car, the shoulder room between you and your front passenger isn’t bad, either.
However the same praise can not be sung for the Rear Seat arrangement. Rear-seat space isn’t one of the C3’s fortes: the head room is below-par, and at best the leg room only average.
Even the entry-level Touch trim has a fair amount of kit. You get split/folding rear seats, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, an adjustable steering wheel, cruise control, and a DAB radio with Bluetooth.
Safety equipment includes a speed limit display, lane departure warning, a tiredness monitor and six airbags. A gentle reminder – there’s no air-con or alloy wheels, so you have been warned.
Looking through the option lists, I think it’s worth the upgrade to the Feel trim. This will give you an 16in alloy wheels and climate-control (rather than just manual air-con), plus a 7.0in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay. You also have stereo controls on the steering wheel and electrically adjustable door mirrors.
At the top of the range is the Flair model. This pushes the price up by a reasonable chunk, but for that you do get rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and an in-built dash cam.
Other trinkets include automatic lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and privacy glass. Plus you get the distinctive plastic ‘air bump’ side mouldings, a contrasting coloured roof and door mirrors, plus a leather steering wheel and gear-lever.