The Citroen C3 1.2 VTi 82 is a new three-cylinder petrol version of the French supermini.
It uses the same 81bhp 1.2 engine as the Peugeot 208, and is much more efficient than the 1.4 version of the C3 it replaces – with average economy of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of just 107g/km.
What’s the 2013 Citroen C3 1.2 VTi like to drive?
The new 81bhp engine delivers adequate performance around town, but does struggle if you ask for a sudden burst of pace at higher speeds.
The engine is reasonably refined, but hard acceleration results in engine vibrations and a raspy three-cylinder thrum entering the cabin a little too easily.
It’s a shame the gearshift isn’t better, too; it’s notchy and imprecise.
Citroen has worked to improve the way the C3 drives. The suspension has been modified with uprated shock absorbers and stiffer anti-roll bars, so the C3's handling is slightly sharper.
However, there's still a lot of body lean through corners, which means the C3 isn’t suited to spirited driving. The steering doesn't help matters, either, because it’s light and vague.
The C3 rides smoothly over most surfaces, and is especially comfortable at motorway speeds, although the added stiffness in the chassis means you feel a few more jolts in the cabin.
What’s the 2013 Citroen C3 1.2 VTi like inside?
The new 1.2 engine is available only in VTR+ trim, which means you get a huge 'Zenith' windscreen that extends back above the driver's head. It lets in lots of light, although you’ll be glad of the blinds that cover the extended section on bright days.
The boot is a generous size (even if the seats don’t fold down totally flat) but the rear cabin isn’t as spacious as most of the C3’s rivals’. Adults will be cramped and you might find it tricky to install a child seat.
Elsewhere, the dashboard is fairly classy, but the plastics around the central console are cheap and shiny. Overall, the interior isn’t anywhere near as classy as the new Peugeot 208’s.
However, you do get a decent amount of kit, including alloys, Bluetooth, air-con and chrome detailing.
Should I buy one?
The C3 isn’t great to drive or especially practical, but the new three-cylinder engine does add some appeal because it cuts the car's running costs.
It’s just a shame the new engine is only available in VTR+ trim, because it means prices start at £13,640 – around £1700 more than the same engine costs in the Peugeot 208.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are much better superminis on offer for the same money, including the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and VW Polo.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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