Citroen C3 driven

  • You'll like the quality
  • You won't like the weak engines
  • On sale now from £11,075
C3 by name, three Cs by nature: comfort, costs and class are the buzz words surrounding Citroën's new supermini.
Ride comfort and refinement are much improved over the previous version, and the interior is now seriously plush, yet the C3 is still cheaper than many rivals with comparable power and equipment.

Low on power
The range kicks off with a 1.1-litre petrol engine, but it barely has enough shove to move itself, never mind you and the family. The 72bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit is no ball of fire, either, but the 94bhp 1.4 delivers lively performance in any gear. In fact, it's so strong that it makes the 118bhp 1.6 petrol seem redundant.

Diesel power impresses
The 89bhp 1.6-litre diesel also impresses because it's smooth and flexible but, at £15,530, you'll have to do a lot of miles to justify the expense. Diesel fans can save £2554 with the 67bhp 1.4-litre engine instead, and this is fine as long as you're not in too much of a hurry. A 110bhp 1.6 diesel completes the line-up.

Equipment
Entry-level VT cars have electric front windows, a CD player with a socket for your iPod, plus twin front and side airbags. We'd recommend upgrading to the VTR+ spec, though, because this adds curtain airbags, cruise control, alloy wheels and a panoramic windscreen.
The lower-powered 1.6 diesel is also available in a special green Airdream+ trim, which cuts CO2 emissions to just 99g/km (so making it exempt from road tax), and swaps alloys for rear parking sensors and Bluetooth.

Finally range-topping Exclusive cars bring climate control, rear electric windows and interior mood lighting. Stability control is the only major omission – it costs an extra £400, and it isn't even an option on the lower specs.

Our verdict
A fine supermini, just choose your engine carefully

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