What Car? Reader Awards 2009 - Superminis

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This is the best-represented category of all, with 37 models from 24 manufacturers. The Citroën C3 has its fans, but is bottom of the table, with an average of 2.9 out of 5 – well short of the terrific 4.6 that the class-winning Fiat 500 gained.

The best: Fiat 500
David Smith
'What a fantastic car. Do not dismiss it as just a city car, because I have racked up a few journeys on the motorway and it's composed and very quiet. The interior is so funky and four adults can sit in comfort, unlike in the Mini. The Mini is sharper to drive, but look at the specification list and the 500's a no-brainer! It's got Bluetooth,
although you need to have a certain make of phone
to benefit from all its functions.'

James Wallace
'There's only one word to describe it – stunning. The last time I was this enamoured with a car was in 1966, when I was given a Corgi Batmobile for my 10th birthday! Happy days!'

Jason Cole
'I was drawn to the 500 by its styling, safety rating and character. It's also solidly built, roomy, rides comfortably (if a little bumpily) and handles nicely. The driving position is spot-on, it has lots of equipment and it grips really well. It's not the fastest car, but manages motorways fine. My only problem has been faulty leather on the driver's seat.'

The worst: Citroen C3
Henry Street
'The only positive I can find is its size – it's bigger than most cars in its class. Other than that, it's an expensive-to-run, unreliable car. Within six months, ours needed a new alternator – luckily under warranty. Other problems included unexplained power losses, a dimming dash display and headlight bulbs that need to be replaced on a regular basis.'

James Pentecost
'We've owned three Citroëns before this with no problems, but this car is the worst we've ever had. The car is good on fuel and road tax is low, but the interior plastics are very flimsy and the window switches break. There was an intermittent fault with the power steering, the fan belt melted and the front springs snapped.'

Doug Sinnott
'My C3 1.4 HDI SX Sensodrive has been reliable, very cheap to run and spacious (in the front, certainly). It has had a few rattles in the door since I got it, but nothing serious.
My previous car, another C3 HDI SX, was also trouble-free, although the electronic dashboard failed after 1500 miles and was replaced under warranty.'

Emma Jones
'I owned this car for 18 months. It had an intermittent fault that could not be located or fixed. The car wouldn't start, the doors wouldn't lock, the steering didn't work… the car was in and out of the garage during and after the warranty period with various parts replaced. Still the problem persisted.'

What Car? Reader Awards 2009 - Executive/Luxury cars


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