Citroen C3 review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£12,105
Citroen C3 2019 RHD infotainment
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Most small cars are bought on PCP finance, so good news: Citroen will do some decent deals on the C3 to keep your monthly payments low. If you happen to be buying outright then dealers are happy to discount as well. Servicing and insurance aren’t the cheapest in the class, but we’re talking a difference of hundreds, rather than thousands of pounds, after a typical three-year ownership period.

The PureTech 83 and the BlueHDi 100 are the only engines in the range that dip below 100g/km of CO2 emissions. However, the diesel will use much less fuel, something to bear in mind, but only if you do a very high mileage and can recoup the savings at the pumps.

But whether you choose petrol or diesel, all C3s offer official fuel consumption figures that rival the very best in the class.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Touch trim misses out on basics such as air-conditioning and alloy wheels so is really best avoided, although you do get cruise control. 

We think it’s worth upgrading to Feel trim. It brings 16in alloys and climate control (a posh form of air-conditioning), plus the 7.0in touchscreen with smartphone mirroring discussed in the infotainment section. You also get electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors.

At the top of the range is the Flair trim. This pushes the price up by a reasonable chunk, but for that you get 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.

It's also worth noting that Citroen regularly offers limited edition trim levels that bundle lots of extra kit together.

Citroen C3 2019 RHD infotainment

Reliability

As a brand, Citroen has been improving its reliability and dealer service over recent years, but it was still near the bottom of the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey – it came 25th out of 31 manufacturers.

Every C3 comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty – the first two years are the manufacturer’s warranty, and the last year is a dealer warranty. You also get one year’s breakdown cover.

Safety and security

The Citroen C3 received only four stars out of five in its safety appraisal by Euro NCAP. That might sound like a good score, but isn't when you consider that the vast majority of rivals scored five stars.

Child crash protection wasn't a strong point and pedestrian safety was a particular area of weakness. Entry-level Touch trim misses out on automatic emergency braking (AEB) completely, and disappointingly you have to pay extra for this crucial safety aid on Feel and Flair trims. The Nav Edition trims come with AEB as standard, though, and all versions of the C3 have lane departure warning.

The C3 is one of the only cars on sale available with an in-built dash cam, though. It’s an option on mid-spec Feel trim and standard on the top Flair model, and could help preserve your no-claims bonus. All trims come with an immobiliser and remote central locking, but only range-topping Flair versions have an alarm.

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Citroen C3 2019 left front tracking shot
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Verdict

With its funky looks, the Citroen C3 does a great job of turning heads. However, it's poor to drive and not very practical, so any number of rivals are more recommendable on an objective level.

  • Decently equipped
  • Stylish interior
  • Efficient petrol and diesel engines
  • Poor to drive
  • Missing safety kit
  • Cramped rear seats

What's important to you?

Performance & drive
Interior
Passenger & boot space