The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Along with the usual backrest angle adjustment, the C3’s driver's seat offers height adjustment, while the steering wheel can be moved up and down, as well as in and out. There’s no adjustable lumbar support, though, even as an option, and the seats themselves offer precious little side support. This means you end up gripping onto the steering wheel to avoid falling into your passenger’s lap during cornering.
Also awkward is the clutch footrest. On right-hand drive models this fits beneath the narrow gap between the clutch pedal and the car's central tunnel, which, if you wear anything larger than a size-nine shoe, traps your foot.
The dashboard isn’t awash with buttons to befuddle you, and the few there are are within easy reach. On the mid-grade Feel trim and above, the 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system incorporates the air-con controls which, frustratingly, means you have to delve into the touchscreen menus every time you want to change the interior temperature.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Reasonably thin windscreen pillars leave your view forwards reasonably unobstructed. Your over-the-shoulder view is rather less impressive, though, because the C3’s tapering roof and up-swept side windows create sizeable blind spots.
On our favourite mid-level Feel trim, salvation comes in the form of the relatively inexpensive option of rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. Rear parking sensors come as standard on Feel Nav Edition and above, while and top-spec Flair models also have a reversing camera.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every version of the C3 gets necessities such as a DAB radio and Bluetooth, but you need to upgrade to our favourite Feel trim before you benefit from a 7.0in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These features allow you to connect your mobile phone and use its apps, including sat-nav, through the screen.
However, a built in sat-nav is available as an option if you'd prefer, and comes as standard on the Nav Edition trim.
Either way, the on-screen menus aren’t particularly well laid out and the touchscreen can be sluggish when responding to prods. Rivals such as the Seat Ibiza and VW Polo have much more impressive infotainment systems.
Sit inside the Citroen C3 and it doesn’t feel as robust as the Seat Ibiza, let alone the VW Polo – the switches simply aren’t as well damped and the surfaces are somewhat cheaper-feeling. However, the look of the interior is at least very distinctive, and neat touches such as faux-leather door pulls lift the ambience.
All models come with a cloth facing across the dashboard, which can be upgraded to a leather-look material on mid and upper trims. The top-spec Flair trims come with a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, for an extra dash of luxury.
Lots of safety kit, but underwhelming in other areas
The Seat Ibiza is the best small car on the market; it really...
As roomy and versatile as some family cars and extremely...
Hybrid is very economical, but rivals outshine the Yaris elsew...