2013 Citroen C3 1.2 VTi 82 VTR+ review

* New three-cylinder petrol version of C3 * CO2 of 107g/km; average economy 62.8mpg * Available to order now, from 13,640...

2013 Citroen C3 1.2 VTi 82 VTR+ review

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.

Whats 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.

Its a shame the gearshift isnt better, too; its 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 isnt suited to spirited driving. The steering doesn't help matters, either, because its 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.

Whats 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 youll be glad of the blinds that cover the extended section on bright days.

The boot is a generous size (even if the seats dont fold down totally flat) but the rear cabin isnt as spacious as most of the C3s 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 isnt anywhere near as classy as the new Peugeot 208s.

However, you do get a decent amount of kit, including alloys, Bluetooth, air-con and chrome detailing.

Should I buy one?
The C3 isnt great to drive or especially practical, but the new three-cylinder engine does add some appeal because it cuts the car's running costs.

Its 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.

Its 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.

Read the full Citroen C3 review >>

What Car? says

By Tom Webster