Review: Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010)


Clever design for the boot floor. Four-star crash test rating. Good balance of ride comfort and roadholding.

Adults will find the rear seats cramped. Flimsy trim. Mechanical problems, including Sensodrive.

Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010): At A Glance

Small car buyers are being spoiled for choice. First we had the pretty Peugeot 206. Then the Toyota Yaris, which hugely raised our expectations. Then the Skoda Fabia. And, this year, all in a rush, the Honda Jazz, the new Ford Fiesta, the new VW Polo and now the Citröen C3.

There are a few more to come, in the forms of the new SEAT Ibiza and new Nissan Micra. But here I'm going to concentrate on the cutely curvaceous Citröen C3, which arrives in the UK late April to early May.

You'll either like the shape or you won't. But you can't accuse Citröen of building boring cars that look like everyone else's. I quite like it, but the sharply fall-away front means you drive the windscreen rather than the front wings of the car.

What does a Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010) cost?

List Price from £16,200
Buy new from £12,983
Contract hire from £106.79 per month

Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3860–3941 mm
Width 1667–1986 mm
Height 1510–1538 mm
Wheelbase 2451–2466 mm

Full specifications

The cockpit is really nice. Seats and steering wheel both adjust for height and reach, so everyone from four foot six to six foot four should be able to find a decent driving position. The dash itself is digital, with a central large speed display and a sort of wraparound rev counter, with engine temperature and fuel contents measured by stacked LEDs rather than fiddly needles and gauges.

The electric door mirrors fold electrically, which is very handy for anyone with a narrow garage and for parking on narrow streets. Acoustic parking is provided by optional reverse distance bleepers rather than the crunch of plastic bumpers. If cruise control is fitted it's controlled from the steering wheel, with a button to set a speed alarm. There are plenty of storage places and cubbies, including a pair of drawers under the front seats. Cupholders abound and, as part of a special option pack for keeping children happy there are small folding trays on the backs of the front seats.

Citröen has been particularly clever about the 305 litre boot, which is very deep and carries a full-size spare wheel in a well inside rather than on a wire frame slung underneath. To make life easier for all of us, the boot has a split-folding false floor, which raises load height to sill height and gives a flat floor when the back seats are folded. Bottles, bags and all the things that fall over and spill in a conventional boot can be kept upright and safe by this 'Moduboard'.

Though everyone sits upright, the big disappointment about the interior is a surprising lack of legroom and headroom in the back. Kids will have no problem, but a six footer cannot comfortably sit behind himself and may well find his hair rubbing on the ceiling.

Safety is well covered by standard ABS with EBD, automatic hazard lights under emergency braking, a big dashboard button to lock and unlock the rear doors, and, of course, five lap and diagonal seatbelts, plus front and front curtain airbags.

Child seats that fit a Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

Real MPG average for a Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

26–74 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

My car, which was written off (but repaired), has lost value - can I claim for this loss from my insurer?

In December 2016, I was the victim of a rear end collision. The third party driver accepted full responsibility. My car is a 2008 Citroen C3 and the damage was such that my insurers wrote it off. However, as it was low mileage and in good condition (before the accident) I decided to have it repaired. The cost was around £700, which was approximately 50 per cent of the insured value. The third party's insurer reimbursed my excess and I understand that they reimbursed my insurer the cost of the repairs. I'm now looking to trade in my car and I'm finding, understandably, that the crash has reduced its value. Can I ask my insurers to reopen the case so that I can claim for the reduction in value? I've since changed insurers, so, if the claim can be reopened, would I be better off contacting the third party's insurer direct?
Diminution in loss is something you can claim for and is covered under the case law Payton v Brooks. However, I highly doubt that your car has diminished in value. The car is already at a low value, so the effect on the value because it's been involved in an accident is virtually nil. Your car's trade in value is about £250-£500, irrespective of the previous damage. Plus, you chose to keep it despite it being written off. This would negate any claim. The action of claiming for diminution in loss is a complex area, so there are a number of things that need to be in place for it to be successful. If your claim has been settled in full and final settlement you would be inhibited from taking it further. If it filled the correct criteria, you could claim for diminution in loss. Yet, your particular claim fails in almost all respects.
Answered by Tim Kelly
More Questions

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 40%
  • 4 star 20%
  • 3 star 20%
  • 2 star
  • 1 star 20%

See all owners' reviews