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?
Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010): What's It Like Inside?
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.
Real MPG average for a Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010)
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