Citroen C3 (2010 – 2017) At A Glance
Small hatchbacks make such a crowded sector of the market that no manufacturer can expect to come up with just another one and expect it to sell. Citroen, being Citroen, played it a bit different first time around with its original C3, making the car a bit taller and a bit more mini MPV-like than a run of the mill supermini.
So what could it do to make its second-generation C3 stand out from the crowd and make you want to buy one?
In France the authorities considerately place a small set of traffic lights at eye-level, so if you can't see the overhead lights you still know when to get moving before the horns behind you start to blare.
So Citroen's designers must have travelled to more backward countries like the UK to realise the need we have to see the lights when were are first in a traffic queue. Hence the new Citroen C3's unique feature. A screen that doesn't stop until it's on top of your head. Citroen calls it, "a touch of glass".
They had a bit of practice at this with their similarly over the top front window on the C4 Picasso that makes the south perimeter road at Heathrow a particularly frightening drive when the planes are on a northerly approach.
Called the ‘Zenith' screen, it is progressively tinted front to back, so you don't get progressively tinted. Instead of the normal 28 degree angle of vision it gives you 108 degrees. And if it's all too much you can pull a rooflining down to where the screen top rail would normally be. For private buyers, the new C3's biggest enemy is the C3 Picasso. Why would you buy less car for the same sort of money?
C3 2010 Range Road Test
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Real MPG average for a Citroen C3 (2010 – 2017)
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Ask Honest John
The brakes are not working properly in my new car - what could be the problem?
"I have a problem with my Citroen C3. We just bought it last week and I have noticed that every so often (usually when in 1st or 2nd gear) the brakes virtually disappear and when the pedal is pressed to the board there is a grinding noise as if the car is skidding but the car is still very slow to stop. It tends to happen when the clutch is pressed in, when reversing or when switching from 1st to 2nd gear. Is this a serious problem and does anyone know what it is or how to fix it?"
Reads to me as if there is an airlock in the hydraulic brake/clutch system. Get it back to the dealer who sold it to you. Might be possible to bleed the airlock out. Might need a new master cylinder. Or, if the clutch slave cylinder is the culprit, a new clutch slave cylinder.
Power steering failure on Citroen C3
"I had a power steering problem with my 2011, 34,000 mile, Citroen C3. I was told it was due to a poor earth in the electrics, which is apparently a common problem with Citroens.
However, I have now been told it is the steering rack and the whole thing needs replacing at a cost of nearly £1300 - a quarter of the cars value. The only replacement is from Citroen themselves. Should they be responsible for this after only 34000 miles? "
Unless they can prove that you've been holding it on full lock and burned the motor out, you can probably make a case to the supplying dealer that for a safety related component such as the steering to have failed within six years and 35k miles of new it cannot have been "of satisfactory quality" in the first place. Law here: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
Citroen C3 power steering failure
"Three days ago the power steering system failed on my Citroen C3. Apart from the power steering faulty light showing, everything else appears to be in order.
The local Citroen dealer say they have never heard of this problem before. I am tempted to get a auto electrician to check it over rather that let the Citroen dealer dabble at high cost. Is this the best option?
I am disabled and non technical and unable to do even simple tasks. If this sort of thing happens a lot generally, should the manufacturer recall vehicles or pay for repairs?"
It will be an electrical problem because the car has electric power steering. Most likely a poor earth either to the battery (though that would stop the car completely) or to the power steering electric motor. Or a poor connection. Yes, your idea of a local <car electrical specialist> (http://www.yell.com) makes the best sense. Holding the steering on full lock burns out the power steering electric motor so you should never do that.
Small car with comfortable ride?
"My 2010 Honda Jazz and local road surfaces is not helping my chronic back problem. Is there a more comfortable used car you could recommend? Older higher mileage models will not be a problem as I will only be using the car as a runabout (wife has a new car)"
The suspension of a Jazz isn't great because it does not have much travel. If it's on 15-inch wheels with 60 of 65 profile tyres it's worth dropping the tyre pressures a bit (not lower than 28PSI all round; I use 30PSI all round on everything). I dropped the pressures of a new HR-V to 30 all round and it transformed the car's ride. Still no good, look at something French like a Citroen C3, but make sure it comes on 15-inch wheels with 65 profile tyres. An oddball small car that rides exceptionally well for its size it a Chevrolet Spark.