Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - kerbed enthusiasm

Unfortunately, I'm in the market for a used C3. Gone are the days of considering performance, economy or build quality: it's all about how well the car rides and whether my back will withstand more than a 20 minute journey. Diesel would be nonsensical at about 6,000 miles a year, the 1.1 petrol lacks grunt and the 1.2 is considered too expensive.

There are two 1.4 engines - the 8v prodiuces 75 bhp whilst the 16v produces 95bhp. At our age, the difference in insurance groups (7 and 12) isn't a factor but are there any other factors I ought to consider before opting for the more powerful, but equally economical, 16v version?

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - SLO76
There's little to separate them especially if you spend most of your time in town or just dawdling along. Condition, service history and mileage are all what to focus on. I'm assuming you're talking about the post 2010 Mk II? I wouldn't touch the Mk I unless it's stupidly cheap.
Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - badbusdriver

If ride comfort is your priority, then I'd be looking at the wheels and tyres before whether or not it is a 8v or 16v. Smaller diameter wheels with 'taller' tyres are going to give a better ride than larger diameter low profile tyres. With regards to 8v or 16v, in my experience n/a 16v engines don't offer any performance benefits over the 8v until you are well over 3000rpm. In fact, I remember years ago trying an 8v golf gti and then a 16v version right after. The 8v version actually felt stronger at lower revs, whereas the 16v only came alive above 3500rpm. So, by all means try them both if you get the opportunity, but personally, given your mileage, and ride comfort priority, I really wouldn't bother too much about specifically finding a 16v.

A couple of other things, Citroën's do tend to be a bit more softly sprung than their rivals, but that doesn't always translate into a more comfortable ride so make sure you take it for a good test drive. Also, Citroën seats seem to have a bit of a marmite effect, some people love them while others hate them. From what I have read, it seems like they are very soft, which, if you only do short journeys, will probably be fine. But on a longer journey, a more firmly sprung seat would be better.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - Avant

Agree with the above. If you have a back problem, supportive seats are at least as important as a comfortable ride.

Volvos have some of the best seats in the business, so have a look at a V40. Also, I couldn't find much to tempt me with the Nissan Pulsar and Qashqai, but both do have, to my mind, very comfortable seats.

You haven't told us your budget, but these have all been around for some time so hopefully something will be manageable.

Edited by Avant on 28/06/2017 at 01:20

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - kerbed enthusiasm

Thanks to all for their replies. Unfortunately, other parameters prevail. My wife will be the main driver and has determined that the car should be small, cheap, quick and, for reasons that escape me, have a small bonnet. A V40 would be my ideal choice but I can't imagine that it would be considered as even the C3 is seen as a little too big and 'swoopy'. The Pulsar is smaller but too new for the preferred budget. I'll certainly try to bag a longer test drive - perhaps the 8v (of which there are many) might not be too interminable to drive after all.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - 72 dudes

Without wishing to throw a spanner in the works, the 16v and 8v engines are quite different to drive.

The 8v dates back to the Xsara, ZX and Peugeot 206 and is a bit wheezy.

The 16v is the much newer VTi engine as fitted to the Peugeot 308 and later models of the 207 and the Mini One (2006 on)

It is a little short of grunt at lower revs but still has more torque than the 8v, and is almost turbine smooth when you rev it.

Agree with the comments about the old Golf 8v vs.16v but that's not a good comparison and dates back 25 years!

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - badbusdriver

Without wishing to throw a spanner in the works, the 16v and 8v engines are quite different to drive.

The 8v dates back to the Xsara, ZX and Peugeot 206 and is a bit wheezy.

The 16v is the much newer VTi engine as fitted to the Peugeot 308 and later models of the 207 and the Mini One (2006 on)

It is a little short of grunt at lower revs but still has more torque than the 8v, and is almost turbine smooth when you rev it.

Agree with the comments about the old Golf 8v vs.16v but that's not a good comparison and dates back 25 years!

You aren't throwing a spanner in the works, that the 8v and 16v drive different is the jist of what I said. Indeed the raw figures bear this out. At 3000rpm the 8v is making around 50PS, the 16v is making around 54PS. The 8v produces it's maximum 87 lb/ft of torque at 3300rpm while the 16v is making about 96 lb/ft at the same rpm. So very little difference at sensible revs. Add to this the fact that the 16v, spec for spec, weighs around 45kg more than the equivalent 8v and that difference shrinks even more.

I do take issue with your comments about the 8v though. From 2003-2006 we ran a Peugeot partner combi with that same 1360cc 75bhp petrol engine and it was smooth and responsive, certainly not 'wheezy'. And while it wouldn't win many traffic light grand prix, it didn't feel underpowered. Not even when I drove it from our home in North East Scotland to Coventry for my Sister in Law's wedding.

By the way, I have driven other 8v/16v versions of cars, I used the golf as an extreme example because it was the only one where the 8v actually felt stronger at lower rpm, instead of the same (which I have found is usually the case)

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - gordonbennet

I do take issue with your comments about the 8v though. From 2003-2006 we ran a Peugeot partner combi with that same 1360cc 75bhp petrol engine and it was smooth and responsive, certainly not 'wheezy'. And while it wouldn't win many traffic light grand prix, it didn't feel underpowered. Not even when I drove it from our home in North East Scotland to Coventry for my Sister in Law's wedding.

I delivered lots of these and agree that the petrol engine in the Berlingo/Partner was a good little unit with decent low engine spped torque, but PSA cars with the same engine did not have the same grunt, they might have been better at high revs but seriously lacking at low revs, definately set up differently in the vans, the vans/multispaces were almost impossible to stall, the cars however would stall at the drop of a hat.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - badbusdriver

Thanks to all for their replies. Unfortunately, other parameters prevail. My wife will be the main driver and has determined that the car should be small, cheap, quick and, for reasons that escape me, have a small bonnet. A V40 would be my ideal choice but I can't imagine that it would be considered as even the C3 is seen as a little too big and 'swoopy'. The Pulsar is smaller but too new for the preferred budget. I'll certainly try to bag a longer test drive - perhaps the 8v (of which there are many) might not be too interminable to drive after all.

Something else which has just occurred to me, why just the 8v and 16v versions of the 1.4?. You also got a 1.6 petrol with 118bhp. I mention this because I see from this post that your wife also wants 'quick'.

Regarding the short bonnet, I'd have thought the obvious answer there is because it will make it easier to park.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - Engineer Andy

Agree with the above. If you have a back problem, supportive seats are at least as important as a comfortable ride.

Volvos have some of the best seats in the business, so have a look at a V40. Also, I couldn't find much to tempt me with the Nissan Pulsar and Qashqai, but both do have, to my mind, very comfortable seats.

You haven't told us your budget, but these have all been around for some time so hopefully something will be manageable.

Whilst I didn't test-drive one, I did sit in a Pulsar at the dealership when looking around for a new car (decided against changing at present) back around Jan/Feb. The driver's seat was nice, but I found, quite surprisingly for a car of that size, that the steering wheel was offset quite a bit, more than my Mazda3 and more than my old (mid 90s) Micra. That could make a large difference if you have back problems (like me), as if you are twisted when driving, it puts much more of a strain on the back and will be uncomfortable at best, maybe giving really bad problems with your back at worst.

I also find that having a left foot rest is a must for me for comfort on long journeys. One of the reasons why I didn't choose the early-mid 2000s Honda Civic (no foot rest - not sure why), though the Jazz did have one. Oddly enough, the Volvo V40 doesn't have a footrest either, something that really surprised me from a manufacturer that takes ergonomics more seriously than most.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - Stanb Sevento

Im putting up this suggestion fully expecting it to be shot down by others that know more about this than me. What about a Merc A150 or A170, it seems to tick the boxes. I know someone who has one, a 2009 A150 and have been driven in it a few times. Very comfy seats and suspension and a short front end with a higher driving position.The last time I saw it it had 170 odd K miles on it and it looked great. Small car but big inside.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - Avant

Now there's a possibility. Bear in mind that you'd need the old-shape petrol A-class (up to 2012) to gain the advantages mentioned by Stan. The new one is an expensive waste of money.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - Lrac

I was under the impression the C3 suffers from the nightmare electrical fault that is known to affect the wiring module / fuses / ECU. thought to be caused by a capilliary action drawing water into the plug marked Maron or something like that.

There are plenty of references on this site relating this problem to the 207 aswell.

Its so common there are even clips on youtube showing the problem.

I wouldn't consider one under any condition at any price having read many of the stories.

I would consider a Yaris as an alternative. Not perfect but a sensible choice.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - kerbed enthusiasm

A Yaris would be ideal - apart from the fact that it's our current car that gives me backache...

I have test driven multiple cars. The 8v C3 was comfortable but felt a little disappointing in other areas. An 09 Polo with a 1.2 70bhp engine was surprisingly sprightly but all reviews suggest that the newer model is better for comfort. Most newer Polos have the power reduced to 59bhp and a quick test drive confirmed that it was egregiously short of huff. The fit and finish in the Mercedes A-class was fabulous and I desperately wanted to like the car but a 15 minute test drive hurt, and continued to hurt for the next few hours. A 1.4 Golf (it has best ride quality according to many reviews) was underwhelming. The Hyundai ix20 had too hard a ride but I had the benefit of meeting possibly the most obliging and thoughtful car salesman in the country.

Eventually, I bought a C3 Picasso. It seems to be comfortable, affords a great view for parking and has nice slabby sides. I was aware of the marron fusebox issue but this one is completely clean. If the issue is caused by the waterpump casing freezing then it should be a simple matter of ensuring that decent screenwash is used and making an occasional check of the fusebox. I might be tempted to swap out the waterpump or look at ways of sealing the wiring to guard against the problem.

Thanks again to all who have contributed.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - badbusdriver

I have a soft spot for the C3 Picasso, it was designed primarily to be a practical family car and not to massage the drivers ego. Hence, non aggressive styling, great visibility and windows deep enough that kids can see out of, not to mention a lovely loping ride quality like all French cars used to have!.

Good luck with it, I hope it serves you well

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - skidpan

No idea what your budget is but have you thought about a Nissan Note.

Extremly practical with a short bonnet the 1.2 DIG-S with 98 PS is the one to go for.

We have had ours for just over 2 years now and its great. Decent economy (47 mpg) decent performance (providing you keep the revs up), £0 VED for ever (providing its registered before April this year) and class leading internal space.

But don't even thing about the non supercharged version.

A very low mileage, high spec 2014 model can be hqd for about £6000 at a dealer before you start haggling.

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - badbusdriver

Read the post again skidpan,

"Eventually, I bought a C3 Picasso".

Citroen C3 - 8v or 16v - kerbed enthusiasm

Thank you, Badbus. We shall see how it goes. Our grownup daughter has accused me of indulging in 'old man beige comfort' but I'm perfectly content with the idea!

 

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