Citroen's new C3 proves to be an impressive package with a smart price
Citroen has charmed us over the years with quirky, innovative designs and in the hotly contested, but relatively dull small hatchback segment, the C3 guarantees to stand out from the crowd.
Behind the wheel it's comfortable and the layout is simple, yet modern. While there is a vast swathe of plastic in the cabin, there are more than enough nice touches to distract the eye, including a fully integrated HD camera located behind the rear-view mirror.
Space in the front is good, but limited in the rear, which would be far from enticing on longer trips but boot space is a decent 300 litres, making it one of the biggest in class.
Engine choices include a three-cylinder 1.2 petrol with 68, 82 or 110bhp or a 1.6-litre turbo diesel with 75 or 100bhp.
If you do a lot of driving, opt for the diesel, but for most people, the petrol version is the better option.
Our test car was the 75bhp with 230Nm torque from 1,750rpm. The top speed is 171 kph with a 0-100 time of 11.3 which feels quicker than this in real-world driving.
The three-cylinder petrol engine is well worth considering; on the road it is really gutsy with more than enough oomph to be entertaining. According to the official fuel figures, the petrol range returns from 4.7 l/100km with CO2 of 108g/km and an impressive 3.6 litres l/100km for the diesel with a CO2 of just 93 g/km.
Citroen has built a reputation on cars that are comfortable to drive and the C3 certainly doesn't disappoint with a smooth and refined ride.
On the downside, it's not the most dynamic in this class, plus there is not much in the way of feedback from the steering either.
The C3 is very good value with three generously equipped trim levels, Touch, Feel and Flair, to choose from.
The 1.2 litre 68bhp PureTech starts at €15,490 and 1.6 HDi diesel at €17,890. Our top-of-the-range Flair test car with an urban red ambience trim is €20,790.
The new C3 is fun and quirky and Citroen has injected some real French flair and character into the small car market.
While this isn't a car that excites with a dynamic ride, it will tempt you with great comfort, an affordable price tag and very distinctive styling.
And the best part is even if the novelty of those quirky looks does wear off, you're left with a decent small car.