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Citroen C3: New C3 is ultimate vroom with a view

ANOTHER week in the Life of Ryan, and the hapless Minister Eamo' finally reaches the bottom of the 'would you believe it barrel'.

In a week when the slack-jawed Minister for Energy took on the IRFU and got a deserved kicking, he then nearly runs over the opposition spokeswoman on Energy Liz McManus while fleeing a 'Climate Change Conference' in his chauffer-driven state car.

According to Liz McManus she had decided to walk back (to the Dail) from a Climate Change conference at the Four Seasons "trying to save the planet and all that".

"I had stepped out on the footpath and this big car sped around," Liz told the Herald.

"It was a bit of a shock -- it had been behind a wall."

What's this, more evidence that Eamon Ryan's chauffeur- driven state car is never too far away -- but always hidden from view, even when he's attending events within walking distance of the office.

As Liz tweeted soon after, and summed up the situation perfectly: "Almost knocked down by Eamon Ryan in his big ministerial car. To save the planet I was walking to work, next time I'll take the bus."

While, Eamon Ryan was employing the Death by Prius method on his main political rivals, I found myself driving around with a receding hairline.

Not that there was anything wrong with my own follicles, it's just that Citroen provided me with the most astonishing gimmick of the year.

We've all come across the brilliant glass roof -- my wife drives a Qashqai +2 which has a huge one -- but this was more like a glass forehead.

The Visiodrive concept basically means that you pull back the entire ceiling which itself can cause some unfortunate problems as I encountered while hurtling down the M9 on a sunny afternoon.

In a bid to see the world in all her glory I whipped back the roof and whacked myself in the chops with the overhanging sun visor, and all this while hurtling at speed.

Basically Visiodrive is so complete you take the whole damn roof with you, including the visors, which in turn takes your head off, if you pull it back hard enough.


Now I'm not big on health and safety, but even I know driving a car while unconscious is probably not the best way to make your way around.

Despite the near decapitation moment, the Visiodrive is a funky little gimmick that adds character to this C3.

It's also worth saying, and believe this or not, this was my first time ever in a Citroen.

So maybe it's just as well that I started off in the 'Baby Citroen' to begin my French affair.

And as first flings go, this wasn't a bad place to start.

For someone not too turned on by small cars this was a funky, sporty and very pretty little model -- a bit like Noemie Lenoir, but without the breakdown.

The C3 comes in both petrol and diesel, 1.4 litre engines which pop out a capable 75 and 70 bhps.

Now 75 bhp may seem like small fry for the most part, but I got some consistent 120kph driving on the motorway without any great levels of stress.

Prices start at just e14,900 for the entry-level 1.4i 75hp VT petrol model, rising to e17,900.