Citroën has plenty of takes on the small car theme, but the Citroën C3 is what you’d consider its regular supermini. Prior to the current model, the previous C3 stretched back to 2002, before which were the Saxo and AX, although it’s difficult not to think of them, and the Saxo particularly, as small compared with the C3. To find a Citroën supermini with the feeling of spaciousness that the C3 gives, you have to go back to the Visa of 1978.
The C3 is a hugely significant car for Citroën. It’s the company’s biggest-selling small car and, in spite of the C1, C3 Picasso and DS3, its bread-and-butter supermini. Sure, we’ve been charmed by the DS3 and C3 Picasso, but it’s the regular C3 hatchback that has to do the volume.
The current C3 still comes in five-door form only, with the super-stylish three-door DS3 taking care of three-door business. The previous car’s three-door variant, dubbed C2, had a very disparate appearance as the DS3 does now, but with a very different attitude.
The C3 range starts with a sole 59bhp 1.1-litre petrol model, moving up through 72 and 94bhp 1.4s to a 118bhp 1.6. Three diesels: a 67bhp 1.4, plus 89 and 108bhp 1.6s complete the picture.
As is the norm, there’s an eco model, badged Airdream, although its 99g/km is starting to look pretty average these days. Recent revisions to the 67bhp Airdream diesel has seen this figure drop to 87g/km, with the higher figure now reserved for the higher-powered 1.6-litre diesel. In spite of the 1.6-litre models in the line-up, the Citroen C3 is more luxury oriented – any sporty pretensions are left to the DS3.
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