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.

Looking for a used Citroen C3? Visit PistonHeads Classifieds

Top 5 Superminis

  • Ford Fiesta
    Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

    Ford Fiesta

  • Mini Cooper
    Its various improvements make the new Mini more desirable and practical than ever before

    Mini Cooper

  • The Mazda 2 name dates back to 2002. This latest version showcases the firm's Skyactiv technology and 'Kodo' styling

    Mazda 2

  • Skoda Fabia

  • Renault Clio
    Distinctive styling details are taken from the showstopping Renault Dezir concept car

    Renault Clio


First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Citroën range

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    8 October 2015
    The greatest driver’s Boxster ever, and far enough removed from the GTS to be worth the compromises its complex hood demands
  • Car review
    7 October 2015
    Does the Zenos E10 have enough to oust Caterham and Lotus off their throne
  • First Drive
    7 October 2015
    Performance diesel variant of Audi's fifth-generation A4 is effortlessly fast, while also proving comfortable and spacious
  • First Drive
    2 October 2015
    Track Edition GT-R takes key elements from the range-topping GT-R Nismo and offers them at a more affordable price
  • First Drive
    2 October 2015
    We've driven the Golf R Estate abroad and thought it was top drawer, but we need a UK drive to be sure.