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Our Verdict

Citroën C3
Citroën has plenty of takes on the small car theme, but the C3 is what you’d consider its regular supermini

The Citroën C3 is a competent and interesting supermini, but it doesn’t hit any high notes

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It’s not very often that MG Rover can be credited with being first into a new niche but, lo and behold, just months after the Rover Streetwise was born, not one but two of Europe’s big players are jumping into the ‘urban on-roader’ market.

The VW Polo Trek is just weeks away, and Citroën’s effort at an ‘active lifestyle’ supermini has already landed, in the shape of the C3 XTR.

It might just be a butch, black-bumpered version of the C3, but the French company has high hopes for its new model, despite the XTR not even benefiting from a raised ride height like its Rover rival. On the Continent, a version will be available with raised suspension, a limited-slip diff and sump guards, but in the UK the modifications are purely cosmetic.

The ride is composed over rougher roads, and the variable-assistance power steering is pleasantly light around town, but doesn’t weight up enough at higher speeds. The 92bhp 1.4-litre HDi suits the XTR well (a 1.4 petrol is also available) and returns combined fuel economy of almost 66mpg.

The standard panoramic sunroof, a £500 option on the rest of the C3 range, floods the cabin with light. The roof bars can be switched from lengthways to widthways for carrying surfboards, snowboards and mountain bikes – an obvious essential as these cars are bought to compliment an active lifestyle, according to the marketing campaign. The interior gets XTR-specific two-tone trim and rubber floormats – also vital for those muddy mountain bikers and wet surfers.

Citroën is pitching its XTR, including standard £500 sunroof, at just £700 above the similarly equipped C3 HDi. So it’s moneywise, if not necessarily streetwise.

Paul Barker

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Comments
10

25 October 2011

???????

25 October 2011

Just as ugly and pointless as its Rover rival, but not as well built or as good chassis dynamics as the Rover.

25 October 2011

There's no denying that the Citroen C3 XTR was a flop. It first went on sale in 2004, and production ceased in, er, 2004. The Streetwise was quite pointless, but it came with Rover's engines, which were very good at this time.

25 October 2011

[quote steven211]but not as well built or as good chassis dynamics as the Rover[/quote]

You are joking, right?

The current C3 is a very well built car, much better than the Rover. Don't forget that the C3's chassis is the same as the DS3 (without the sporty suspension), again better then the Rover's.

The Rover was OK for its time, but we're in the 21st century now.

25 October 2011

[quote Lee23404]

[quote steven211]but not as well built or as good chassis dynamics as the Rover[/quote]

You are joking, right?

The current C3 is a very well built car, much better than the Rover. Don't forget that the C3's chassis is the same as the DS3 (without the sporty suspension), again better then the Rover's.

The Rover was OK for its time, but we're in the 21st century now.

[/quote]

Did you ever see the old C3 review from 5th gear, they just pulled apart the dash, everything was flimsy. This is the old C3 if you read the article, not the new one, the old C3 chassis was shit, steering dull and suspension all soft. Not driven or sat in a new C3, but sat in a DS3 and quality was fantastic.

25 October 2011

[quote steven211][quote Lee23404]

[quote steven211]but not as well built or as good chassis dynamics as the Rover[/quote]

You are joking, right?

The current C3 is a very well built car, much better than the Rover. Don't forget that the C3's chassis is the same as the DS3 (without the sporty suspension), again better then the Rover's.

The Rover was OK for its time, but we're in the 21st century now.

[/quote]

Did you ever see the old C3 review from 5th gear, they just pulled apart the dash, everything was flimsy. This is the old C3 if you read the article, not the new one, the old C3 chassis was shocking, steering dull and suspension all soft. Not driven or sat in a C3, but sat in a DS3 and quality was fantastic.

[/quote]

Fair enough. I didn't read the story because I'm not really interested in the car and presumed it was the new C3. Why has a test come up from 2004?

You are right about the old C3. I quite liked it but had a look at a new one and the boot was already full of bits that had falled off. The Rover was indeed a better car.

It reminds me of just how far Citroen has come on in the last 3 or 4 years.

25 October 2011

[quote Lee23404]

[quote steven211][quote Lee23404]

[quote steven211]but not as well built or as good chassis dynamics as the Rover[/quote]

You are joking, right?

The current C3 is a very well built car, much better than the Rover. Don't forget that the C3's chassis is the same as the DS3 (without the sporty suspension), again better then the Rover's.

The Rover was OK for its time, but we're in the 21st century now.

[/quote]

Did you ever see the old C3 review from 5th gear, they just pulled apart the dash, everything was flimsy. This is the old C3 if you read the article, not the new one, the old C3 chassis was shocking, steering dull and suspension all soft. Not driven or sat in a C3, but sat in a DS3 and quality was fantastic.

[/quote]

Fair enough. I didn't read the story because I'm not really interested in the car and presumed it was the new C3. Why has a test come up from 2004?

You are right about the old C3. I quite liked it but had a look at a new one and the boot was already full of bits that had falled off. The Rover was indeed a better car.

It reminds me of just how far Citroen has come on in the last 3 or 4 years.

[/quote]

Yes I wondered why this has popped up again, but it did so I commented lol. Citroen has indeed come along way, they make good looking, well built cars, would love a DS3.

25 October 2011

The original C3 can be picked up for dirt cheap now; a good bargain. Both the Rover 200/25 and Citroen C3 are oddballs in terms of their dimensions; they kind of slot in between superminis and small family hatchbacks. I drove a C3 with the 1.4 petrol engine. Despite terrible reviews, it could do 45mpg, and wasn't too slow (it wasn't that quick either). It seemed to hold together okay, but I didn't try to pull the dashboard to bits, unlike the Fifth Gear presenters.

25 October 2011

[quote steven211] Not driven or sat in a new C3, but sat in a DS3 and quality was fantastic.

[/quote]

I must admit I was rather disappointed when I sat in a DS3 recently, and the dials section of the dashboard came away when I adjusted the steering column. The glovebox lid was rather flimsy too. Reviews suggested that there was a step up in quality from the regular C3, but they seem very similar to me, despite the price difference. Theyr'e all a massive step up from the vintage of C3 mentioned here, though.

25 October 2011

[quote catnip]

[quote steven211] Not driven or sat in a new C3, but sat in a DS3 and quality was fantastic.

[/quote]

I must admit I was rather disappointed when I sat in a DS3 recently, and the dials section of the dashboard came away when I adjusted the steering column. The glovebox lid was rather flimsy too. Reviews suggested that there was a step up in quality from the regular C3, but they seem very similar to me, despite the price difference. Theyr'e all a massive step up from the vintage of C3 mentioned here, though.

[/quote]

My boss has a DS3 with the 110bhp 1.6 diesel, and I drove it back from an office party last Christmas when she was over the limit. It drove very nicely, and the cabin appeared to use tactile and quality materials. As someone else said, it shows how far Citroen have come over the past few years.

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