Subtle facelift sharpens look inside and out and dynamics also improved. New 110bhp diesel punchy but expensive.

Sometimes small changes can make a big difference; subtle tweaks that somehow deliver more than the sum of their parts. This is exactly what Citroën has achieved with the revised C3 range.All models get a reworked nose, with a larger air intake, a bolder grille and larger chevrons. The rear light clusters are also new. Inside, the curvaceous design has been slightly squared off, sharpening the original cutesy look to give the car broader appeal. Both the dash display and radio installation have been cleaned up, the dashboard gets uprated materials and the door panels have been redesigned.The overall feel worked well on top-spec Exclusive test cars, although we will reserve judgment on the value of the changes for less-salubrious models. UK top-spec cars are likely to be sportier VTRs.Diesels account for 40 per cent of Citroën’s European supermini sales, hence the decision to add another oil-burner to the C3 range. The 1.6-litre 110bhp HDi joins the existing 70bhp 1.4 and 92bhp 1.6. With 177lb ft of torque – 192lb ft on temporary overboost – and only 1127kg to shift, the 110 HDi is usefully brisk, although a touch raucous at higher revs.The new HDi shares its suspension with the petrol VTR, a set-up that has been stiffened for 2006. It gives flatter cornering without excessively compromising ride quality. The electrically assisted steering, while still devoid of feel, has also been reprogrammed to give more weight at speed.Although the new engine and dynamic changes work well, it is questionable if buyers will sufficiently value the 110’s extra poke to pay the estimated £1000 premium over the 70. This aside, the other changes to the C3 range are unquestionably positive.Jamie Corstorphine

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