So what are my hopes for the C3? Well, I’d genuinely like there to be a new contender for one of the top spots in the supermini sector.
The Fiesta, for all its outright goodness, is pretty dull in my book. I’d like the C3 to not only look attractive but perform attractively too so it can compete.
Citroën loves to harp on about its focus on comfort, so I’m intrigued to see how well the car absorbs the endless speed bumps on my road, plus plenty of uneven road surfaces.
Comfort also plays an important part in the interior – will I become fidgety when I’m stuck on the North Circular in a torturous Sunday afternoon traffic jam?
It’s the first time I’ve lived in London with a supermini, which I’ve always thought the perfect type of car for such a setting. But I’m interested to see if it’s useable in its compactness too.
My beau and I are still busy fitting out our house, so the odd trip to Ikea is inevitable. We also have a lively two-year-old niece to regularly accommodate in the back of the car.
My relationship with PSA Group infotainment systems isn’t the best. A previous Peugeot 308 GTi long-termer had a painful-to-use system. Already, I can see a vast improvement with the revamped version in this C3, so I hope it’s really up to the job.
Other early impressions: it has a great, original interior design; there’s enough power for most types of driving; and there’s work to be done on the over-firm rear suspension.
Alongside lots of inevitable town running, I have a few high-mileage trips coming up, so I’ll be putting the C3 to the test in every sense. I want it to be worthy, but my first instincts are that it won’t quite match up to its key rivals. Will it prove me wrong?
Citroën has always seemed at its best building cars with ‘character’ – and the confident design of the C3 certainly stands out in a crowded small-car market.
Of course, ‘fun’ cars with character can become tiresome to live with long term. Here’s hoping the C3 stays charming over time.
Citroën C3 Flair 1.2 PureTech 110 specification
Prices: List price new £16,685; List price now £16,945; Price as tested £18,380; Dealer value now £11,820; Private value now £11,075; Trade value now £10,495 (part exchange) Options: Metallic paint £495, Citroën nav and Connect £600, keyless entry and start £250, 17in diamond-cut ‘Cross’ alloy wheels £200, Urban Red ambience £150
Fuel consumption and range: Claimed economy 61.4mpg; Fuel tank 45 litres; Test average 36.4mpg; Test best 44.8mpg; Test worst 33.1mpg; Real-world range 396 miles
Tech highlights: 0-62mph 9.3sec; Top speed 117mph; Engine 3 cyls, 1199cc, turbocharged; Max power 109bhp; Max torque 151lb ft; Transmission 5-spd manual; Boot capacity 300 litres; Wheels 17in alloy; Tyres 205/45 17; Kerb weight 1050kg
Service and running costs: Contract hire rate £155.99; CO2 103g/km; Service costs None; Other costs None; Fuel costs £1037.13; Running costs inc fuel £1037.13; Cost per mile 13.3 pence; Depreciation £6190; Cost per mile inc dep’n 93.2 pence; Faults None