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.