Amazing to think now about the hullabaloo surrounding the launch of the current Citroen C3. Because of its quirky looks a lot of us were talking about a 21st century 2CV. I was guilty of adding to the hype myself. What a load of rot.

In actual fact the current C3 is a miserable device, not worthy of being feted for anything. It’s crassly styled, pretty grim to drive and feels like it’s built from egg boxes next to its much more modern rivals.

I was thinking all of this whilst sat in a pre-production version of the new one, due to make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt motor show. Never mind the next generation C3, this new one is so tangibly better it feels like Citroen has come on several generations at once.

Styling and quality are, for me, the most obvious achievements and what should get us all start considering Citroen as a credible supermini maker again. No it doesn’t have too many flourishes (leave that to the near mechanically identical DS3) but it looks extremely handsome in the metal. Even more so on the inside, especially with the optional panoramic glass roof fited.