This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Citroën C3 review.

Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

There’s a decent choice of petrol and diesel engines in the C3 starting with the entry-level 1.1-litre which is nippy enough for town driving, but rather breathless on the motorway – reflected in its 0-60mph time of 15.4 seconds. Next is the 1.4-litre which is available in two outputs of 75bhp (8v) or 90bhp (16v) and both are a better choice for buyers who do a mix of town and motorway driving – the more powerful version is particularly responsive and capable at higher speeds.

It’s also available with Stop & Start technology – which switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill (this was introduced in late 2004). The quickest engine in the line-up is the 1.6-litre with 110bhp and this can cover the 0-60mph sprint in 9.4 seconds plus it’s available in sporty VTR trim. Initially the C3 was available with one 1.4-litre diesel engine that had two outputs of 70bhp and 92bhp.

It’s an urgent and eager unit and although not astonishingly quick is cheap to tax and can average 64mpg – the more powerful variant was replaced in 2005 by a 1.6HDi which is smoother and faster. A range-topping 110bhp version of this engine was also available but it only comes in VTR trim. In 2010 this C3 was renamed the C3 First – a cheaper alternative to the newer C3.

It is available with just one engine, a 1.1-litre petrol with 61bhp that returns a useful 47mpg.

The C3 is an easy car to drive with the light power assisted steering making parking a doddle, but at higher speeds or on demanding roads it feels numb and it’s difficult to work out what’s happening beneath you. The ride is soft and as a result the C3 feels wallowy on backroads while it is unrefined over potholes. The slack gearchange and grabby brakes do little to help driver enjoyment and overall the Citroen feels unsophisticated and uninvolving, particularly when compared to newer rivals.