4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

French Fiesta fighter is a quirky and appealing alternative

Citroën C3 (17 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £16,240 - £21,230
Used price £4,805 - £14,520
Used monthly cost £120 - £362
Fuel Economy 39.1 - 67.7 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £150
Insurance group 8 - 22 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Quirky styling for those who want to stand out
  • Personalisation options
  • Comfortable ride and interior

CONS

  • Touchscreen is distracting to use
  • Jerky auto gearbox
  • Cramped rear seat space

Citroën C3 rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

For too long the Citroen C3 had been overlooked. While it used to have some resemblence to the classier – and more popular – DS 3 hatchback at the time, it never quite had the same impact on the supermini sector as its sleek and stylish stablemate.

But this third-generation version, complete with C4 Cactus-style looks and Airbumps, has a raft of technology on board to take the fight to the big hitters in the class, such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.

>>The C3 has been facelifted for 2020 - read all about it here

Quirky looks and personalisation

Outside it’s a chunky-looking little thing, with squinty LED daytime-running lights like the rest of the Citroen range, low-set headlights, instantly recognisable cladding down the side of the car and plenty of personalisation options in the form of different body, roof and mirror colours.

It certainly grabs your attention, and that’s an important thing for buyers of these cars – they’re largely used around town and customers like the idea of standing out from the hordes of Fiestas, Corsas and Clios you see on the roads.

Inside, the C3 takes more inspiration from the Cactus, with a simplified dash design featuring a touchscreen multimedia system, luggage strap-style door handles and plenty of choices for the seat and dash trim.

The best part is it feels very light and airy thanks to big windows, light materials and the option of a panoramic sunroof, too.

Efficient engine line-up

All engines in the C3 are found in other Citroen, DS and Peugeot cars, so they’re tried and tested and all pretty cheap to run.

They're generally efficient, with a choice of two petrols and one diesel. The latter achieves the highest mpg figures, while there is an automatic gearbox available on the Puretech 110 petrol. When it comes to CO2 emissions, they all emit less than 150g/km, so it’s not going to cost much to tax.

We lived with the diesel for nearly 10,000 miles, find out how we got on with it in our long-term test

Advanced connectivity and safety tech

For such a small car, the C3 is up to date when it comes to technology. While there’s nothing new or ground-breaking about featuring a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system these days, the C3 comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - although earlier models missed out on the latter until 2017.

The headline-grabbing feature is an integrated dashcam on top-of-the-range Flair Plus models – Citroen calls it ConnectedCam – which allows drivers to either capture moments they want to save for social media, or potentially in the event of an accident to capture evidence.

It certainly saves having messy wires dangling around your dashboard (a common issue with retro-fit dashcams) and could be beneficial if the worst should happen.

Citroen has piled on the safety technology, too. Lane-departure warning, cruise control, hill start assist and speed limit recognition are standard across the range, while blindspot monitoring is also available.

A handy rear-view camera is also found on top-spec models, but autonomous emergency braking (AEB) was only made available later in the C3's life - it's now standard on the top two models.

Does the Citroen C3 offer something different in the small hatchback sector? Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know, including its practicality (below), comfort, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Citroën C3 rivals