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Citroën C3 running costs and reliability

2017 onwards (change model)
Running costs rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by Richard Kilpatrick Published: 9 June 2023 Updated: 9 June 2023

Miles per pound (mpp)

Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.
Petrol engines 5.7 - 8.0 mpp
Diesel engines 7.1 - 9.0 mpp
What is miles per pound?

Fuel economy

Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only.
Petrol engines 39.1 - 54.5 mpg
Diesel engines 55.6 - 70.6 mpg
View mpg & specs for any version
  • Diesel is the most efficient choice…
  • But only if you regularly cover long distances
  • Cheaper petrols will suit many

It’s unlikely the C3 will cost you much to run, but don’t be drawn in by those headline price figures without careful inspection. At the time of writing, the C3 You – the cheapest model in the range – attracts a meteoric 12.9% APR on Citroen’s PCP finance agreement, with monthly payments kept palatable by hiking up the final balloon payment to more than half the car’s original purchase price.

A bank loan or alternative car finance may provide better value than the manufacturer here, as might opting for one of the C3’s bargain rivals such as the Dacia Sandero or Kia Picanto, both of which attract slightly more palatable 7.9% APR figures.

All of the engines are efficient. The BlueHDi diesel has the headline figures of around 55.6-67mpg when it comes to fuel economy, but you’ll need to work out how many miles you need to cover to make up the difference between list price and fuel over a period of time.

Petrol versions can be over £2,000 less than the diesel equivalent, which could buy an awful lot of unleaded fuel. Overall though, Citroen claims the C3 is capable of between 46.1-51.3mpg with the entry-level Puretech 83. The Puretech 110 will see 42.4-52.5mpg, while the automatic version estimates 44.2-49.4mpg – so you won’t be spending too much money even on the least efficient petrol in the range.

Petrol-engined models come with a 45-litre tank, while the diesel comes with a slightly smaller 42-litre one. There is an AdBlue tank to refill with the diesel as well.

Citroen C3 Flair green
All of the C3’s engines are efficient.

Insurance should be cheap too, thanks to those small engines. We’ve not seen any evidence about whether the integrated dash-cam actually helps lower premiums, nor is there any sign that rival firms are planning to integrate similar technology yet.

All C3 models emit less than 150g/km when it comes to CO2 emissions. For the lowest-possible costs, the diesel emits between 117-133g/km of CO2, while the PureTech 83 is the best performer out of the petrols with emissions of 130-139g/km. The most powerful Puretech 110 rises to 130-150g/km, while the automatic versions sits between 138-145g/km.

Improved reliability record

  • No major reliability issues have surfaced
  • Mechanical components used in other models
  • Will the latest multimedia pack be more reliable?

The engines in the new C3 are found across a huge range of other Citroen, DS and Peugeot models – and so far things seem to be positive mechanically.

Citroen has a reputation for patchy reliability in other areas, but this seems to have been improving in recent years, while features like the Airbumps will lessen the impact of any close-distance bumps and scrapes. The C3 comes with a three-year warranty as standard.

Citroen C3 airbumps 2017
No major issues with C3 reliability so far.

The interior seems solid and should stand up to everyday life easily, but we did experience the odd hiccup with the electrical systems when we lived with one, preventing us from locking the vehicle.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax £0 - £180
Insurance group 8 - 22
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