A QUESTION OF CHARACTER (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Citroen's third generation C3 supermini is a crucial car for the French brand and must be more interesting and likeable than its sensible predecessor. Can it deliver? Jonathan Crouch checks it out
Ten Second Reviewword count: 50
Citroen's third generation C3 supermini has a much more distinctive style this time round, with quirky looks, a very individual feel and even the option of a clever dash cam camera. Ultimately, there's nothing really revolutionary on offer here but as a complete and highly personalisable package, it's desirably different.
Backgroundword count: 134
What should a modern Citroen be? Not like the second generation C3 supermini, that's for sure. Today to survive, the brand must offer more than just sensible efficiency: the PSA Group has its Peugeot brand to deliver that. And its DS nameplate to offer a fashion-conscious premium option for those prepared to pay a little more. Which leaves Citroen needing to go back to being the kind of manufacturer it once was, fun, innovative and different. Which, at first glance at least, appears to be what's served up here. The look is unique, can be embellished by a two-tone paint option and incorporates the unusual 'Airbump' side panels we first saw on the brand's C4 Cactus crossover model. Plus there's some interesting technology that you won't have seen before on this class of car.
Driving Experienceword count: 227
Small French cars used to ride beautifully, grip tenaciously and flow from corner to corner with relaxed, unflustered motion. As, by and large, this one does. It may come as news to some motoring journalists but most supermini buyers don't routinely want to throw their cars about as if they were on stage from the RAC Rally. What most of them would prefer is a model that rolls the red carpet over the average appallingly surfaced British road. As, to a great extent, this one does. It's all down to the way that the fairly conventional suspension set-up has been tuned, though the downside of that is inevitably extra body roll through the bends. Stay with it though and you'll find that there's actually more grip and traction on offer than you might think. As for engines, well the PureTech three cylinder 1.2-litre unit is frugal and willing, while the 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesels are amongst the cleanest and most frugal engines of their kind in the industry. First up is the 1.2-litre petrol PureTech unit which offers either 83 or 110hp and delivers the same distinctive three cylinder thrum but accompanies it with pokier performance. The turbo 110hp variant gets a 6-speed manual gearbox and can be ordered with an optional EAT6 auto transmission. There's also a BlueHDi 100 diesel manual option with a 5-speed manual 'box.
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Category: Small Runabouts
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