Skip advert
Advertisement

Citroën C3 hatchback review (2017-2024)

“The Citroen C3 is now just as quirky as iconic models from the French firm’s past, boasting novel features that help it stand out”

Carbuyer Rating

3.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Price
£14,120 - £22,335

Pros

  • Distinctive style
  • Loads of tech
  • Comfy ride

Cons

  • VW Polo feels classier
  • Diesel engine doesn't justify extra cost
  • Rivals are sharper to drive

Verdict - Is the Citroen C3 a good car?

With so many strong competitors, the previous iteration of the Citroen C3 supermini struggled to make much of an impression. This time around, though, a thorough redesign, punchier selection of engines and updated tech sought to address some of its weaknesses. Unfortunately, the Citroen C3 has been a victim of the success of its stable mate, the Citroen C3 Aircross compact SUV, which has somewhat overshadowed the standard supermini. It’s a shame as the C3 still has much more personality than its predecessor, and we think there are a few good reasons to include it on your new car shopping list.

Citroen C3 models, specs and alternatives

The C3 will suit you if you’re looking for a slightly more left-field choice that stands out in the competitive supermini crowd, especially since its mid-life facelift. You certainly won’t lose it in a car park full of Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa models, and it’s much more unique to look at than a SEAT Ibiza or Toyota Yaris. Citroen’s design language focuses on soft curves – there’s hardly a sharp angle anywhere to be seen. The ‘squircle’ shapes can be found everywhere from the tail lamp clusters to the dashboard air vents It’s competitively priced, too – an important factor in fighting off budget rivals such as the Hyundai i20, Kia Rio and Skoda Fabia. Another reason you might opt for the C3 over rivals is thanks to its greater focus on comfort, as opposed to the firm, ‘sporty’ ride many competitors aim for.

Best small SUVsTop 10 best small SUVs 2024

The Citroen C3’s looks are characterised by a high roofline, upright stance and high ground clearance, giving the supermini SUV-like styling. Its narrow grille sits high up and flows into the LED daytime running lights where you’d usually expect the headlights to be. The headlights sit just below these in a design reminiscent of the C4 Cactus. Depending on the trim level, some cars get a black ‘Airbump’ strip with plastic air bubbles on the side to protect the car from scrapes and stray trolleys in the car park, for example. The C3’s midlife refresh included a revised front end with a new grille and bonnet design, plus LED headlights became standard for all trims.

More conventional is the C3’s engine line-up. Buyers can choose from two petrols: the 1.2-litre petrol engines (known as PureTech) are available with either 82 or 109bhp – the former gets a five-speed manual gearbox only, while the latter comes with the choice between a manual or automatic six-speed. All C3s get up to over 50mpg regardless of the engine or transmission, but the six-speed manual 109bhp version uses the least fuel, with an official figure of 52mpg.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Every version of the C3 will cost the standard VED (road tax) rate each year to tax, while company-car drivers should seek out the manual versions of the 82bhp and 109bhp 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engines, thanks to their lower emissions putting them into a cheaper Benefit-in-Kind (BiK).

The Citroen C3 range has been trimmed down from six trim levels to just three: You!, Plus and Max. We’d recommend springing for the Plus model as it gets a seven-inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth plus the protective ‘Airbump’ strips on the exterior and electric folding side mirrors. Top-of-the-line Max models get navigation and a three-year subscription to Citroen’s navigation service thrown in on top. You! models feel outdated in 2023, with a lower-spec basic five-inch black and white touchscreen and Bluetooth.

After Euro NCAP crash tests in 2017, the C3 was awarded four out of five stars for safety, with 88% for adult occupant protection. A large number of airbags, electronic stability control, tyre-pressure monitoring and lane-departure warning are fitted across the board. There’s also technology to sense if you’re getting tired and warn you to take a break, along with speed-limit warnings. ISOFIX points for securely attaching child seats are found in the front passenger and both outer rear seats. Auto emergency braking really should be fitted as standard, though.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech You 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £14,120

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech You 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £14,120

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech 110 Max 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £21,075
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Citroën C3 Aircross review - the most comfortable small SUV?
Citroen C3 Aircross front quarter dynamic
In-depth reviews
24 Jun 2024

Citroën C3 Aircross review - the most comfortable small SUV?

Tesla Model 3 review - one car to rule them all?
Tesla Model 3 facelift
In-depth reviews
24 Jun 2024

Tesla Model 3 review - one car to rule them all?

Cupra Formentor review – our favourite hot SUV
Cupra Formentor 2024 facelift
In-depth reviews
24 Jun 2024

Cupra Formentor review – our favourite hot SUV

The most reliable small cars on sale in 2024
Most reliable small cars
Best cars
21 Jun 2024

The most reliable small cars on sale in 2024

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
21 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

New Audi e-tron GT now has 912bhp in RS Performance guise
Audi RS e-tron GT front quarter
News
17 Jun 2024

New Audi e-tron GT now has 912bhp in RS Performance guise

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024