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Citroën C3 hatchback - Reliability & safety (2017-2024)

Citroen’s reliability record is on the up, although rivals are safer

Carbuyer Rating

3.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Reliability & safety Rating

2.5 out of 5

Citroen has had a mixed reputation for reliability in the past but recent models appear to be quite robust. Its 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines are certainly well-tested, having appeared in a multitude of Citroen and Peugeot models. The C3's Euro NCAP crash-test score is respectable for an affordable supermini, although it was tested a few years ago and the criteria for four stars gets tougher every year. Novel features like a dashcam show Citroen is keen to usher in convenient tech that helps it stand out amongst rivals.

Citroen C3 reliability

Citroen isn’t generally known for bulletproof reliability but our 2023 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey saw it come 11th out of 29 brands overall  – continuing an encouraging trend of improvement since its 28th place result in 2021. Reliability itself continues to be better than average, with just 14% of Citroen owners reporting a fault within the first year of ownership. 

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The C3 itself came 31st out of the top 75 cars in the 2023 survey – it made a reappearance last year after having been absent since 2019, which is a positive sign. One of the brand’s other cars, the slightly larger C4, topped the Driver Power standings in 2023, so things are definitely on the up for the French manufacturer.

Safety

The C3 was awarded four out of five stars for safety by Euro NCAP. Crash testing revealed physical protection of occupants to be very good, but the car was marked down for its lack of autonomous emergency braking (although it is standard for the Shine Plus trim). There’s plenty of standard safety kit, however, including mandatory items like tyre-pressure monitoring, stability control and a plethora of airbags front and back. You can also get equipment like blind-spot detection and a driver fatigue monitor that can sense how long you’ve been driving and suggest when you need to take a break.

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