Skip advert
Advertisement

Citroën C3 hatchback (2009-2016)

"The Citroen C3 has low running costs and a practical interior, and thanks to its soft suspension it’s one of the most comfortable superminis on the market."

Carbuyer Rating

2.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Price
£14,120 - £22,335

Pros

  • Quiet and spacious
  • Very comfortable
  • Decent interior

Cons

  • Not great to drive
  • Four-star Euro NCAP safety rating
  • Entry-level model poorly equipped

The Citroen C3 is a hatchback in the highly competitive supermini class that prioritises comfort in order to appeal to drivers who are more interested in smooth journeys around potholed, patchy city streets than handling prowess on twisty country roads. This is in contrast to the big rivals in this class, such as the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Hyundai i20, which try to be the best possible all-rounders. Citroen’s approach also means that the C3 is actually a very good motorway cruiser once you get up to speed.

Advertisement - Article continues below

This setup has its downsides, the main one being that alternatives such as the Polo and Fiesta are much more fun to drive. Those cars may have firmer rides, and poor road surfaces may be more noticeable for their occupants, but they also pitch and roll a lot less in corners than the C3. The Citroen’s body lean brings it’s own brand of discomfort, even if it’s the result of a setup that insulates the car’s interior from another.

While not the best in class to drive, the C3 is very practical; all models have five doors and are spacious inside. The C3 is easy to get in and out of and has a relatively large boot, which opens up to a particularly impressive size when you fold the rear seats down.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The C3 is available with three petrol and two diesel engines. All the petrol options have three-cylinders and are capable of at least 60mpg, while the two diesels can top 80mpg. If you’ll only use the car for short trips around town, then the 1.2-litre PureTEch 110 petrol is the best mix of performance and economy, while those envisaging frequent motorway trips should opt for the 1.6-litre 100 diesel engine.

Three trim levels are offered to C3 buyers, ranging from entry-level VT, to mid-range Edition and lastly the top-spec Platinum trim. Frustratingly, the best engines are only available if you go for the Platinum trim, so you have to spend more than you’d think to get the best petrol and diesel options. If you’re considering an entry-level model, you’ll have to be satisfied with the entry-level engines.

As you’d expect from the basic model, standard equipment doesn’t stretch much further than electric windows and mirrors, and split-folding rear seats and a radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility.

Edition adds air-conditioning, alloy wheels, extra airbags, Bluetooth, cruise control, a leather steering wheel and LED daytime running lights. The rather expensive top-spec Platinum model gets a panoramic windscreen, larger alloy wheels, automatic air-conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Citroen as a brand has performed less than brilliantly in our most recent Driver Power satisfaction surveys, falling from 20th to 26th in 2016 out of 32 manufacturers. The C3 itself came a rather average 113th out of 200 cars in 2016, though that was an improvement on the previous year.

The C3 only managed four out of a possible five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP. The entry-level model has ABS, electronic stability control and a tyre-pressure monitoring system but testers were critical of the lack of curtain airbags.

This generation of Citroen C3 has been replaced by an all-new model. We've reviewed it in full.

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

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Citroën C3 hatchback review (2017-2024)
Citroen C3 hatchback front 3/4 tracking
In-depth reviews
13 Nov 2023

Citroën C3 hatchback review (2017-2024)

Most Popular

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

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Ford Kuga review - a sharp-handling and efficient SUV
Ford Kuga facelift
In-depth reviews
11 Jun 2024

Ford Kuga review - a sharp-handling and efficient SUV

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