Citroën C3 hatchback (2009-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

The Citroen C3 majors on comfort, and rivals are more fun to drive as a result

Carbuyer Rating

2.4 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

2.2 out of 5

With such a strong focus on comfort, the Citroen C3 isn’t as fun to drive as the Citroen DS3, Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo, because it has very light and rather vague steering, as well as a tendency to lean too much in corners.

But these characteristics also make the C3 very easy to drive in town and surprisingly comfortable for longer motorway trips, where it remains very quiet.

Citroen C3 petrol engines

Our pick of the petrol range would be the 1.2-litre PureTech 82 petrol, which goes from 0-62mph in 14.2 seconds when fitted with a manual gearbox. The entry-level petrol engine has 68bhp and can feel underpowered unless you’re just driving around town. The 1.2-litre PureTech 110 feels nippy, with 0-62mph achieved in 10.6 seconds.

We’d avoid the ETG automatic gearbox with the PureTech 82 petrol engine, as its slow and jerky gearchanges adversely affect the car’s performance. If you really need an automatic supermini, the VW Polo fitted with a DSG gearbox is far smoother to drive.

Diesel engines

The best diesel engine is the 1.6-litre BlueHDi 100. This gets from 0-62mph in 10.8 seconds. The entry-level diesel, which offers 73bhp, is not recommended. Like the equivalent petrol, it feels underpowered outside town, and being a diesel it’s not the best choice for low-mileage urban drivers.

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2021
Skoda Fabia
Deals
16 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

What are Audi TFSI petrol engines?
Yellow Audi Q2
Audi
16 Apr 2021

What are Audi TFSI petrol engines?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks