Citroën C3 hatchback (2009-2016) - Reliability & safety

Poor customer satisfaction and a four-star crash-test result make the Citroen C3 less than impressive here

Carbuyer Rating

2.4 out of 5

Reliability & safety Rating

2.9 out of 5

The Citroen C3 loses out in this category, but it’s by no means disastrous. It’s less safe than we’d like and reliability isn’t the best, either.

Citroen C3 reliability

The Citroen C3 came 113th in the 2016 Driver Power survey, which is actually an improvement from its result in 2015.

However, the Citroen brand slipped two to 26th of 32 manufacturers, which could be a concern when you need to take your car to a dealership for servicing or repairs. Worryingly, owners rated build quality poorly, with only Alfa Romeo deemed worse.

In our Carbuyer owner reviews, only around half of drivers would recommend the C3 to a friend. Complaints about the electrics come up fairly often – one owner said “the radio would freeze for the whole day”. A few people have had gearbox problems, too. The “tiny” glovebox also came in for criticism. But owners praised the panoramic windscreen and “head-turning looks”.


The C3 scored just four stars in Euro NCAP crash testing, despite the similar DS 3 being given five stars. It was marked down because technology to help prevent skids is not standard across the range, while curtain airbags are also not available on the entry-level trim. The 2009 test saw the C3 score 83% for adult occupant protection and 74% for child occupant protection, but only 33% for pedestrian protection.

A spare wheel is provided as standard and there are two ISOFIX child-seat mounts in the back. Four airbags are standard on the entry-level trim, with six being included on the rest of the range. Every C3 has emergency braking assistance, automatic hazard warning lights and anti-lock brakes as standard.

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