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First Drive

First Drive: Citroen C3

The story: The C3 is Citroen’s biggest-selling model, both in Europe and the UK, and the car has been given a mid-life spruce-up that includes a big increase in levels of personalisation
Key rival:Kia Rio
On sale:Now

Citroen has facelifted its biggest-selling model, with the C3 supermini getting a new nose with distinctive turned-down lines to the grille and new LED lights that give the revised car a family look alongside the larger new C4 (see p12).

The company describes the styling as more assertive, and it combines with a huge increase in personalisation on the revised car, which has leapt from 36 exterior colour combinations to 97.

First Drive - March 2021 - Citroen C3 - Image 2Citroen’s quest to be renowned as the comfort specialist is present and correct, with the revised supermini’s front seats gaining a significant amount of extra foam to increase comfort, and although the interior doesn’t always feel the plushest, it has plenty of character and different shapes and textures to it.

Citroen is still offering a 100hp diesel alongside the 83hp and 110hp petrol engines, although it expects 95% of sales to be one of the unleaded drinkers, with the majority of these going to the lower-powered version.

The comfort theme continues with the driving experience, with the C3 excellent at mopping up bumps, but it comes at the deliberate expense of dynamism. It’s not a car for those that enjoy driving, but serves well those that prefer a comfortable ride. Refinement isn’t great, with the engine proving vocal even under mild acceleration.

First Drive - March 2021 - Citroen C3 - Image 5Other spec changes include a new driver’s armrest, and front parking sensors offered for the first time on the C3, among the 11 driver aids. Boot space is reasonable at 300 litres, and rear passengers will find more head and legroom than many cars in the segment.

The C3 offers something a little different in the way it prioritises comfort over handling. It’s well priced against its key rivals and the improved looks give more character and lift the appeal of an already-decent, well packaged little car.

paul barker

The verdict

Nothing dramatic, but the C3 maintains its place among buyers that prioritise comfort over driving pleasure.