Citroen C3 Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

The Citroen C3 was unveiled at the 2001 International Motor Show in Frankfurt as a stylish everyday workhorse. It soon became one the brand’s major success stories, and Citroen developed many other formats of this small hatch, including the mini-SUV Aircross, MPV Picasso and convertible Pluriel. Rivalling the Ford Fiesta, SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo, the C3 is a feature-packed small car that’s optimised for city roads. Three trim levels and 96 colour options (up from a previous 36) make this Citroen almost overwhelming in terms of personalisation. Although, who wouldn’t want that for a supermini that’s this chic?

Visit the Citroen C3 model page to explore available cars and learn more about the model.

What we think about the Citroen C3

Good engine choice, lots of personalisation, great efficiency and exemption from BiK rates – the Citroen C3 is the go-to city car that you can really make your own.



Unique styling




Efficient engines that are cheap to run


Rear seat space can be better

Comfortable but not a dynamic drive

The first generation hit UK roads in 2002, with a facelift in 2005, and the signature curvaceous styling continued in the second-generation C3, released in 2009. The angular C3 we know today has been around since 2016. The latest-gen model is available in four trim levels, but older generations were made available in 10 trims.

Driving performance of the Citroen C3

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

The C3 is optimised for comfort rather than performance, and frankly, that’s a welcome change in the supermini segment. As much as you want a fun ride, you’re more likely to find yourself just wanting to get from point A to B on the daily commute. More comfort means a soft suspension, which is ideal for potholed town roads. However, you may find the car a bit lacking when you encounter sharp corners or hit the motorways. If you want that extra pull, go with the higher-spec engines.

Safety and reliability of the Citroen C3

Our Safety Rating8 / 10

All generations of the C3 have been awarded a four-star safety rating by Euro NCAP. Airbags, Isofix child seat anchor points and an anti-lock braking system are standard features across all iterations. One of the reasons the second generation lost a five-star rating was that the car didn’t include a stability control feature as part of the standard package. But the third generation wholly improves on the standard kit by including a lane departure warning system and a fatigue alert system that ensures overall safety on motorways.

Under the bonnet of the Citroen C3

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

Through its lifetime, engine choice on the C3 has ranged from 1.0-litre to 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines. Be aware that although engine size may be the same, trim levels can affect bhp. Across the board, the emphasis lies in economy rather than performance. On the latest gen, the 110 bhp petrol engine does 0-60 mph in 10.5 seconds on the manual. Older generations could manage a respectable 9.4 seconds on the same engine. While the driving performance is somewhat lacklustre, be assured that you’re going to get a smooth and quiet ride that’s stress-free.

What you'll find in the Citroen C3

Our Design Rating9 / 10

Citroen always makes a fashion statement, but beauty definitely lay in the eyes of the beholder with the first two generations. The polarising curvy looks were hit and miss, but there was an upmarket tone to the styling choice. The more angular looks on the third generation were far more in keeping with today’s tastes, not to mention the signature Citroen air bumps on the side. As always though, the C3 delivers results in terms of customisation that go beyond the usual colour options – you can choose from seven exterior body colours, four bi-tone roof colours and four colour packs.

Comfort and interiors in the Citroen C3

Our Comfort Rating7 / 10

Interior comfort is something that Citroen has put special thought into with the C3. Build quality is similar to that of an upmarket car, resulting in a comfortable ride. In terms of practicality as a family car, this supermini has all the space that’s needed to fit four adults comfortably, while the addition of a panoramic sunroof adds to the airy, open feel. The boot space is good too – considerably more spacious than that of rivals across all three generations.

Citroen C3 interior dashboard

What features you'll find in the Citroen C3

Our Features Rating6 / 10

The latest generation features a fully integrated touchscreen infotainment system that can be used to control everything from music to air-conditioning. It also connects to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for sat-nav. Higher-spec models feature connected set-ups that offer real-time services like weather info, traffic updates and nearby petrol prices. Higher-level trims on older models include features like sat-nav, heated mirrors and leather detailing. Given the level of customisation that Citroen offers, be sure to thoroughly read the specs list once you make your choice to be sure you’re not compromising on any key features.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Citroen C3

Our Fuel Consumption Rating7 / 10

There’s no doubt that the entire range is cheap to run compared to others in the same class. First-generation models claim anywhere between 39 to 80 mpg, while second-gen models give 42 to 80 mpg, depending on engine and trim level. The most efficient third-gen models are capable of a realistic 80 mpg, as assured by the more stringent WLTP testing method applied from 2017 onwards. If efficiency is of particular consideration, diesel engines of 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre capacity give the best results.

Running costs of the Citroen C3

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

Citroen C3s fall anywhere between the 8 and 20 insurance bracket, which is great news in terms of savings. Efficient engines return less than 110 g/km of CO2 emissions, which also adds up to cost savings in the form of BiK taxes. Warranty is a standard three years or 60,000 miles. It should be noted here that checking the service history of used cars is an absolute must, as negligence and Citroen’s underwhelming reputation for reliability can add up to additional costs in the long run.

Our verdict of the Citroen C3

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

Funky styling, fuel efficiency and Citroen's insistence on comfort add up to a very practical city car – no wonder the C3 is Citroen's best-selling model.