CitroŽn C3 1.6 VTI Review
Room with a view

Story by William Whey Photos by Raymond Lai
20 Oct 2010

Citroens are well known for their quirkiness so it's no wonder that the C3 is the most quirky model in the supermini segment.

Introduction, styling

When it comes to iconic national cars, the Brits have the original Mini, the Italians the 1960s Fiat 500, the Germans the legendary original Beetle while the French have the Citroen 2CV. The 2CV is also known as the deux chevaux while the English lovingly calls it the Dolly.

The 2CV was so timeless that production only ended in 1990, a full 42 years after it was first introduced in 1948. Since then, Citroen hasn't offered a mass-market model that is worthy as a replacement for the 2CV. But the French car maker did try to evoke the spirit of the 2CV in the 2002 C3 supermini. The overall profile and silhouette of the C3 can certainly be traced back to the 2CV, especially the way the roof curves towards the rear. The C3 wasn't as simple or as utilitarian as the 2CV though, sure it was quirky in its design inside and out and it was meant to tackle supermini competitors like the VW Polo and Renault Clio among others.

The original C3 has recently be superseded by a new generation model. Outwardly, the second generation C3 is an evolution of its curvaceous predecessor, especially the side profile and curvaceous A-pillar. Details like the gaping trapezoidal air intake, boomerang shaped head and tail lamps are obviously shared with more contemporary Citroen models like the C4 and Picasso among others.

It's hard to say that the C3 is prettier than a Polo or a Fiesta but it certainly has its own distinctive feel and style. But what I can safely say is that the C3 is a more cheerful car than its European rivals.


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Engine Capacity 1598cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Bore x Stroke (77x85.8)mm
Power 120bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 160Nm @ 4250rpm
Power to Weight 111.6 bhp per ton


Acceleration 10.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 190 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 4 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(3940 x 1730 x 1520) mm
Wheelbase 2456 mm
Kerb Weight 1075 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs