It says a lot about how much Iím enjoying this plucky little CitroÎn that I was frustrated when I ran out of washer fluid. Such is the comfort and quiet within the car that it feels like a model a couple of grades larger, and that skews expectations occasionally. This time I was wondering why the car didnít alert me to the fact that the fluid was low with a warning light, before reminding myself that this is a small supermini and perhaps I could have looked under the bonnet myself.
Once Iíve got my expectations back in check, I tend to give the C3 an easy ride. Itís as far removed from a sports car as you can get, which means driving is more of a meander, with that light steering removing any feel, but making manoeuvring a piece of cake. Lots of glass makes visibility good too, but that leads to another minor frustration; glancing in the passenger mirror always highlights the window trim on the doors. Thatís not an issue in itself, but the fact they donít line up drives me mad. Itís not a minor difference either, with the jump from front to rear doors quite noticeable.
While weíre on irritating, but very minor, details, the infotainment system is still a frustration. Adjusting the temperature still takes multiple presses of intangible buttons that are impossible to find without glancing at them. Added to that, the entire system has crashed a couple of times, once shutting down entirely but still leaving Radio X blasting out of the speakers. It has also brought down Android Auto a couple of times, and thatís car specific, as the phone and cable gets used in countless other cars without issue.
Thereís also a minor irritation with the dashboard itself. At night, the lights for the instruments and that large infotainment screen can be rather bright, dazzling slightly, when itís best to be seeing whatís outside more clearly. Itís possible to dim them, but the button is mounted above the steering column and below the instruments, making it especially difficult to access while on the move. The fact that itís the one button that isnít lit also means itís near impossible to find and easy to mistake for another.
That short list is just about all Iíve found wrong with my CitroÎn so far. There are no concerns over performance, handling, ride quality, practicality, noise, vibrations, and so on, which speaks volumes for the car. The problems found are, Iím fully aware, insignificant, although Iím concerned that the occasional infotainment stutter could be the start of something more terminal.
Yes, the overall material quality is somewhat short of that which you might find in an Audi A1, but thereís more than enough strength to keep this family run-around in one piece. Thereís also more thoughtful design touches than you might find on similar cars, and thatís what makes this CitroÎn such a joy to live with.
Date arrived 17th May 2017
Fuel economy 76.3mpg (combined) 58.7mpg (on test)
Economy is improving and, while still short of its official figures, currently stands at a pleasing 58.7mpg.
Space in the back for adults is mostly acceptable, but headroom is tight.