The Christmas period coincides with quieter times in the motoring world, which means fewer miles have been covered. However, the wonderful MyCitroÎn app reports that Iíve completed 59 journeys over the last four weeks, so pretty much two runs every day. Theyíve almost all been short hops, which is not ideal work for a diesel car, but economy doesnít seem to have suffered too much. For the month itís marginally lower than the overall lifetime figure, but at 56.8mpg itís still a perfectly agreeable number. One four-mile journey even topped 70mpg, which really shows up how the lightweight construction of the C3 can help save fuel when dashing around urban environments.
The frequent cold starts have shown up a couple of very minor issues. It does seem to take an age for the glow plugs to warm things up enough for the engine to fire up at times, long enough that thereís another stab at the Engine Start button, just in case I didnít hit it for long enough initially. Granted, itís not quite the 30 seconds or so that older cars took, but it does seem like a longer wait than other diesel cars Iíve experienced.
Once youíre ready to go, the rear brakes cling on a tad too, releasing in a clang as if the pads have bonded to the discs. This happens frequently to my collection of slightly ropey 90s cars, as they sit outside and everything corrodes together slightly, but itís unexpected on a modern car thatís simply been left overnight. I might need to get that looked at by a local dealer if it continues.
Finally, the cold weather has served to highlight an issue the C3 faced in the summer ñ the heating and ventilation just isnít man enough for the task. Keeping cool in the summer is tougher than it should be thanks to weak air conditioning, and the opposite is true in the winter. It takes an age for the system to warm up, leaving you waiting for an iced-up windscreen to defrost. Yes, of course itís possible to get out and scrape the windscreen clear, but itís cold out there!
In its defence, once itís warmed up, the CitroÎn stays nice and cosy, and the windows generally remain clear of condensation. Iíd love a heated steering wheel, but thatís a bit of luxury beyond what would normally be found in a car such as this. Iíd also like to see a heated front windscreen, something that can be found on some similarly priced Ford Fiesta models. Disappointingly, despite having the wiring in place to electrically adjust the door mirrors, these arenít heated either.
And while all of these things would make life more comfortable, the good news is that the C3 remains capable and predictable in adverse conditions, while the traction control allows enough slip to get you moving on snow and ice. Itís what keeps you safe out on the road, and thatís definitely a whole lot more important than a pleasingly warm steering wheel.
Date arrived 17th May 2017
Fuel economy 76.3mpg (combined) 56.8mpg (on test)
Automatic lights and windscreen wipers react quickly, but not too early to irritate.
The passenger seat isn’t height adjustable and sits much higher than the driver’s seat.