Citroen C3 finds

glass ceiling

Citroen C3, 2017, 67-plate, front, action
Citroen C3, 2017, 67-plate, glass roof
Citroen C3, 2017, interior, brown
Citroen C3, 2017, 67-plate, front, static
Citroen C3, 2017, 67-plate, rear, static
Citroen C3, 2017, 67-plate, rear, action
Citroen C3, 2017, 67-plate, side, static
Citroen C3, 2017, 67-plate, rear

I REALLY don't know why the car makers are fitting so many 'moon roofs' to their models these days - I just can't see the point of them.

An opening sunroof gives a little of an open car's 'wind in the hair' feel and is well worthwhile.

But while these fixed glass roofs let in more light, if the sun is high, the top of your head gets gently fried. They're just an expensive gimmick.

The most recent car I had with one was the latest excellent Citroen C3, which has a wide range of capabilities, not least of which is a very good ride that puts it close to the top of the supermini class.

I drove the 100bhp 1.6 diesel and thoroughly enjoyed its good performance and superb economy.

Even in my hands, it returned 55-plus miles per gallon and that means many drivers should be able to get it up to 65 or even higher in everyday driving.

I know the government is talking about banning diesels from city centres, and banning all diesel and petrol cars by 2040, but neither is going to affect most of us very much as yet and the C3 is up to the latest EU6 emissions.

The new model is only available as a five door - so it could be said it's the practical version of the DS 3, which uses the same platform and drivetrains.

The body is pretty light and so 100bhp is more than enough for good performance alongside the economy, with strong pull in the lower four gears of five, and even decent acceleration in fifth.

The engine is also very refined, pulling easily from just above tickover, but as usual, without much acceleration until the turbo kicks in at about 1500 revs.

Keep it above that level, and overtaking in third and fourth is very easy. The clutch is reasonably light and the gearchange slick and quick.

Comfort is excellent for a small car, even at town speeds where it takes speed humps easily and smoothly.

It does tend to feel rougher surfaces at higher speeds, but they never upset the occupants.

This supple ride would affect handling and road holding in some cars, but not here. A small amount of roll means the chassis keeps its poise even when pushed hard through bends and grip is excellent.

There's plenty of space for four inside and a reasonable boot with a split-fold rear seat.

The seats are comfortable and supportive and it's a pleasant place to ride or drive, with plenty of light and good vision all round.

The C3 Feel BlueHDi diesel I drove comes with stop/start, good seat and column adjustment, traction control, cruise, aircon, alloys, audio remote and three Isofix child seat anchorages.

Sadly though, an alarm is extra.

FAST FACTS

Price: £16,700

Mechanical: 100bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 115mph

0-62mph: 10.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 76

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 95g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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