Citroen C3 goes to

the top of the class

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

I REALLY think that Citroen will soon be the car designer others race to match.

Its latest cars have returned to the company roots of some years ago to give a really comfortable ride and, for me, this and its funky, user friendly design, takes the latest C3 to the top of the supermini class, beating even the all-conquering Ford Fiesta.

But how I wish Citroen and all the manufacturers would drop the polished metal gearknobs that seem to be breeding like rabbits.

They might look good but on a cold morning, they are horrible to use unless you're wearing gloves, and they take ages to warm up.

That's the only thing I dislike about this brilliant new supermini. Other pundits have said the softer suspension that gives the excellent ride spoils the handling and road-holding. That's tosh and twaddle.

The suspension might be soft, but Citroen has built-in excellent anti-roll ability and this makes cornering at speed right up with the supposedly class-leading Fiesta.

Citroen's stylish and intuitive dash and interior knock most other cars in the class into a cocked hat too.

The steering has plenty of feel and the balance and grip are excellent, not even upset by potholes mid-corner as many others would be.

I drove the range-topping Flair model fitted with a 110bhp version of the excellent Citroen/Peugeot 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine and performance is brilliant along with very good economy.

As usual, in real driving you have to ignore the government economy figures. On a 360 mile trip over every type of road, the C3 managed 41.5mpg without really trying.

That makes it capable of 50-plus with a light right foot, which is as good as any similarly powered car on the market.

Performance is very good, with plenty of urge for overtaking on two lane roads and even decent acceleration in fifthgear of five.

The engine is smooth, quiet and tuneful too, which only adds to the plus points.

The stylish and funky interior design is much more like a Citroen should be, and marks the company going back to its innovative strengths.

The seats are comfortable and supportive and the driver has height adjustment, as well as a height and reach adjustable column.

Rear legroom is very good indeed - better than some cars in the next class up - plus a very good size boot.

Flair is the top spec model and it comes with parking sensors and a rearview camera, alloys, traction control, alarm, sat nav, air con, heated electric mirrors, stop start that works really well, cruise control and audio remote controls on the wheel.

It even has see you home lights that also come on when the doors are unlocked.

A seven inch screen at the top of the centre console controls just about everything well, but the buttons, which are part of the flat screen, can be difficult to hit on the move.

FAST FACTS

Price: £16,945

Mechanical:110bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph: 9.3 seconds

Combined MPG:61

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 103g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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