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Citroen C3 VTR 1.6 HDi

Date: 26 January 2006

Price: £13,172
Key rival: Peugeot 206 HDi GTi

Citroen has a growing reputation for producing fun small cars stemming from the Saxo, the C2 and latterly the C1. However, until the C3 was facelifted at the end of last year it was the odd one out.

Now Citroen has redressed this with a VTR version of the C3 powered by a new 110PS version of the 1.6-litre diesel shared by Citroen, Peugeot and Ford.

The result is a surprisingly good supermini with user-chooser appeal at the entry level of the market. In this area the Mini dominates, but not when it comes to the diesel. The C3 VTR should be able to grab some of this market back.


For starters the diesel VTR is quicker than a Ford Fiesta Zetec S in the 0-62mph dash, giving a time of 9.5secs - that's well over a second better than the Ford.

But more amazing is the fuel figure. The official reading stands at 62.8mpg and backing that up, our own experience on our London commute returned more than 50mpg.

To drive, the steering's well weighted, unlike a lot of new superminis which are over-assisted and offer little feedback, and the ride is comfy without a hint of wallow.

The only downside to the C3, at least on our test car was the build quality, which was poor.

That said, the finish of the revised dash is good with a higher quality feel than the first generation C3.

By doing what it knows works well with buyers Citroen has spotted a small gap in the market and inserted a cracking little supermini that shouldn't be overlooked as an entry level user-chooser car.