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Citroen C3 (2010-2017) Buying Guide

Citroen C3 (2010-2017)
Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Citroen C3 (2010-2017)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

UK car buyers have long struggled with Citroen, switched off by products either too adventurous or not adventurous enough. Take the original C3; it looked neat but didn't offer anything new. So with the C3 Mk2 Citroen had a mountain to climb - and it seemingly conquered it. A big improvement over the first, the second-generation Citroen C3 looks far more stylish and is built to a higher standard, yet you don?t have to pay very much to secure something with plenty of life left in it. However, the C3 Mk2?s reliability and build quality levels still couldn't match those of many key rivals so before jumping in feet first, make sure any potential buy is a good one.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Smart looks
Comfy ride
Low purchase prices
Distinctive interior
Low running costs
Frugal engines
Refinement
EGC transmission
Vague steering
Uncertain build quality
Spartan base models
Key Dates 
3/10The C3 hits UK showrooms in 1.4 or 1.6 HDi forms, the latter in both 90bhp and 110bhp guises. Petrol fans could choose between 1.1 and 1.4-litre engines, the bigger one in 75bhp or 95bhp guises. There was also a 120bhp 1.6 VTi petrol engine that came with either a manual or an automatic gearbox.
1/12The auto-only e-HDi 70 Airdream EGS VTR+ arrives, rated at just 87g/km and 83mpg with its 1.4-litre diesel engine.
6/13A range-wide facelift sees PSA's three-cylinder 1.0 and 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engines replace the previous four-cylinder units. The styling is also refreshed inside and out plus there's extra standard equipment.
Checklist 
  • The Sensodrive automatic transmission can be jerky, but fixing things is often down to just updating the software.
  • Many C3s don't come with Bluetooth; those that do can suffer from a software glitch that stops the phone pairing.
  • The drop links in the front suspension fail, leading to knocking noises as the car is driven over bumps. Repairs aren't costly.
  • If the car looks as though it's sitting low at one corner it'll be because a coil spring has snapped in the front suspension.
  • Check that all of the electrics work, including the central locking and electric windows, as the ECU that controls these can stop working.
  • Engine oil leaks aren't unusual, the most common culprit being the timing chain tensioner bolt, the sump or the driveshaft seals.
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