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Citroen C3 (2002-2006) Buying Guide

Citroen C3 (2002-2006)
Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Citroen C3 (2002-2006)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

After the boxy lines of the ZX, the C3 was a breath of fresh air. It's always been a well-equipped and affordable car too, thanks to plenty of incentives from Citroen. Low running costs make it even more appealing, but it's not as good to drive as some rivals, and patchy build quality is par for the course.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Cheap to run
Economical - especially diesels
Spacious cabin
Well equipped
Safety features
Flimsy interior
Small boot
Key Dates 
4/02C3 replaces ZX, with choice of 1.4 or 1.6 petrol engines, or a 1.4-litre turbodiesel.
11/02C3 Stop & Start on sale, with 1360cc petrol engine.
4/03C3 Pluriel appears, with 1.4 or 1.6 petrol engine.
9/031.1-litre petrol engine joins range.
2/04C3 XTR arrives, with black grille, wheelarch trims, bumpers and side skirts. Choice of 1.4 petrol or diesel engines.
4/04Open-topped Pluriel now available with 1.4HDi engine.
1/05VTR on sale, with 108bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine.
  • Interior trim is flimsy and causes plenty of squeaks, creaks and rattles. Make sure nothing has broken.
  • Pluriel rails can fit badly; check they seal properly.
  • Some 16-valve HDi engines suffered from failure of the fuel injection pump, so make sure the engine runs evenly.
  • Air conditioning units can leak so check the footwells for signs of fluid.
  • Check everything works; items like central locking, electric windows and stereos often pack in.
  • Check that there's no rust starting anywhere; the paint coverage can be patchy, especially on the roof.

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