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Citroen C3 2008 review

Citroen's snappy little C3 diesel gives the hybrids a run for their money.

Resale and battery issues aside, there has always been much conjecture about the virtues, environmentally or otherwise about petrol/electric hybrids, particularly as there are some small diesel cars around these days that weaken the case for buying a hybrid for reasons of fuel economy.

Prime case is Citroen's C3 HDi.

There is now a nifty 1.6-litre diesel nestled in the nose of the cute C3. It delivers quite a deal of punch once the revs rise beyond 2000rpm. It is armed with 66kW of power and a significant 215Nm of torque.

Around town it is quite tractable, more torque at lower revs means fewer gear changes in the cut-and-thrust of the peak-hour commute.

On a 700km test run trudging to and from the Gold Coast into Brisbane's CBD, the little French hatch was sipping a little over 4.6 litres per 100km (factory claim is 4.4 litres per 100km on a combined run).

You can stretch your travel a long, long way on one 47-litre tank.

As with the petrol versions, the diesel has a long list of equipment starting with the full package of front airbags as well as lateral airbags for the front occupants.

There are digital readouts for the speedo and odometer and trip computer but in contrast there is an analogue strip-style rev counter.

There is some degree of fuss with the trip controls.

Typically the French like these incorporated into the steering wheel-mounted stalks; there remains a degree of guesswork in the location of volume controls for the stereo system, which are at the rear of the right-hand windscreen wiper stalk.

Apart from fiddly ergonomics the interior is a fashionable place, funky and light.

There is good comfort from the front seats and a large glasshouse for a small hatch offers superb all-round vision.

This is worth consideration if you are interested in a little French flair mixed with some substance and a broad user-friendly appeal as a city commuter.

On the options list there are auto lights and auto wipers, reverse sensors, electric sunroof, metallic paint, five-stack CD player and leather upholstery.

Pricing guides

$3,685
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$2,200
Highest Price
$5,170

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Pluriel 1.6L, PULP, 5 SP SEQ $3,000 – 5,170 2008 Citroen C3 2008 Pluriel Pricing and Specs
Exclusive 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,200 – 3,740 2008 Citroen C3 2008 Exclusive Pricing and Specs
HDi Exclusive 1.6L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $3,000 – 5,170 2008 Citroen C3 2008 HDi Exclusive Pricing and Specs
SX 1.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,500 – 4,290 2008 Citroen C3 2008 SX Pricing and Specs