The Citroen C3
Citroen, even the most sceptical would have to admit, don't do ordinary.
They have a history of stand out design and style with their cars, and the proud tradition drives on.
The Citroen C4 Cactus is an eye catcher. Likewise the C4, and the C4 Picasso too. And in the small family sector, the new C3 is a stunner, plain and simple.
We had a Flair version of the new C3 on test recently, and you know what, you couldn't be in bad humour driving this attractive, easy to drive comfort provider.
Sure, you will get cars that are faster, offer sharper, sports like handling and what have you.
But you will search many a long day to find one to equal the C3 for ease and comfort of travel. And its not a fuel guzzler either.
Our drive was provided by the Blue HDi 75 engine. This is a mile stretcher in terms of consumption and can return well over 80 miles to the gallon, so even if you are a fair percentage off in real world driving, you can still do well.
The C3 is available with petrol (1.2 litre) and diesel engines (1.6 litre) in three trim levels - Touch, Feel and Flair - and prices start from €15,490.
The range is a prize winner, and has already claimed nearly 30 awards ranging from appearance and style to general capabilities.
For me the car driven was a stunner (see picture) in terms of looks. Not for me your boring greys, silver or wine.
Give us an alive colour. Dress it up, and away we go.
You could actually look forward to coming out of the house each morning to be greeted by the eyeful that is this car. Honestly!
One appreciates a striking mix of vivid colours is not for everyone, but don't let that put you off.
The C3 Flair, which runs on 17" alloys, is the top end version. The range is not all about looks.
In a heavy hitting sector battling against the Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa, VW Polo and so on, the C3 has to offer more, and it does.
Around the town or city you really value the light gearbox and clutch, plus the manoeuvrability - 10.2m turning circle - of the C3. This is an easy car to put around, and with large areas of glass helped by the low side windowline the view out is superior.
Likewise the flow in of light that helps make the cabin appear to be larger than it actually is. The driver and front seat passenger get the edge in terms of space, while in the rear there is generous room for two adults with knee, leg and head room all in the good category.
The C3 is packed with driving aids and mod cons. Review list at bottom.
There are some lovely design touches in the cabin. For instance, the interior of the front and rear door pockets on the test car were white, which contrasted nicely against dark panels. Neat touches abound.
The rear seat backs split 60/40 and fold, which gives more versatility to a boot that already offers 300 litres of space.
Citroen packed the C3 heavily with the latest technologies, including what they term the Connected CAM Citroen (Flair models) system. This works off an on board HD camera that allows the driver to share road trip pictures and videos with whoever.
Buyers can customise the C3 in any number of ways, colour mix, specification or whatever. But whatever your desired package, you won't end up with a car that looks ordinary.
Citroen C3 Flair 1.6 Blue HDi 75, 5-door S&S, 5-speed manual; C02 93g/km; consumption extra urban 4.3l/100km (65.7mph), extra urban 3.2l/100km (88.3mpg), combined 3.6 l/100mk (78.5mpg), annual road tax €190, price €21,240.
Standard - cruise control with speed limiter, variable assistance power steering, height and reach adjustable steering, driver, front passenger, front lateral and curtain airbags, two rear Isofix points, lane departure warning system, speed limit recognition and speeding warning, coffee break alert, compressor with puncture repair kit, remote central locking with deadlocks, spare wheel. Additional on Flair models - 17" diamond cut 'Cross' alloys, black airbumps, black roof, leather steering wheel and gear knob, foglights with cornering function, connected CAM Citroen, dark tinted rear windows, rear parking sensors, reversing camera.
Warranty - 5-year Citroen extended warranty.