Product Type: CitroŽn cars
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Citroen C3 1.4 LS - Basic no frills motoring
Member Name: DaveMV
Advantages: Mechanically reliable, high driving position
Disadvantages: Poor build quality and trim
Despite a wariness of French cars we picked up our 52 plate C3 for a bargain £4k when it was 5 years old with 17k miles on the clock - neighbours parents were emigrating and needed to shift it within the last week before they left.
We used it initially as a second car/run around to our main car which I used for daily commutes and for family holidays. However last year we traded the main car in for a bigger car which we use more sparingly and I took the C3 on for commuting. Its currently on 34,000 miles.
In terms of getting me from home to work (and back) it has performed its function well. I can hardly complain that the original battery gave up the ghost after 8 years - the only time it hasn't started, and even then once started off a charger it got me to work where I could get the battery replaced. Its big enough to put a childs buggy in the boot and a reasonable amount of shopping, whilst remaining small enough to be able to find parking spaces easily. The 1.4 engine is a good compromise between fuel economy and being able to do motorway trips without the engine screaming its head off. It has a higher than average driving position which gives good visibility and also probably makes it easier for those with mobility problems to get in and out as its not as far down when sitting into it or getting out.
However, beyond performing its basic function reliably, the build quality is poor. The trim is very plastic, it has plenty of rattles, and it feels a bit like being driven along in an unsprung farm cart. At least one of the roof trim pieces which cover the rain channels has worked loose and flown off whilst driving along, the windscreen washer bottle has split and had to be replaced, and the rear demist works when it feels like it (usually on dry clear days!).
In theory servicing costs on this age could be low as it has a 2 year, 20,000 mile interval although I think this was changed to 1 year, 10k on newer models.
If you can find one cheap you'll probably have a decent workhorse for basic transport, but this is not a car for the driving enthusiast.
Summary: Gets you from A to B but without refinement