Continuing the French trend in our choice of cars lately,
my Fiancee recently chose a Citroen C3 Exclusive as her current car through the
Motability scheme. This is the new 2011
version of this 10 year old design and has been brought bang up to date.
The Exclusive is the top of the range and the 1.6 Auto is
currently available with nil advance payment through Motability. Being top of the range it comes with various
features including the fantastic Zenith windscreen – a large panoramic piece of
glass which extends to the B pillars, lots of chrome trim on the outside and
alcantara trim inside.
As is usual for us the car has been fitted with hand
controls (Cowal Mobility), a steering wheel spinner (Jeff Gosling) and easy
release handbrake (Alfred Bekker) all installed by KC Mobility of Batley, who
have as usual done a top notch job. On
this car the majority of the rods for the accelerator and brake have been
hidden behind the fascia underneath the steering wheel, making for a tidy and
comfortable install which works perfectly.
The C3 is very easy to drive with the 1.6 engine
providing plenty of power – it is a small light car. The auto gearbox, as is common on so many
cars nowadays, can be used as a pseudo manual, but left in auto mode it is very
smooth. The only downside this reviewer
can find is the steering. The C3 uses
electric power steering which is incredibly light. For some people this might be a good thing
and maybe even essential but personally I find it removes any feel for the road
surface. As is common it is important to
make sure the steering column is set correctly for the driver before the hand
controls are fitted as it is fixed in position once the install is done.
Both driver and front passenger get seats which are
adjustable for legroom, height and angle.
Rear passengers get 3 headrests and full 3 point seatbelts. All seats are comfortable though bear in mind
this is a small car and doesn’t have acres of space in the rear – tall people
might prefer to stick to the front.
As for features, the C3 is brimming with the latest
prerequisites. You have as standard on
the Exclusive a CD based MP3 player with built in Bluetooth handsfree for phone
calls and music streaming from compatible phones. You also get an auxiliary input in the form
of a 3.5mm jack and a USB input for either an iPod or USB stick.
There is full climate control, cruise control, speed
limiter and remote control for the stereo.
All doors have electric windows, automatic on the front and manual on
the rear. The rear doors also have an
electronic child safety system which prevents the doors and windows being
opened when active.
There is also a trip computer showing details of
estimated range remaining and the current and average MPG figures. This also has 2 separate sets of trip details
so different sets of figures can be obtained.
Perhaps one of the more unusual features of the C3 is the built in air
freshener which supplies a scent via the centre dashboard vents. This can be changed by buying the relevant
cartridge from your local Citroen dealer.
I can get my rigid wheelchair in the boot, but this
requires that the rear seat be folded down and the parcel shelf removed. My folding chair will go in with the wheels
and footrests removed and the back folded down but again this is purely down to
the size of the car.
On the outside the car looks good. It shares headlights, wings and bonnet with
the sportier Citroen DS3 so does have quite a macho look. I’m not usually a fan of lots of chrome on a
car but the C3 Exclusive comes with chrome trim at the bottom of the windows,
on the door handles, around the grille and at the bottom of the tailgate and it
does look pretty good.