I once rented a Citroen C3 to drive up to a football match and it wasn’t a happy experience.
The rental company were terrible and why I got the car it was rather uncomfortable for a long journey.
We lost 2-0 and hardly had a shot in anger, but I blame playing a right-back up front and not Citroen for that debacle.
So when I picked up the latest incarnation of Citroen’s supermini, I was interested to see what the 2019 version was like.
I especially wanted to know if had improved on long journeys – because I was going to do the bulk of this trip on motorways.
I had the C3 Flair Puretech S/S and was using it to go home to my mums – 250 miles away (and pre-lockdown please note) – then take four people back with me down to London.
I was worried about the lack of comfort in the older version I’d driven. There was a weird driving position, nowhere to put your arm and a confusing on board computer.
I needn’t have worried this time around.
I’m sure other superminis are faster and better looking, but for what I wanted the C3 was perfect.
The ride was smooth and – thank goodness – the seating position was comfortable and gave me a good view of the road.
I felt in control and even though I was on a motorway and it’s not the biggest it felt chunky and the 1.2litre engine is turbo-charged and has enough zip to get you out of any trouble.
But did I look good? (And essential question when you go and see your parents).
Well, yes. It’s certainly distinctive – everything is an oblong – wider than your average supermini and with lots of two-tone colour changes such as a red roof should you want it.
It doesn’t look like anything else on the market – and that’s a good thing.
Another good test of cars I bring home is ‘will my dad sit in it for 20 minutes pressing all the buttons?’.
He did – and this shows a certain level of interest in the look and the tech behind the C3.
You can have a glass roof for extra as well as 17″ alloys and keyless entry.
The trip back with four reasonably-sized people was again comfortable enough for all concerned. My friend is a touch over 6ft but had plenty of room in the front without encroaching on anyone in the back.
I wasn’t all good. One the first things I noticed made me jump out of my seat. Literally. Driving down an A-road a loud beep klaxon sounded.
Then again. Then again.
I eventually worked out it was to alert me to speed cameras either on the road I was driving or one adjacent to it.
And they were loud. It was like Chinese water torture waiting for them to come, and while I never worked out how to turn them off, I did manage to turn them down.
However every now and again, when I close my eyes… I can still hear them.
Another thing that weirded me out (just a little) was the inside blue trim on my red car. I couldn’t work out if it was a spray mistake or a little bit of French ‘flair’ – but it did little for my OCD.
But these were minor concerns.
Overall the ride, space – even for a supermini – and overall look of the car made me completely change my mind about the C3.
Oh, and when I was up there I went to the match.
The right-back was playing at, er, right back. Just like this Citroen C3 everything was in the right place.
And we won.
Citreon C3 Flair+ 110 manual
Engine: 1.2ltr (turbo charged)
0-62mph: 9.4 seconds
Fuel consumption: 61.4 mpg
Ford Fiesta 1.0 Zetec