The Citroen C3 lets passengers in the front seats get nice and comfortable, and there’s lots of stowage in the cabin, but some alternatives have more room in the back seat
Every Citroen C3 comes with a driver’s seat that adjusts for height and a steering wheel that moves for height and reach, so getting a comfortable driving position in the C3’s soft and squidgy sofa-like front seats isn’t a major problem.
Mid-range Feel models are worth upgrading to because they add electrically operated mirrors – which are easy to adjust when you’re buckled into your seat – and steering-wheel mounted stereo controls. But the height adjustable passenger seat available in the SEAT Ibiza isn’t even an option here.
The SEAT is also a better bet if you need a spacious back seat. Anyone over six-feet tall will brush their head on the Citroen C3’s curved roof and your passengers will also have less kneeroom than a Nissan Micra. Specifying the panoramic sunroof (£400 in Flair models or as part of a £525 pack in Feel cars) makes headroom tight even for those of an average height.
The Citroen C3’s saving grace is that with three in the back it doesn’t feel appallingly cramped for shoulder room, the big footwells have space for everybody’s feet and the middle seat itself is comfier than in alternative models.
Fitting a child seat isn’t a major hassle because the Citroen C3’s reasonably large doors give you good access to the back seat – although they don’t quite open 90 degrees – and the Isofix anchor points are easy to see.
Once you’ve got over the initial shock of the Citroen C3’s comically small glovebox (in right-hand drive models it houses the fusebox), you’ll find the Citroen’s interior storage is pretty good.
The front door pockets are massive – they’ll carry enough bottles of water to douse a campfire and even the smaller rear doors have space for a litre bottle of water. The insides of the door pockets are also painted white, so it’s easier to sift through all the junk you store in there.
On top of that, you get a tray for your phone and a couple of shelves that’ll take smaller items such as a wallet. There’re also a couple of cupholders in front of the gear shifter, although they’re too small for a litre bottle of water.
When Citroen gets so much clever stuff into the C3 - like painting the inside of the door pockets white - why do they take up so much space in the glovebox with the fuse box?
The Citroen C3’s 300-litre boot is about average for this size of car, being bigger than the Ford Fiesta’s (292 litres) and smaller than the SEAT Ibiza’s (355 litres). You won’t exactly be bowled away by features, though – the Citroen C3 gets hooks for keeping your shopping from spilling all over the place and tethers to tie your luggage down, but that’s about it.
Loading is a pain because you have to lift luggage over the boot’s tall load lip and an adjustable boot floor that would solve this problem isn’t an option. That said, the Citroen C3’s boot has space for everyday items such as a kid’s buggy, a set of golf clubs or a couple of suitcases.
For anything more, though, you’ll have to pull the levers on the back of the rear seats to fold them into the floor – increasing boot capacity to 922 litres. The Citroen C3 can take a decent load of boxes, suitcases and soft bags, or you can get a bike in without having to take its wheels off. That said, loading is hampered again by the high boot lip and also by the hump in the boot floor that’s left when you fold away the seats.
On the upside, the rear bench splits 60:40 so you can carry up to two rear seat passengers and have something long poking in from the boot.