AFTER writing about cars for many years two of my all time greats are the quirky Citroen 2CV and the fabulous futuristic Citroen DS which were produced at a time when the famous French manufacturer had a reputation for producing cars that were different and very desirable.
Sadly like many manufacturers Citroen went on to enter an era when their cars lacked flair and became less interesting but I have good news for Citroen now part of the PSA Group is again producing cars that now have real style and are different from their rivals.
One of my new favourites is the Citroen Cactus and I have just been driving another new Citroen with some of that special styling appeal that instantly attracts admirers the new C3.
The latest C3 is a bit of a chip off the old block for it has a similarity to the larger Cactus but unfortunately does not have a name which is a feature I like but I am prepared to overlook this because the 2017 C3 is a car with bags of flair that should do very well in dealer showroooms.
My test car had the natty plastic Airbump panels on each side like the Cactus that not only look cool but prevent damage to the four doors and the white car also had a red roof that added to its overall appeal.
It was the C3 Flair PT 110 costing £15,995 which was powered by the 1.2-litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol 110bhp engine that had a top speed of 117mph a zero to 62mph time of 9.3 seconds with a combined fuel consumption of 61.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 103g/km.
The test car was also fitted with Citroen's ConnectedCAM wide angle forward facing HD camera behind the rear view mirror which can take photos or videos that can be shared via social media and it also operates as a conventional dashcam in the event of an on road accident.
This is a first and should have big appeal to gadget minded motorists and of course it is an extremely useful feature because of it being able to provide evidence regarding accidents which I understand has already occurred after a new C3 was involved in a minor incident with another vehicle.
I liked the well designed and comfortable interior especially the instrumention which included an easy to see digital speedometer as well as the conventional speedo and the large touchscreen which also features as a reversing camera was very user friendly and easy to see and use in all driving conditions.
New C3 has one of the most spacious cabins in the supermini sector with more legroom than in the previous model with a 300 litre boot that will easily accommodate most shopping and holiday requirements.
There was also an enjoyable driving experience with the three pot power unit providing a lively output for all situations with excellent handling especially on my favourite bendy and steep Peak District roads with the multi function on board computer showing the average fuel consumption was around 40mpg.
It was difficult finding anything to criticise and the new C3 should do well for Citroen in this hotly contested sector where the competition includes rivals such as the Fiesta, Corsa and Polo.
As I said earlier Citroen is again producing distinctive cars with flair and imagination much like those good old days and the latest C3 is a perfect example of this French renaissance.
Model: New Citroen C3 Flair PT 110.
Engine: 1.2-litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol.
Transmission: Five speed manual.
Top speed: 117mph. Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 9.3 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 61.4 mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 103g/km.