Citroen C3 1.6 HDi Airdream plus 5dr review

Excellent real world economy

June 2010

picture of car from the front picture of car from the rear picture of car interior picture of car detail

Overall rating

4 out of 5 stars


  • Excellent real world economy
  • Sharp styling inside and out
  • Excellent visibility
  • Decent rear legroom


  • Not the slickest gearbox in the class
  • Very small glovebox
  • Slightly spongy cornering character
  • Fiddly entertainment controls spoil excellent control layout

As is now common-place in the compact hatchback segment, Citroen has developed a high efficiency version of the new C3 model with the aim of avoiding road tax charges for customers. The 99g/km CO2 producing C3 Airdream+ competes with similarly emitting small hatchback models from rival manufacturers.

An-ultra low-emissions model is a must have for manufacturer's serious about making a dent in the compact hatchback segment, and with the new C3 model already boasting strong credentials in the sector it was a natural move for Citroen to introduce such a model. The C3 Airdream+ is the French manufacturer's first sub-100g/km CO2 emitting vehicle.

The excellent emissions and related fuel consumption figures are achieved through the use of a detuned version of the 1.6-litre 16-valve HDi unit, producing 90bhp. Combined with a longer-geared five-speed manual transmission and Michelin energy-saving tyres the unit still proves more than capable of offering respectable acceleration and performance. A diesel particulate filter is also employed.

Similarly, the Airdream+ variant is not frugally equipped, instead being based on the mid-level VTR+ model, but adding reversing sensors, Bluetooth and a USB input to the specification. Air-con, electric windows and trip computer are all standard, too.

The Airdream+ also benefits from the key features of the rest of the range, including a recessed dash design that allows for greater legroom for front and rear passengers, the huge Zenith windscreen which provides excellent visibility and a light, airy feel and the most spacious boot in its class.

Our verdict on the Citroen C3 1.6 HDi Airdream+ 5dr

An excellent all-round package, the C3's appeal is enhanced in Airdream+ form through a well-judged combination of efficiency and specification. Owners will certainly not feel short-changed in either department and impressive refinement and respectable performance and road manners seal the deal.