The new Citroen C3 has inherited the styling of its crossover cousin, the C4 Cactus, making it a more appealing prospect for those younger drivers who need a funky yet practical car.

Against the backdrop of a beautiful winter day, we took out the compact car for a drive around the coast and then through some busy roads and out in the country – that way, we could test the car in various contexts.

Inspired by the air-bump covered C4 Cactus, the Citroen C3 is cute and packs plenty of style credentials – but it isn’t just a pretty face. It’s comfortable, easy-to-drive and comes with a great engine range. Moreover, it’s right up to date with some unique features, including the option of a built-in dash camera.

Despite its compact size, the C3 has a spacious cabin along with a decent luggage space and plenty of storage nooks and crannies. Both front and rear leg-room are comfortable, even with a tall passengers up front, and the head-room is generous too. Access is good thanks to the five-door body.

The engine and cabin noise are kept to a minimum, whether you go for the petrol or diesel engine offerings

The 300-litre boot is plenty for shopping trips and luggage, but as expected buggies might be a squeeze but manageable.

On the road the C3 offers a very comfortable and smooth ride. The engine and cabin noise are kept to a minimum, whether you go for the petrol or diesel engine offerings. The handling is pretty sharp for a small hatchback – step on the gas pedal on a winding road and the C3 will surprise you with great road holding and very little roll.

The driving position is well designed and thought out – the seating is comfortable and the driver enjoys a commanding position, with clear visibility all around – this adds to the driver’s confidence and safety.

You can customise a C3 with various contrasting roof colours, air bumps and door mirror caps – but on most trim levels the air bumps are optional.

If you’re interested in style, comfort and a sporty drive, then the Citroen C3 is a great choice of small hatchback.

It’s surprisingly practical, with a spacious, airy cabin, plus it’s reasonably priced and should prove affordable to run.

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