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Citroen C3 1.6 HDI Exclusive long-term test review

By the CAR road test team

Long Term Tests

21 July 2010 09:26

21 July 2010 – The Citroën C3

Your friendly Citroën dealer will tell you all about the amazing ‘rollover’ windscreen on the C3. It’s a truly epic bit of recalibration of the glass/bodywork relationship, bringing a whole lot more sunshine into your life. All you have to do is manually retract the front bit of the rooflining and hey presto, sky! Clever.

As with everything decent, however, there are downsides. The aforementioned front bit of the rooflining also holds the sun visors, so you can’t have the roof ‘open’ if the sun’s in your eyes. ‘Yes you can,’ your Citroën dealer will say. ‘The glass is tinted.’ This is true, but not enough.

Still, such a funky, likeable gimmick has to be applauded, and I’ve enjoyed telling people about it during six months or so running the C3. It’s the car’s USP – the stand-out feature you find yourself mentioning when quizzed. The real catch, however, is not the sun visor thing – it’s the simply staggering cost of replacing the windscreen. A standard C3 screen? Around £126.00, say Auto Windscreens. The ‘zenith’ screen on this C3? Between £591.00 and £620.00.

Oh. My. God.

Suddenly your dealer’s chirpy patter sounds like a hollow echo, his proclamations of great value motoring freeze in mid-air before crashing to the floor. My first Citroën Saxo cost me less than the price of a new windscreen on its spiritual successor. And that’s too high a price to pay for a gimmick, no matter how likeable.

Still like the car though.

By Greg Fountain



 Previous reports

 

 

 

 

Logbook

 

Total mileage

 6494 miles

 

Overall mpg

 49.0

 

Fuel costs

 £98.66

 

Other costs

 None

 

Highs

 The bright, airy cabin...

 

Lows

 ... hoping we don't smash the Zenith panoramic windscreen!