2003 Citroen C3 Desire 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Good looking, roomy, economical, cheap materials used, too many faults need addressing


Vinyl trim on doors split, seals on headlights failed, screen washers failed, reverse gear very difficult to get, headlights failed. Upholstery began to wear within 1 week of purchase. Window electrics will open the windows, but not close them.

General Comments:

The car is spacious, and very useful as a run around. It takes a lot of items in the spacious boot, and is great when the back seats are folded down for holding a great deal of stuff.

The upholstery is terrible, it began to "pill" within days of purchase as a brand new car. It is virtually unclean-able, showing marks where any cleaning has been attempted.

The vinyl trim split around the drivers window, and had to be replaced. It has now split again.

The windscreen washers have failed, causing yet another expensive trip to the dealers.

The headlights failed, and after Citroen repaired them, the seals failed.

Reverse gear is terribly difficult to get, and can sometimes take up to 5 minutes or more of attempts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th February, 2008

2003 Citroen C3 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Good average runabout, no fun or sport


At around 1000 miles the power steering failed, at this time the car was still under warranty and was promptly fixed by the dealer. The car is virtually undrivable without power steering especially to someone with low upper body strength. In this case the car was recovered to the dealer.

At around 25000 miles the gear box suffered a failure, the car was still drivable, but would not go into a couple of the gears. Again the car was under warranty, it would have been expensive if not.

General Comments:

The car is fairly sterile to drive with average handling comfort and quality. If I was nit picking I would say the gear box is a bit rubbery and over weighted and fabric lining on the doors is only glued straight onto the plastic door lining, as a result it has started to peel off.

I expected a bit more power from a 1.4 car of this size, the engine does not like to be laboured at low revs and stalls easily, and the pickup has a bit of a flat spot until you get to around 3500 revs then it flies. This can catch you by surprise when trying to pull away quickly because below 3000 rpm your in the flat spot zone. Drives a lot like a turbo diesel before and after turbo kicks in.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th January, 2007

2003 Citroen C3 SX 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


I have fixed a problem where my C3 SX loses power, caused by misfiring on 3 cylinders. The misfire only ever showed up on the day after driving in heavy rain, usually on the motorway. I investigated and found that the problem is caused by rainwater leaking through the bonnet (under the drivers side windscreen washer jet) and dripping straight onto the fuel injectors.

Fix the problem by sealing around the jet under the bonnet using silicon sealant.

Maybe Citroen have sorted this problem out since 2003 but I would advise all C3 owners to check if their car is affected by this problem. If left unchecked it may lead to problems with the coil pack and ECU.

General Comments:

C3 Ignition Misfire. Please read.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2006

1st Jul 2013, 20:17

I have just had the same problem, & wish I had read this review about the water getting in & corroding the coil. It has been in the workshop for a month, & he finally found what was wrong as I rang with the solution. I'm so happy to have the car back today!

Keep up the reviews.

Regards, Glenda

2003 Citroen C3 Exclusive Panoramique 1.4 8v from Australia and New Zealand


Reliable, trouble-free motoring


Automatic gearbox is very clunky

Hesitates when cold

Climate control makes terrible "clunk" sound

Driver's seat squab has deformed over time.

General Comments:

Other than a few minor issues, the car has been very sound.

I wish that the car had more power - 0-100 km/h is a very leisurely 18s or so. For the slowness, it should use a little less petrol - it's barely more fuel efficient than my old car, a turbo Beetle which is more than twice as fast zero to 100.

Unlike the Beetle, this car has been very reliable and has all the things you want in a car. As this meets my needs for motoring, I would buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2005