2005 Citroen C3 Sensodrive Stop Start 1.4 16V petrol from UK and Ireland
Enjoyable drive, pity about the short lifespan and poor reliability
"Stop start faulty"
It started with "Stop start faulty" soon after I bought the car, so I drove with it switched off from then on.
After 14 months in April 2014, I'd used the car to go to a client's, and parked normally. When I returned to the car, I started it up and had the dreaded "snowflake" symbol on the dash with all the lights flashing.
The first call to my breakdown organisation. After an aborted attempt with a Citroen dealer who proved that they knew nothing about this type of car, I had it collected by another garage.
Result, new clutch and reflash the ECU software. The first 1,000 cost.
17 months later in November 2015, I was off to a client, stopped at traffic lights on level ground, handbrake on, in neutral. The lights changed, I selected "A" or "Drive" and "Gearbox fault". Didn't select any gear.
Had it collected by the garage that fixed it the first time.
Result, new clutch and actuator. The next 1,000 cost.
Just recently I had the "Gearbox fault" and "Stop start faulty".
Is it time to write off the car?
I've really enjoyed driving this car.
I've followed the instructions, always use the handbrake, even on small inclines.
Yes the all or nothing clutch takes a bit of getting used to. Yes there's a gap between gear changes, and the gear change can be counter intuitive to the road and driving conditions.
Roundabouts can be fun too as it tries to pull away in 2nd gear. This requires a manual shift down to 1st with the paddle.
The paddles are well situated, unlike the Smart where they're on the steering wheel on some models.
It's comfortable for long journeys.
The boot is excellent, big enough for the stuff I have to carry.
It's economical, turning in 44 MPG on long journeys and about 35 in town traffic.
Visibility is good, road holding OK.
The trouble is that it's unreliable.
I have the full service history from new from previous owners and it didn't give many problems in the first seven years.
The only conclusion I'm left with is the life of this type of car is about 7 years (assuming it survives the first year of ownership).
I made a mistake buying an 8 year low mileage automatic car.
I'm currently looking for a more conventional automatic to replace this one.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 5th October, 2016