2006 Citroen C3 Pluriel 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Great idea, loads of fun, but of dubious build quality and overly complex with critical systems


This 2006 Pluriel is stationed in Airlie Beach, Queensland.

The starter motor had to be replaced at about 50,000 kms (it was full of "clutch dust").

Carpet and some trim and mouldings fit is poor.

Plastics are very flimsy.

There are many rattles.

The seat back / recliner levers are tricky to use.

Car will not start first time if left for more than a couple of hours, and always requires a second attempt under these circumstances.

Gear change from 3 to 4 in Automatic mode has become slower in recent months.

Latest, serious issue from a reliability perspective is that the car has suddenly decided not to start, presumably because of a gearbox / gear selection issue.

The car was running fine until one evening last week, but next morning "nothing"...

Symptoms are as follows:

- Approach the car, unlock the door with the remote, and a "whirring" / "cycling" sound comes from under the bonnet (near gearbox?) and lasts for about ten seconds, then there is a soft "click", also from under bonnet area.

- If the passenger door is opened, the same sounds are heard.

- There is a "- - AUTO" display in the top RH corner of the dash display.

- There is no "click" / "click" of gear ratios engaging when the lever is moved between slots.

- The gearbox appears to be stuck in Auto and the car can be moved, even if the lever is shifted into a Manual gear.

- The handbook procedure for "re-initialising the sensodrive gearbox" after a "system malfunction" or battery replacement" does NOT work.

- The "SERV" indicator comes on at the end of about 60 seconds of trying.

- The Economy Mode has cut in so the diagnostics cannot be interrogated without re-starting the engine (nice one, Citroen!).

- Fuses have been checked and the battery taken out and fully charged in case it was low (unlikely given that the car was running well).

- The re-initialisation process has not worked when tried again.

- A borrowed, contemporary diagnostic unit was plugged into the diagnostic port and linked to Citroen C3 Pluriel Data, but showed "no faults".

- The car is effectively stranded.

The nearest Citroen Dealer is three hours away by Road in Townsville, North Queensland, so I have a real logistics problem.

Can anyone suggest what might be the cause, seemingly electrical it would seem?

General Comments:

A great idea, novel configuration, "funky" but flawed.

What a shame.

I also own a 2004 model Pluriel for use in South Australia, and this has cost a fortune to repair (two failed window regulators etc. just after the warranty expired, but with no help forthcoming from Citroen).

It is well known that the regulators were faulty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th August, 2011

7th Jan 2012, 17:09

Sorry to hear of the problems you are having with your Citroen.

Unless you owe money on the car, I would suggest selling it now. Tow it to a car dealer, be honest with them about the car's problems, and get what you can for it. I don't know what else to suggest.

11th Oct 2013, 07:31

Same thing happened to me with regards to the auto gearbox etc... EXACTLY the same scenario.

I am off to get a new battery this pm, as I think that this may be the problem... I have faith ! :-)

2006 Citroen C3 Pluriel Cote d'Azur 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A car with so much character you forgive its faults



General Comments:

I love the look of the Pluriel, it really is a modern day 2CV. It looks great roof up or down.

The 1400 engine is nippy and economical, returning an average 43 MPG motorway / urban driving.

A bit slow on hills, but it's OK if you use the gears at the right time and keep the revs up.

Does not inspire swift driving. It's no sports car, more of a tourer.

Series 2 cars built after 2005 address the earlier leaking issues with revised roof seals that work!

Spider mode (side bars removed) makes you smile and turns heads, and with some practice you can convert it in under 5 minutes.

Manual gearbox is great, no sensodrive hassles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2009