2006 Citroen C3 Pluriel 1600 Sensodrive from UK and Ireland - Comments

14th Mar 2007, 17:27

I have had my Pluriel for 3 years now, and it has been perfect, until last week. It has suddenly taken to stopping in traffic and not restarting; VERY VERY SCARY!! It has been towed 4 times this week, and every time the dealers looked at it, no fault is too be found. But yet the car does it again? Can anyone maybe tell me if this is something they have come across, what the fault is, so I can get my car back on the road, as all this aside, I love this car.

8th Jul 2007, 06:52

We bought a Citroen Pluriel a couple of months ago. It had only 850 miles on clock so new and under warranty. We have had to take it back to the dealer 3 times now because of water leaking into boot. This was noted the first time when we had left the car in an airport car park for a week with an overnight bag in the boot, only to return to a very wet bag and clothing. Has anyone else had similar problem. The car is due to go back again next week and although we have been pleased in every other respect, this is unacceptable and the last chance to remedy, but would be interested to know if this is a design fault.

20th Sep 2008, 13:52

I've learned some things from reading this site. My Pluriel bought from Citroen West London in summer 2005 and now out of warranty has had gearbox problems ever since I bought it. I took it back a couple of months after purchase because the gear change was so rough I was worried would damage the transmission. They downloaded new software which improved it hugely. It still changes gear far too slowly and I suspect it always will - that's just a function of the mechanical design. Somehow the gearbox feels like Citroen's new graduate intake designed it as a training project.

It's always occasionally put itself into snow mode (I didn't realise that's what it was until reading this site). Returning home to London from the Cotswolds this evening it got worse and worse as I went round Chiswick roundabout in heavy traffic. By the time I reached home it wouldn't engage gear at all. I'll try the 30 seconds on the footbrake next time, though I doubt that will please other road users.

It's obviously a common problem. What are Citroen doing about it???

Other than that I've not had many problems. Recently the gearbox has become reluctant to change from 3rd to 4th and I note someone else also mentioned that. The speed warning system (the one that bleeps when you exceed a preset speed) got stuck and bleeped whenever I moved off from rest. I've had several Citroens in the past. Although this is not a particularly well built car and not as pleasant to drive as my Toyota Yaris, I like its quirkiness. It's cheap, fun open air motoring.

19th Jan 2009, 12:49

Can you drive a Citroen Pluriel with a senso drive gearbox, on a driving licence for only automatics?

Thank you, Thomas Jervis.

21st Jan 2009, 17:06

I am on my 2nd SensoDrive Citroen. My 1st was an 2005 05 Reg C3 1.6i 16v Exclusive SensoDrive and I now have an 2008 08 Reg C2 1.6i 16v VTR SensoDive and both cars have been brilliant.

I love the SensoDrive and wouldn't want to go back to a fully Automatic Transmission car unless I had no choice.

How ever my brothers 2006 55 Reg C3 1.6i 16v Exclusive SensoDrive (Restyle) has been a nightmare since week one.

25th May 2009, 13:14

I have owned and driven many Citroen models from the '60s and '70s and been very happy with them.

My 18 month old C3 Pluriel is a car that I have become distinctly ambivalent about. I really do love the open-air experience, but the standard of engineering leaves a lot to be desired.

The worst failing is that damn gearbox. The manufacturers would have been much better advised to use a standard manual gearbox (or even a more traditional automatic). The software governing that "sensodrive" system is a pain in the ass at best and downright dangerous at worst. It is very unnerving to be left stranded in the middle in an intersection with a 65-ton truck bearing down on you, while you have your foot down on the accelerator and the car waiting around praying to Mecca or something.

In fully-automatic mode, the gearbox is incapable of making rational selections when under any kind of load; if I am going up even the slightest incline and I need to overtake or keep up with surrounding traffic, the system will usually insist in slugging through at least 2 (very slow) gear changes before arriving at a final decision. Plenty of time to get cleaned up by surrounding traffic.

So I now tend to only use the manual-select gearbox mode. Unfortunately, this has its own gotcha: there is a tendency for it to disengage the clutch when changing up from 2nd to 3rd or from 3rd to 4th. Apart from being quite seriously embarrassing, this also dangerous. The service agents refuse to admit any fault.

Setting transmission issues aside, I have now discovered a serious issue with the brakes. There is a judder/shimmy effect coming from the front brakes when applied at high (90kph+) speed, apparently due to distorted discs. Given that (a) the car has only done 32000 km and (b) I am not a driver given to overloading brake systems, I find it unacceptable that this situation should require replacement (at my expense) of the discs rather than machining. The tolerances Citroen has applied represent an over-zealous effort at trimming costs.

The roof has taken quite a lot of getting used to. The basic motor-driven winding back of the flexible part works well, and the back windscreen is easily flipped under the boot compartment.

Getting the roof back up again is a different matter. I have evolved a technique of latching the back windscreen back up one corner at a time, since (a) it won't work any other way and (b) the service agents yet again refuse to admit that there is any fault.

All in all, this is very much a fun car but with such serious engineering deficiencies that I believe this will be the last Citroen I will ever own.

23rd Apr 2010, 02:55

I have had my Citroen C3 Pluriel for just under two years, I got it from nearly new (it was an ex display and had been driven by their sales assistant). Since having it, it has been into the garage 3 times.

First was when it sprung a very attractive leak in the front of my car, due to the seal on both the driver and passenger sides needing replacing. So I took it in, they diagnosed the problem, said they didn't have the parts, and would call me when they did.

So I waited a good 4 weeks, and rang them to be told that they had had the part for 3 weeks, so I took it in to have seals replaced, and all was well.

About 3 months ago, the car started to over rev in every gear. Not very helpful, so I took it back in to the garage, to be told that the clutch had gone.

The car is still under warranty, and has less than 13,000 on the clock.

Apparently clutches ain't covered by the warranty, and it is due to wear and tear. To get it fixed is going to cost me £1,000.

I am never getting a Citroen again; their customer care is shocking, and their cars leave a lot to be desired.