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Citroen C3 VTI 95 and Renault Clio TCE 100 in the driving report

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Citroen C3 VTI 95 and Renault Clio TCE 100 in the test
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G ants so indomitable, as the Asterix & Co would like us to believe, they are not the Gauls. The classic features of their cars - practical everyday and extremely comfortable, but somewhat casually cobbled together - have long since been shelved. Today, like everywhere else, it is primarily about high quality. Products from Germany are primarily considered to be role models when it comes to manufacturing perfection.

With the panorama roof, the Citroën C3 offers a convertible feeling

The Citroen C3 , the youngest offspring of the Citroën company that has become legendary thanks to ingenious designs, is no exception. After all, he can afford the stylistic gag of a huge panoramic glass roof for an additional charge. When the headliner with the two sun visors is pushed back, this creates an unusual feeling of space - almost like in a convertible. 400 euro crazy idea, some will say. We think: if Citroën, then also correctly. And we don't forget that the clarity of the new C3 body, despite the huge glass surface in those areas where it is really important, that of the Renault Clio is inferior.

The Citroen C3 looks modern and stylish

When maneuvering and parking, it is easier to estimate the boundaries of the body. The effort to create the impression of a big one in a small car is also demonstrated by the design of the Citroen -interiors. The dashboard cut out on the right side gives the front passenger air. He can push his seat far forward, which will benefit any rear occupants. The entire interior of the Citroën C3 looks modern and stylish, but also presents an appealing quality of material and workmanship.

Comfortable seats are offered by Renault Clio and Citroën C3

Renault's successful small car, the Clio, is comparatively conservative and sober. After the design escapades of the recent past, Renault has found a very matter-of-fact style - tooas far as the design of the interior is concerned. The visual impression is misleading. As for the ergonomics of the controls, the Citroën is clearly better. In the Renault Clio, not only one driver despaired of operating the standard navigation system in this variant. Both offer comfortable seats, in the rear of the Citroën C3 you can enjoy a little more freedom of movement due to the larger interior width. But these are just nuances, as are the differences in the volume of the luggage compartments.

Long journeys are not recommended with the Citroën C3

Both can be extended in the usual way by folding down the rear seat back for the transport of bulky objects . We are on the move, and there are now differences between the two competitors that can have a lasting impact on a possible purchase decision. The Citroën, that is the first impression, presents the typical comfort à la française. Its suspension mainly swallows small bumps with great suppleness. Strong vertical movements of the body only occur when long-stroke bumps are present, which show that with a short wheelbase and simple chassis construction, which is common in this class, no miracles can be achieved. Even so, the Citroën C3 remains a car that can make a long journey a stress-free pleasure.

The Renault Clio is as handy as a weasel

The Renault Clio plays a contrast program that couldn't be more clear. The Renault Clio unmistakably that dynamic driving characteristics are more important to him than soft suspension comfort. It drives as handy as a weasel, with precise steering and only slight body movements when changing direction quickly. It's fun as long as the road is in an even, ideal condition. But when the rough reality comes up in the form of bumps, the pleasure comes to an abrupt end. The tightly designed suspension is simply overwhelmed, bumps come through smoothly and hard. Even on the highway, the Clio does not come to rest, but plagues its occupants with constant small vertical movements. Rear passengers who sit near the particularly shock-sensitive rear axle suffer from this. The Citroën, with its very strong power-assisted steering, which, especially in the lower speed range, gives little feeling for the road surface, is not as active as the Renault, but is no less safe.

More pulling power with the Renault Clio

In extreme situations it does not show any insidious reactions, although the ESP is as well-dosed as in the Renaultintervenes so that driving errors within what is physically possible do not have any serious consequences. The brakes ensure good deceleration in both cases and take very high loads calmly - with slight advantages for the sporty Renault. It also has the modern-looking engine technology. Under the hood sits a very modest four-cylinder with a displacement of just 1.2 liters, which is boosted by turbo charging. The result: more power and more torque than the engine of the Citroën C3, which starts without supercharging but with a larger displacement. The differences in the measured values ​​may appear small, but the driving impression speaks its own language. The Turbo of the Renault Clio gives more of the feeling of sturdy pulling power.

Both French afford a fairly high test consumption

The damping effect of the charger in the exhaust tract is also reflected in an unobtrusive run of the four-cylinder noticeable, which only causes a noticeable humming noise when fully turned off. The Citroën four-cylinder looks less powerful and is more acoustically present. Especially at high speed, because the Citroën C3 has just as little as the Renault Clio a long sixth gear and is therefore traveling at relatively high speed. Last but not least, this results in consumption values ​​in both cases that are acceptable, but really not exemplary. On this point, a new Citroën should be much more avant-garde. Because in real life, it's not just the Renault Clio that needs to be beaten.


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