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Citroen C3 VTi 120 in the test: successor to the Saxo STV

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Citroen C3 VTi 120 in the test
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Back then we combined red jeans with green sweatshirts, we found it very tasty, and our hero was called C itroen Saxo VTS - 118 hp, one ton, zero hundred in eight, two hundred and five Vaumax. Whereby the gaudy driving performance in combination with the load change-active chassis forced the insurance companies to maximize liability and fully comprehensive premiums of the VTS - to 6,000 marks per year.

So the little Citroën are probably behind their wild years

14 years later, the Citroen C3 VTi 120 in view of its wild ancestor almost to shame that it is classified as low in liability as a Mercedes A 160 CDI - an 82-hp diesel that is not really for its blatant hip -Factor is known to young drivers. Incidentally, the fully comprehensive insurance of the Citroen is at the same level as the also rather unrocked Dacia Sandero 1.4. So the little Citroën probably have their wild years behind them. Its performance, which is still considerable for its size, does not change that. The surcharge for the 95 hp 1.4 liter petrol engine to the 1,600 with 120 hp is 1,000 euros. The two engines not only power a large part of the PSA range, but also Mini One and Cooper.

The Citroen C3 can be rewarded for its temperament

In the case of the more powerful machine, there should be no lack of dynamic performance. However, the differences are not very dramatic. The 1.6-liter accelerates to 100 km /h by just under a second, takes two seconds faster in fifth gear from 80 to 120 km /h and runs a maximum of six km /h faster at 190. Yes, in the past with the Citroen Saxo VTS, we would have torn the dry upper lip fluff and stylized the differences into worlds. Today we are annoyed by the fact that the VTi 120 can be compensated for the clearly noticeable, but meager gain in temperament for 25 additional hp with an extra consumption of 0.8 liters /100 km - and thus significantly more than the 0.1 liters, which the ECE standard specifies.

There is only a five-speed gearbox for the Citroën C3

A justification forthe generally high values ​​can be found in the gear ratio of the Citroën C3. Because unlike a VW Polo 1.2 TSI with a slightly superior performance (test consumption 6.6 L /100 km), the Citroen C3 only a five-speed box. Like that of the 95 hp version, it can be switched exactly, but it is too short: at 130 km /h, the engine turns at just under 4,000 rpm. After all, the very good elasticity of the gearshift indicator means that you don't even have to warn you to shift down in fourth gear uphill at 30 km /h, but only to have to warn you to shift up. On the other hand, the high speed level has a considerable negative impact on driving comfort, especially on the motorway. There are also small weaknesses in the suspension, it no longer handles short bumps as well as it does at a slower speed.

The Citroën C3 wants to be a grown-up and serious car

The variable power assistance of the steering also proves to be not quite balanced: it enables it maneuvering the Citroën C3 into parking spaces with one finger and requires minimal steering effort at city speed, but irritates at higher speeds with its sluggish response. All of this is known from the 95-PS-C3 as well as the driving characteristics: very safe, but not particularly agile. The Citroën C3 does not want to be a road sweeper, but a mature and serious car. And it is, a pleasant one, but despite, not because of the more powerful engine. The Citroën C3 (Citroen C3 in the driving report) is not celebrating a VTS revival with him either. But probably the ancestor - like red jeans and green sweatshirts - is one of those things that are better glorified in good memories than relived.


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