ON THE ROAD: CITROEN has rediscovered its mojo in recent years and the C3 is further evidence of that.

Undeniably cool, definitely different it provides stiff visual competition for more established marques.

Our car's almond green paint-job might not have been my first choice, but it grew on me nevertheless.

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Powered by a 1.6 litre turbo-charged diesel engine, it puts out 110bhp and has a shade over 151lb/ft of torque.

Nought to 62mph was achieved in 10.6 seconds and it has a top speed of 115mph.

Where the C3 shades it for style, it is perhaps beaten by its rivals for ride quality.

Not the type of car you should drive with gay abandon, the C3 behaves itself in corners if you work within reasonable parameters. The steering is, however, a little numb.

ON THE INSIDE: THE design of the interior is modern and clear. Buttons are kept to a minimum and though the colour scheme is a little on the dark side, there are inserts to brighten things up. The seats aren't the most supportive I have ever sat in, but they afford a decent view of the road ahead. Vision out of the sides is good, but the rear view is a little restricted - parking sensors and a reversing camera came in useful as a consequence.

WHAT DO YOU GET: STANDARD equipment includes multi-function on board trip computer, gear efficiency indicator, lane departure warning, coffee break alert, remote central locking, immobiliser, automatic air conditioning, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, electric windows, Citroen Connect DAB radio with six speakers, media streaming with USB socket and jack, 7ins touchscreen, Bluetooth hands free system and steering mounted controls. Additionally, bi-tone onyx black roof, wheel arch extensions, airbump and coloured surround, wheel arch extensions, tinted rear windows, hill start assist, rear split-folding seats, urban red ambience, LED daytime runnings lights and front fog lights.

HOW PRACTICAL IS IT: THE C3 provides well in terms of front seat space, but room in the rear is compromised by the design of the roof. Tall people may find their heads brushing against the lining. There's room for two in the back and three at a squeeze. With the split-folding rear seats up there is 300 litres of space in the boot, which is welcome. Drop them and this increases to 922 litres, however, they do not fold completely flat.

RUNNING COSTS: CITROEN say it should be possible to get 76.3mpg on the combined cycle from our car. We managed somewhat less in the rear world. CO2 emissions are below the magic 100, coming in at 95g/km.

VERDICT: SMART and desirable, but others drive better.

ALTERNATIVES: FORD Fiesta, Skoda Fabia