Citroen C3 Pluriel – 2003

The iconic all-purpose Citroen 2CV had a roll-back roof that was ideal when its owner wanted to take a sheep to market, and the 2CV’s modern great-grandchild has inherited the feature — though it’s unlikely that much livestock will be transported in the three-door Pluriel. This is a chic, cheap and cheerful way to experience open-top motoring. The roof can be a sunroof, retracted fully to create a convertible, or removed altogether (along with supporting bars) to make a true roadster.

There are three engines — two petrol versions at 1.4 and 1.6 litres, plus a 1.4 litre diesel. The small petrol engine is the choice for town driving, the diesel is ideal for long runs or general cruising and the larger petrol engine is for those who like a little oomph. The latter comes with a SensoDrive semi-automatic gearbox controlled by paddles behind the steering wheel.

In truth, the Pluriel is best suited to urban work where a high driving position, responsive power steering and small size make light of city traffic, whilst parking is a breeze and ABS is on hand to help when that rogue taxi cuts in. There’s little boot space, but enough for a pile of supermarket shopping if the top’s up. Kids fit the back seats perfectly, though adults find them a squeeze. Things aren’t quite so good on the open road where there’s body flex with the top down, plus intrusive wind noise.

No modern manufacturer can resist the temptation to boost sales by introducing different models and special editions. So it is with the Pluriel. The base model is joined by the Exclusive (two-or three-door, including the 1.6 litre performance model), Cote D’Azur (two- or three-door, also including the 1.6 litre option) and special editions like the Latte, Kiwi, Code and Charleston.






1,360 cc or 1,587 cc Straight Four; 1,398 cc Straight Four Diesel


With 1.6 l engine – top speed of 117 mph (188 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 12.2 secs


If the sun is shining and you can’t resist the temptation to turn the Pluriel into a roadster to feel the wind in your hair, be warned  there’s nowhere to stow the roof, so if a sudden shower looks like developing look for a bridge to park under.


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