Citroën ë-C3 review: at under £22,000 it’s cheap as well as cheerful

It's a jolly thing to drive, too. At 1,090kg it has gained 90kg over the previous C3, but more importantly it's 304kg lighter than the EV version and it shows, with a softer and more supple ride quality which gives the hydraulic bump stops a better chance to maintain body control.

The Telegraph verdict

Comfortable and fun, the e-C3 has something of French rival Renault's budget marque Dacia about it; appropriate technology, we used to call it. Its designers and engineers have learned from the cars they designed for less well-off folk in developing nations, but rather than merely aping those practices they have adapted them for more sophisticated European tastes as well as suiting them for Europe's more stringent safety and environmental requirements.

And they've built it in Europe, which makes it arguably a more ethical choice than the cars bashed out in China and then offered to us by so-called legacy manufacturers. It might not be the smallest of small cars, but if this is as small as it gets with a half decent range, then it will have to do. Five stars then?

I'm not going to stick my neck out until I've seen the industry-standard NCAP crash test results, but for the moment it merits a very comfortable four stars.

The facts

On test: Citroen e-C3 Body style: five-door B-segment EV hatchback On sale: orders open in July for delivery at the end of the year

How much? from GBP21,105 (GBP21,935 as tested in Max trim) How fast?

84mph, 0-62mph in 11sec How economical?

4.5mpkWh (WLTP Combined), 2.81mkWh on test Electric powertrain: single AC electric motor driving the front wheels via a step-down gearing, 44kWh gross (43.7kWh useable) LFP battery, front-wheel drive.

7.4kW standard onboard charger, (11kW option) and up to 100kW DC fast charging capable of a 20-80 per cent charge in 26 mins Range: 199 miles (123 miles on test)

Maximum power/torque: 113bhp/192 lb ft CO2 emissions: 0g/km (tailpipe), 28.4g/km (well-to-wheel) VED: GBP0

Warranty: three years/60,000 miles (eight years/100,000 miles for the battery)

The rivals

Dacia Spring

from GBP14,995