MOTORISTS can sometimes be fickle when it comes to cars.
Driving the new Citroen C3 drew comments left, right and centre and most were along the sentiments of: "I love your car!" ... so that was cool.
The thing is, they weren't actually talking about the car per se, but one of the stunning colours it comes in.
Think bubble-gum milkshake, powder blue ... a bit gay? Definitely! But I loved it!
We all know how the French like to do things differently, and the C3 is no exception. The Zenith window is one such feature. Basically an extended windscreen that enables you to catch a tan during the day and stargaze at night. Apart from that it's more of a cosmetic gimmick.
Seating is a combination of suede and cloth, while the carbon-fibre-like strip and "slush" dashboard gets the thumbs-up.
On the dashboard there is an integrated air freshener that emits a nice smelling scent via the air vents.
On test we had the top-of-the-range 1,6 VTi Executive (R202000) and the level of extras it comes with is impressive.
The six-speaker audio system is a treat and electric windows are found both front and back (in front it is the one-touch variety).
A recessed glove box on the passenger side is a great innovation, providing more legroom for both the front and rear passenger, while the retractable side mirrors are nifty.
So it has the looks but how does it perform? Well, the 1,6-litre engine produces a healthy 88kW and it should hit around the 180kmh mark before running out of puff.
Gear changes on the 5-speed box are slick and to help you save petrol and drive conservatively, there is the new Gear Efficiency Indicator. This is a visual indicator tells you when to move up a gear and so ensure maximum efficiency. Very nifty.
Space in the boot is an impressive 300litres and the back seats can fold down as one.
There is definitely a new buzz and fresh approach by Citroen in South Africa. They admit things weren't always as they should have been when it came to customer satisfaction but with the introduction of a number of new quality vehicles, and an improved after-sales operation and spares warehouse, 2010 might just be the year when perception changes.