2012 Citroen C1

2 Mar, 2012 1:33pm Luke Madden

Do updates to the Citroen C1 go far enough to keep it competitive?


Updates have broadened the Citroen C1’s appeal: it looks and handles better. But things have moved on since it was introduced in 2005 – the VW up! has redefined the level of refinement available at this price. And if you want value for money, the Hyundai i10 is a much better choice.
Impressive new models like the VW up! have jolted rival city car makers into action. Citroen has refreshed the C1 and slashed its price in an effort to stay competitive.

The revised car’s starting price is a familiar £7,995 – exactly the same as the up!’s – and it has been given a new front end with a redesigned grille and a pair of stylish LED daytime running lights.

Improvements to the interior reflect Citroen’s push upmarket and include better trim quality, a leather steering wheel and gearstick gaiter, plus optional leather/Alcantara upholstery that was fitted to our car.

Tweaks to the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine mean power remains at 67bhp, but CO2 emissions drop from 103g/km to 99g/km in five-speed manual cars. Performance is good: the C1 can cover 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds – almost a
second quicker than the fastest up! – but it doesn’t encourage you to use lots of revs like the VW does.

The up! has set a very high new benchmark for city car refinement, and unfortunately the C1 doesn’t compare well. You’ll hear plenty of wind and road noise in the compact cabin. 

On the plus side, the suspension is supple and tweaked shock absorbers make the ride perfect for tackling potholed city streets. The downside is that it’s not the most agile car, but it’s still fun to drive thanks to quick and responsive steering.

This range-topping C1 costs £10,000 – exactly the same as the well equipped Hyundai i10 or more capable High up!. It’s still a great city car in its own right, but newer and better-value rivals are starting to diminish its appeal.

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I think the French and Italians are still masters for small cars. The VW UP might be better on paper and fiqures, but still can't compete in terms of flair and sophistication. The Germans only really excell in the bigger executive and luxury segments. In other words quality isn't everthing.

The PSA group may be showing their age, but they all look as neat as usual. What really appeals to me is the new design gear stick. In my opinion, the new design would make these cars much easier to drive, as long as the gears are smooth enough.

The Citroen C1/Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo are all so much better looking than the up! They look better with this facelift and are now cheaper! I don't see why Autoexpress are making such a big deal out of the up! when these three provide everything it provides in a better looking package. Fair enough they don't have the option of the emergency city breaking but if you need something like that to rely on when driving then you shouldn't really be driving at all!

I dont see what all the fuss is about with regards to the VW Up!
Despite their advancing years and facelifts the Toyota/PSA cars look very fresh and I think more charming than the plain anodyne VW. I would go with the comment above that the French and Italians are the masters of small cars although I would also add the Japanese to that.

I'm confused. Is this a review for the revised Citroen C1 or the VW UP? One would find it very hard to tell either way.

I actually like the up! and think it looks better than this, less fussy styling and more solid looking somehow.

This seems a bit expensive nowadays, But economy and free road tax make up for that.

I've just sold a C1 which was the most reliable car I think I've ever owned. Apart from servicing, in three and a half years of ownership, the car cost me £1.67 for a replacement cap for the windscreen wiper arm. It's now being out-shone by newer rivals but its simple design still means the C1 is a contender. I'd consider one in the future, if only because my experience of the model is that it is a very rewarding small car.

You may be right that the name is not as appealing as the Up under the VW badge, but its design, especially the interior, is better and more modern than the Up.
The facelift also adds points to it. It has below 100 g CO2 , its well equipped, reliable, has a respectable 0-60 time which is essential in city cars, excellent economy, so what more in order to achieve a 4 star grading?

Or this would have put it really close to Up?

Key specs

* Price: £10,000 (est)
* Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl petrol
* Power: 67bhp
* Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
* 0-62mph: 12.3 seconds
* Top speed: 98mph
* Economy: 65.7mpg
* CO2: 99g/km
* Equipment: Bluetooth, electric windows, alloy wheels, air-con
* On sale Now