Citroen C1 Airscape convertible review

12 Jul, 2014 9:00am Jonathan Burn

How does Citroen's C1 city car work in Airscape guise with a folding fabric roof?


The four criteria that help determine the success of a new city car are all present and correct in the C1. It looks great, it’s fun, it’s cheap to run and can carry four adults at a push. However, there are models out there that fulfil this brief and take things a step further with incredible levels of comfort and refinement. That’s why we prefer Hyundai i10 and Skoda Citigo – they just feel that fraction more luxurious.

Cracking the city car market is arguably one of the toughest jobs in the motoring world. To be a success any newcomer has to be stylish, fun to drive, cheap to run and spacious enough to carry a car full of adults. We were impressed with the new Citroen C1 in France, but how does it fare in the UK?  

As you might be aware, the C1 shares all of its mechanical running gear and chunks of bodywork with Toyota’s quirky Aygo and Peugeot’s plush 108. So standing out from the crowd is of paramount importance. 

It’s certainly the most eye-catching of the three with two-part headlights, a gaping grille, 3D-effect rear lamp clusters and vertical LED daytime running lights. Buyers wanting a touch of open-air motoring can go for this Airscape model with a peel-back roof that costs £200 more than the hard-top. 

Citroen C1 Airspace on the road rear

Things are more familiar inside, as the trio share an almost identical dash layout. The design is modern and clean, plus the fancy interior panelling matches the exterior body colour, so there’s no longer any unsightly exposed metal work. Elsewhere, interior space remains as it was from the previous C1, so head and kneeroom are a little tight, especially for those in the back. 

But there’s plenty of kit on board, with air-con, electric mirrors and a seven-inch touchscreen that can mirror your smartphone’s functions, all fitted as standard to our Feel-spec model. 

There have also been improvements under the skin. A new 81bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine is now on offer, as well as a cleaner, revamped version of the 67bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. 

Citroen C1 Airspace roof

Our test model is fitted with the smaller-capacity motor, which claims 68.9mpg economy and emissions of 95g/km. It may appear underpowered at first glance, but the C1 is so light, at just 855kg, that you can extract reasonable performance at city speeds. 

On faster, twisty B-roads the car feels a little out of its comfort zone and wind noise isn’t well contained. Updated springs and shock absorbers mean the Citroen rides a lot better than the previous model. If it were our money, though, a Hyundai i10 or Skoda Citigo still gets the nod ahead of this car. 

If you do have your heart set on a C1, we’d opt for the more powerful 81bhp 1.2-litre engine. Economy is affected fractionally, but it’s a small price to pay for the welcome dose of performance. 

Disqus - noscript

This C1, 108 and Aygo make the VAG groups attempts look VERY ordinary and boring

Typical Citroen, Peugeot Toyota. Launch a car that's no where near as good as the competition yet charge as much money as the class leaders Up, Citygo, i10. Even a FIAT Panda is a million times better than a C1!

VW Group cars look clean and elegant to many, whereas these three seem fussy and overdone. Which all goes to show that styling is very much in the eye of the beholder - but we are lucky to have a great choice!

You clearly havnt seen the new one, i saw it today. Miles ahead in style and fun compared to the DULL Up and shitigo. How an i10 can even be considered in the same class now with its hard plastics, multicoloured grey interiors that dont match and a higher price tag is just insane.
The new C1 isnt even in the showrooms yet, so your opionions are as dated as your knowledge

Even my local Hyundai dealer admitted it was outgunned by the PSA/Toyota models now that the i10 is £2k too expensive

If you think the Citroen has style then you really need to go to specsavers! I suppose you think the Aygo looks good too?! Your opinions are clearly based on wishful thinking alone. The C1/108/Aygo is a lazily revised version of a car that's the best part of a decade old and it's still just as rubbish. The VAG trio, along with the i10 are highly praised by motoring experts around the world. The Panda is also generally regarded as a very decent car. The C1/108/Aygo, on the other hand is universally regarded as unrefined, poor quality, not as fun to drive and poor value compared to other cars in the class.

Yeah of course he did mate. Dream on...

Until the competition produce convertible versions there is not much point in making comparisons (that includes you AE). Wait until then.

Key specs

  • Price: £10,745
  • Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl petrol
  • Power: 67bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-60mph: 14.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 99mph
  • Economy/CO2: 68.9mpg/95g/km
  • On sale: Now