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In-depth reviews

Citroen C1 review

It’s got plenty of style and it’s decent to drive, but the Citroen C1 loses out to more practical city car rivals

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£9,860 to £13,550
  • Easy to drive, good acceleration, reasonably priced
  • Interior quality, rear seat space, small boot

The Citroen C1 makes a good first impression with its distinctive styling – a result of quirky split-level headlights and an extensive range of contrasting colour and trim options. The colour continues inside, which gives the car cheerful feel, plus this latest C1 is more lavishly equipped than the original.

Despite styling which still manages to look fresh, the Mk2 C1 carries over a great deal from the previous model. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder VTi 72 engine is offered across the C1 line-up, with CO2 emissions from 108g/km. Refinement is better than before, although the engine emits a typically audible three-pot thrum when pushed, and the ride can get quite unsettled. The rear seats and boot are quite cramped compared to rivals, too.

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So while the Citroen C1 is chic, fun and affordable, other city cars can do what it does better.

The Citroen C1 dates back to 2005 when the city car was launched alongside its sister models, the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo. They were the result of the Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile (TPCA) joint venture, with the cars built in the Czech Republic.

Billed as a second generation model, but based on the old platform, the current C1 arrived in 2014, and like its predecessor, it shares much with its Peugeot and Toyota siblings. But while the former C1 and 108 were visually very similar, the new versions are notably different. The 1.0-litre engine from the old Citroen C1 has been carried over. A five-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard on all models, with no automatic option offered.

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Both three- and five-door versions of the C1 are offered. Entry-level Touch trim is only offered in three-door form, while Feel and Flair trims are available as both three- and five-door models. Upper-level Urban Ride and Origins trims are five-door only, and five-door models are also available with an 'Airscape' peel-back fabric roof for around £930 extra with Feel, Flair and Urban Ride trim levels. Rivals to the C1 include the 108 and Aygo, along with the likes of the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10, Skoda Citigo and VW up!

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The range kicks off with the basic Touch trim level, which offers front electric windows, LED daytime running lights, 14-inch steel wheels and remote central locking. It's a rather basic affair, and customers would be advised to upgrade to the Feel model. This adds air conditioning, a 7-inch touchscreen, DAB digital radio and 15-inch steel wheels. The Flair includes a reversing camera, chrome exterior trim, tinted rear windows, leather steering wheel, and electric and heated door mirrors.

While the little city car has lots to commend it, many customers in the sector are price-led and to that end dealers often offer attractive Citroen C1 deals. Good value special editions are worth looking out for too.

The Citroen C1 makes a good first impression with its distinctive styling – a result of quirky split-level headlights and an extensive range of contrasting colour and trim options. The colour continues inside, which gives the car cheerful feel, plus this latest C1 is more lavishly equipped than the original. Despite the fresh styling, the Mk2 C1 carries over a great deal from the previous model. All models are powered by the 71bhp 1.0-litre VTi 72 three-cylinder petrol engine.. 

Refinement has been improved but the ride can get quite unsettled. The rear seats and boot are quite cramped compared to rivals, too. So while the Citroen C1 is chic, fun and affordable, other city cars can do what it does better.

For an alternative review of the latest Citroen C1 Hatchback visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk

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