In-depth reviews

Citroen C1 review - Engines, performance and drive

The C1's 1.0-litre engine can feel sluggish, but is good for those with a focus on economy.

As the Citroen C1 uses the same underpinnings as its predecessor (except for a redesigned rear axle, saving 4kg, plus new shock absorbers and revised anti-roll bars), it’s not surprising to find that it feels rather similar from behind the wheel.

This means a supple ride that irons out small imperfections in the surface well, but can become a little bouncy over a series of consecutive bumps, as well as light steering that offers barely any feedback yet is a doddle to use around town. It's still fun to chuck around if you feel like doing that, and the manual gearchange is decent, but it can't match rivals like the Skoda Citigo for handling.

The soft suspension and numb steering mean body control is fairly loose in corners, although parking is especially easy given the car’s dinky overall length.

Engines

Buyers are limited to an updated version of the old car’s 1.0-litre VTi triple, here making 71bhp. As there’s just 840kg to haul around, the C1 is a decent performer, even from low revs where it’s happy to pull away from a crawl in third gear.

The 1.0-litre lacks oomph at motorway speeds and is generally sluggish. At idle, the three-cylinder 1.0-litre thrums loudly, but soon settles down once you get going.

The figures hammer home the point, as the 1.0-litre model takes a leisurely 14.0 seconds to sprint from 0-62mph. If you're mainly going to be driving the car around town and over shorter distances, the 1.0-litre engine is still a good choice, revving sweetly and achieving a claimed 58mpg on the combined cycle. 

If you’re planning on driving extended distances in either, be prepared to steel yourself against the noise – or take earplugs. That charismatic three-cylinder thrum is fun to start with, but turns into a tiring drone at higher cruising speeds.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 VTi 72 Live 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £9,495

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 VTi 72 Live 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £9,495

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0 VTi 72 Live 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £9,495

Most Popular

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021