Citroen C1 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Other city cars serve up greater practicality, but few are quite as compact as the latest Citroen C1.
If you want an affordable car that can transport four adults over short distances, but will be used mainly with one or two passengers on board, then the Citroen C1 is a good choice. We’d go for the five-door model, simply because it only costs £400 more than the three-door and makes access to the rear much easier, yet looks just as good. You can order the five-door Feel, Flair and Urban Ride models with an Airscape peel-back fabric roof for £930 extra. This set-up adds another dimension to the character of the Citroen C1, but causes refinement to suffer slightly at higher speeds.
It’s not surprising that rear seat passengers aren’t terribly well catered for, although the story is mixed up front, too. While there’s plenty of room, drivers don’t get the range of adjustability expected of bigger cars. So there’s no reach adjustment on the steering wheel, and the basic model doesn’t offer seat height movement, either. If you intend to spend much time behind the wheel, you’d better make sure you can get comfortable.
Every model in the current crop of city cars is cleverly packaged, but the Citroen C1 is one of the most compact of the bunch.
At 3,465mm from nose to tail, it’s comfortably shorter than the 3,645mm Hyundai i10 and 3,563mm Skoda Citigo. It’s narrower, too – the 1,615mm-wide C1 compares to the 1,660m i10 and 1,641mm Skoda. No wonder parking is a doddle.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Adults sitting in the back will just fit behind a similarly sized driver and passenger, but it’s a serious squeeze and rear headroom is tight for anyone approaching six feet tall. And while there are seatbelts in the rear for three passengers, they’d better be very skinny.
You do get ISOFIX mounts for child seats, but you’ll want the five-door version to install them (and the kids) unless you’re a contortionist. Still, finding homes for your other bits and pieces shouldn’t be too hard, as there’s a good-sized glovebox, cup-holders and storage in the centre console.
While the Citroen C1 can carry four adults at a push, it’s best to leave your luggage behind if you have any, as the 196-litre boot is only really suitable for small shopping bags. If you need more space you can fold the rear seats down – this frees up a maximum boot capacity of 780 litres – although the C1 isn’t helped by the fact its seats don’t fold completely flat. It’s also hampered by a relatively high loading lip.
If space is a critical issue, consider the Skoda Citigo or Hyundai i10; both serve up over 250 litres without the need to fold the seats.
In this review
- 1Citroen C1It’s got plenty of style and it’s decent to drive, but the Citroen C1 loses out to more practical city car rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe C1's 1.0-litre engine can feel sluggish, but is good for those with a focus on economy.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe C1 isn’t the cheapest city car to run, although there are only pennies in it in this market.
- 4Interior, design and technologyChic styling inside and out hides a solid city car package; just don’t expect any surprises.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingOther city cars serve up greater practicality, but few are quite as compact as the latest Citroen C1.
- 6Reliability and SafetyReliable Toyota engineering underpins the Citroen C1, and the car has performed well in comprehensive Euro NCAP crash tests.