- Distinctive looks
- Low running costs
- Fun Airscape trim
- Cramped cabin
- Noisy engines
- Miserly spec on basic model
Since its introduction in 2005, Citroen has sold over 760,000 examples of is C1 supermini; popular with learner drivers, young mums, empty-nesters and everyone in between so the new Citroen C1, available with both three and five doors, has a lot to live up to, especially in terms of sales.
And to do that the firm has upped the quality the baby Citroen offers. Built in the same plant as its Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo counterparts, with the engineering handled by the latter company, the new C1 is the most solid supermini from the French firm yet.
Inside there’s a new seven-inch multimedia system which includes radio, Bluetooth, video player and an on-board computer. ‘Mirror Screen’ technology allows the driver to copy smartphone content onto the multimedia system, though in our experience it wasn’t quite as slick in practice as it sounded on paper.
You’ll also notice keyless entry, hill-start assist, climate control, heated seats, reversing camera and memory settings for the front seats on the standard and optional kit lists.
Two petrol engines
Buyers of the C1 can choose between a pair of petrol engines. Both have three cylinders and are either 1.0 or 1.2 litres in size. The former develops just 69bhp, but since the C1 weighs less than 1,000kg it still manages to feel sprightly enough around town – despite the 13-second 0-62mph time.
Those on a quest for speed would do well to look elsewhere, though the 1.2-litre PureTech engine develops 82bhp and can complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 10.9 seconds. Like its smaller brother it does its best work before 30mph, though. Either way both engines are vocal, with a distinct three-cylinder thrum that never truly disappears, even a cruise.
To take your mind off it, both will slip under 100g/km of CO2 emissions and the smaller engine promises up to 74.3mpg, the larger 1.2-litre PureTech offering over 65mpg on the combined cycle. That means both will be cheap to run, thanks to low fuel bills and (currently) nil annual VED rates.
Buyers looking for some personality with their C1 should check out the Airscape model, which boasts an electrically folding fabric roof that runs the length of the cabin – offering wind in the hair motoring without any of the scuttle-shake shortfalls.
Otherwise the C1 is available in three trims; Touch, Feel and Flair with the 800mm x 760mm fabric roof Airscape option offered on Feel or Flair only.
There are eight exterior colours to choose from, along with the option for that Airscape roof to be either Black, Grey or Red to contrast or match the bodywork. Inside the dashboard, air vent trim, gear lever base and door panel trims can be specified in brighter colours to live up the cabin.
Designed very much with the world’s cityscapes in mind the new C1 is lower and narrower than before, aimed at helping manoeuvrability in tighter spaces, and features low-rolling resistance tyres to reduce fuel consumption. Electric power steering means the wheel is light but direct, while hill start assist works on any slopes steeper than three percent.
It’ll hold four people too, even if the rear bench is best suited for children rather than adults, while boot space with the seats in place totals 196 litres and 780 litres with the rear bench folded.
Read the Parkers Citroen C1 review to find out if it’s got what it takes to best its rivals in the city car sector.
What owners say about this car
Like many new Citroens I got this on an attractive no deposit lease deal (18 months at £99/m - plus... Read owner review