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View all Citroën C1 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Cheap to buy and run and easy to drive

Citroën C1 (14 on) - rated 3.5 out of 5
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PROS

  • Distinctive exterior styling
  • Low running costs
  • Fun Airscape trim
  • Quite fun to drive in town

CONS

  • Cramped rear seats
  • Engine can become noisy
  • Miserly spec on basic model
  • Dinky boot

PROS

  • Distinctive exterior styling
  • Low running costs
  • Fun Airscape trim
  • Quite fun to drive in town

CONS

  • Cramped rear seats
  • Engine can become noisy
  • Miserly spec on basic model
  • Dinky boot

Citroën C1 rivals

Peugeot
108
3.5 out of 5 3.5
Toyota
Aygo
3.9 out of 5 3.9

The Citroen C1 is a thoroughly likeable small car, that majors on style, low running costs, and a funky interior. We like it

The Citroen C1 is the French firm's smallest model in the range, sharing its mechanical parts with the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo. Despite sharing underpinnings, Citroen has still managed to inject some of its usual styling flair to the exterior, looking just as distinctive as many of its larger models. 

Since the C1 name was first introduced in 2005, it's become incredibly popular with learner drivers, empty-nesters and everyone in between thanks to its nippy engines, fun drive and surprisingly roomy interior, not to mention its low price and running costs.

This latest Citroen C1, available with both three and five doors, has a lot to live up to, especially in terms of sales, with over 700,000 of the previous model finding homes. Luckily, it has the looks and low price to make its way on to the same shopping lists.

It does have plenty of competition, not only from the cars it shares its parts with, but also the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10, Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii. Just a few then.

Citroen C1 interior: quirky and easy to use

To ensure greater levels of desirability, Citroen has upped the quality this smart city car has on offer. It's built in the same factory as its Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo counterparts. All of the engineering has been handled by Toyota, which means the C1 is the most solid city car from the French firm yet.

Citroen C1 interior

Inside there’s a 7.0-inch infotainment system which includes radio, Bluetooth and an on-board computer. MirrorLink technology allows the use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, meaning those more tech-minded buyers will be pleased.

You’ll also notice keyless entry, hill-start assist, climate control, heated seats, reversing camera and memory settings for the front seats on the equipment lists, although much of this costs extra.

Citroen C1: Just one VTi petrol engine

Buyers of the C1 are limited to just one petrol engine - badged VTi 72 - with 72hp. It's a 1.0-litre unit and suits the C1 well as it feels surprisingly eager to get going, thanks in part to the C1's light weight. 

Previously, there was a 1.2-litre PureTech engine with 82hp available, but this is no longer available - meaning you'll need to seek out a used one if you must have more power than the VTi 72. 

There's a distinct three-cylinder thrum that never truly disappears, even at a cruise, whichever engine you choose.

The Citroen C1 is proof that the French build great, cheap small cars

Citroen C1 styling: typical French flair

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 800x760mm 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.

C1 is small, but surprisingly practical

Designed very much with cities 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.

Citroën C1 rivals

Peugeot
108
3.5 out of 5 3.5
Toyota
Aygo
3.9 out of 5 3.9