Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
  • Simple dashboard is easy to use
  • Distinctive colour combinations available
  • Quality lags begind VW Group rivals

Get over the fact the centre console looks a little like an angry Stay Puft marshmallow man from the Ghostbusters film, and you’ll realise the cabin of the  Citroen C1 is a step forward over the previous model’s. Certainly quality is far improved, and while it might not match a VW Up or Skoda Citigo for ambience and solidity, it’s less utilitarian than before.

The modular construction, with a distinct instrument pod to go with that centre console, looks young and funky – just as the designers clearly intended. Next to the speedometer there is a neat rev-counter display, and it’s all easy to read on the move.

You do sit high, and quite upright, behind the three-spoke steering wheel, though the C1 is wide enough to ensure you’re not constantly scraping shoulders with your front-seat passenger when on the move. And once you’re used to the driving position you’ll actually be quite comfortable, even on longer journeys.

Choose the Airscape model, and you’ll enjoy the open-air of a convertible thanks to that fabric roof (that slides back to the rear of the car) without any of the associated shaking or flex. Roof open it makes the cabin brighter and feel a little larger than it actually is – even if headroom in the rear does suffer because of it.

One thing that will take some getting used to is the seven-inch Touch Drive interface, which uses Mirror Screen technology to access and display any content from your smartphone – such as apps and your music – on the central screen which didn’t feel entirely intuitive to use during our experience of the little Citroen.

  • Seats are comfortable and supportive
  • While the suspension is also compliant
  • Refinement not as good as rivals

The French firm is renowned for its ride quality, so hopes are high for a comofortable ride in the C1; and the good news is that in general it scores well in this area.

Around town, at low speeds especially, the soft suspension means its soaks up lumps and bumps without bother, and the C1 is relaxing and easy to drive around urban environments.

That said, you’ll have to learn to love the thrum of the three-cylinder engine which is especially apparent under hard acceleration – which is another thing you’ll need to get used to since the C1 needs a firm prod from your right foot to move at any pace.

The front seats are comfortable too, though they do sit quite high and the steering wheel only adjusts for angle – so slotting yourself into your perfect driving position isn’t all that easy. There’s only room for two in the back though, and taller adults will find travelling back there a pain in the neck, literally.

Like the C4 Cactus, DS4 and the previous C1 the rear windows only pop outwards on hinges, rather than wind down, but the optional Airscape fabric roof should provide enough fresh air even for those in the rear.

However, while it may struggle to match current class leaders like the VW Up, it is still an improvement over the previous model in terms of comfort.