Cheeky and cheap

Introduction

Launched in 2014, the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo are the product of a city car collaboration between three car companies. Available as a three- or five-door hatchback, or an Airscape version with folding fabric roof, the C1 is funky-looking, with a plethora of personalisation options. As a sub-£10,000 city car, its rivals include the Fiat 500, Renault Twingo, Skoda Citigo and Hyundai i10.

 

Body Style: Hatchback             Seats: 4                  MRP from £8,715 to £12,995 

 

Did you know? The Citroen C1 is built alongside its cousins, the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo, in the city of Kolín, Czech Republic.

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Verdict: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7.3/10)

The Citroen C1 is a small car with a cheeky face that’s cheap to run and competitively priced. With its thrummy three-cylinder engines, it’s not the most refined runabout on the market and it doesn’t scream quality. But if you like to personalise your pride and joy, and rear-seat space isn’t such a big issue, then the fun and funky C1 could be for you.

Design & Exterior

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Interior & Comfort

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Technology & Connectivity

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Performance & Handling

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Safety Features

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Spec & Trim Levels

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Running Costs & Fuel Economy

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Pricing

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

 

2017 Citroen C1

We Like

Funky looks

Low running costs

Personalisation options

We Don't Like

Small boot

Cramped rear seats

Too much plastic

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Design & Exterior: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Citroen C1

Small cars don't get much cheekier than the Citroen C1, especially at its front end where the grille, air intake and two-part headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights create a smiling face.

Elsewhere, its simple lines form a cute, compact profile, while at the rear there's a glass tailgate, integrated spoiler and distinctive square light clusters. Available as a three- or five-door, both work equally well aesthetically, so we suspect it will come down to whether the rear seats are in regular use or not. If there's a comparison to be made with its cousins, the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo, in terms of looks, the C1 is definitely the most fun of the three.

The C1 is also available as an Airscape, with a large canvas soft-top running practically the entire length of its roof. Electrically controlled as standard, the switch is located in the ceiling panel and the roof can be opened or closed when the car is driving – even at legal motorway speeds.

An aero-acoustic deflector deploys when the roof is open to keep noise and turbulence at bay. Naturally, the roof is available in a choice of three colours – Sunrise Red, Black or Grey – to contrast with the chosen body colour.

At just 3,466mm long, 1,615mm wide and 1,460mm high, the C1 is compact enough to get in and out of parking spaces and through tight streets without any trouble.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Interior & Comfort: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Citroen C1

Inside, the C1 continues the funky theme, but the cost savings are all too apparent, with acres of plastic – albeit coloured in some cases.

The doors don't have a satisfying clunk either. In short, it's all a bit basic, but well put-together and not without its charms.

The seats are comfortable, but it's worth remembering that the entry-level 'Touch' trim doesn’t have a height-adjustable driver's seat. Also, the steering wheel only adjusts for height (not reach) throughout the range.

The dashboard is dominated by a big speedometer incorporating an LCD display, which highlights info such as fuel consumption. An optional digital rev counter can be mounted to the left while the right side flashes two green arrows to notify when it’s time to change gear. The small centre console features a DAB radio as standard and a seven-inch infotainment screen from mid-range Feel trim upwards.

Practicality

There are storage compartments throughout the cabin, plus cupholders and a glovebox.

The modest 196-litre boot can’t match rivals such as the Skoda Citigo and there is a fair loading lip to lift items over. However, folding the rear seats increases load capacity to a more impressive 780 litres. A rear bench seat is standard on the entry-level Touch, but you get a 50:50-split/fold seat from Feel trim upwards.

The rear seats are cramped and taller passengers may struggle for headroom, while there are only pop-out windows in the back. In theory, it could sit five people (three small ones in the back), but four is more realistic. All-round visibility is very good.

Boot space

Min: 196 litres
Max: 780 litres 

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Technology & Connectivity: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Citroen C1

There are five C1 trim levels – Touch, Feel, Furio, Flair and Flair Edition – and the level of tech equipment is dependent on which one you choose.

Touch comes as standard with a basic MP3 audio system with two speakers, a USB socket, plus electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, remote central locking, electric front windows and LED daytime running lights.

Feel adds a speed limiter, air conditioning and a DAB seven-inch infotainment screen. This incorporates Mirror Screen, which means you can connect your smartphone, and (if you download the app) it will ‘mirror’ your phone’s screen on the dashboard (Apple and Android devices only). Finally, Flair adds a rev counter and reversing camera.

Optional extras include climate control air conditioning, automatic headlights, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, active city braking, lane-departure warning and LED indicators.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Performance & Handling: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

2017 Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 range is powered by two three-cylinder petrol engines: a 68hp 1.0-litre (VTi 68) and a 82hp 1.2-litre turbo (Puretech 82).

Both come with five-speed manual transmission, although the VTi 68 gives you the option of the five-speed automatic ETG (Efficient Tronic Gearbox).

The smaller engine has a 0-62mph time of 13 seconds, tops out at 99mph and CO2 emissions of just 88g/km, while the PureTech 82 is faster to 62mph at 10.9 seconds, has a top speed of 106mph and emits 99g/km of CO2.

The automatic VTi 68 is the slowest to 62mph (15.9 seconds) and it can hit 99mph flat-out. CO2 emissions are still below the magic 100, though, at 97g/km.

If you like a thrummy three-cylinder in a small car, the C1 won’t disappoint. Noise suppression is not the greatest with either engine, so you are well aware of what’s up-front. On that basis, the 1.2 is probably the best all-round engine because it has more power, doesn’t have to be worked so hard and is therefore a little more refined.

Frankly, both engines feel adequate in a car weighing just 855kg. As you’d expect, the C1 is agile around town and quite good fun to drive. The ride is fairly supple and it can become a bit bouncy if pushed, but body-roll is well controlled. The steering is light, too.

Recommended engine: PureTech 82 (1.2-litre)

0-62mph

10.9 seconds

Fuel economy

65mpg

Emissions

99g/km

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Safety Features: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

2017 Citroen C1

The C1 was awarded a reasonable four out of five stars by Euro NCAP when crash-tested in 2014. It comes with a pretty good list of safety equipment, including anti-lock brakes, electronic braking assistance, electronic stability control and hill-hold assist, which holds the car stationary for two seconds for an easy re-start on slopes with a gradient over 3%. There are also six airbags and two rear Isofix mounting points as standard.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Specs and Trim Levels: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Citroen C1

Colours

Personalisation is one of the Citroen C1’s strengths and there are plenty of ways to make your car look distinctive.

The colours include Caldera Black, Gallium Grey, Carlinite Grey, Smalt Blue, Lipizzan White, Blue Lagoon, Scarlet Red and Jelly Red. And you can go two-tone, which means combining your perfect shade with a roof finished in Blue Lagoon, Gallium Grey or Caldera Black.

Airscape versions can also be specified with a contrasting colour for the convertible roof. For the interior, there’s a range of Colour Packs available featuring a colour-coded dashboard centre, air vent surrounds and gear lever base.

Different wheel trims and alloy wheel types are also available, plus four eye-catching roof design options, including a Union Jack and a chequerboard.

Trim Levels

There are five trim levels: Touch, Feel, Furio, Flair and Flair Edition.

The entry-level Touch includes stability control, remote central locking, power-assisted steering, an MP3 audio system with two speakers and a USB socket, a puncture repair kit and 14-inch 'Star' wheel covers.

Moving up to Feel adds a DAB radio, a seven-inch touchscreen with Mirror Screen (which mirrors your phone’s screen on the infotainment screen), air conditioning, rear headrests, 50:50-split/fold rear seats, a height-adjustable driver's seat and 15-inch wheel covers.

The three-door Furio is meant to appeal to younger drivers wanting a sporty look, but who don’t want to pay a premium for a more powerful engine. Based on the Feel trim level, it benefits from black 15-inch alloy wheels and bold exterior graphics, plus Sunrise Red door mirrors and wheel centre caps to provide an eye-catching contrast to the Lipizzan White or Carlinite Grey metallic paint options. A rear diffuser and centred exhaust outlet complete the sporty look.

Flair and Flair Edition add features such as a leather steering wheel, satin chrome interior door handles, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors and 15-inch alloys.

Optional extras include automatic air conditioning, automatic headlights, keyless entry and start, and styling details such as black leather upholstery and various interior colour packs.

As ever, if you can stretch to the top-spec Flair or Flair Edition, those extras are good to have, But Feel trim covers most of the basics and a few more, leaving you more money to customise your C1.

Size and Dimensions

The C1 is roughly the same size as its city car rivals including the Renault Twingo, Peuegot 108, Suzuki Celerio, Skoda Citigo and Fiat 500. Nipping around town and parking is a doddle in the little Citroen.

Length

3,466 mm

Width

1,615 mm

Height

1,460 mm

Max towing weight without brake

The Citroen C1 has no towing capacity.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Running Costs & Fuel Economy: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Citroen C1

The Citroen C1’s two three-cylinder petrol engines, the 1.0-litre (VTi 68) and 1.2-litre turbo (Puretech 82), are both pretty economical, with low CO2 emissions.

The VTi 68 is good for a claimed 68.9mpg and emits just 95g/km of CO2, although figures for the automatic version are slightly lower, at 67.3mpg and 97g/km.

The bigger Puretech 82 is capable of up to 65.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

Naturally, the Citroen C1 is also cheap to insure, ranging from as low as group six, to group 12 for the top-spec Flair Edition.

Reliability and servicing

The C1 is covered by a three-year warranty, plus 12-year anti-perforation and three-year paint warranties. However, the main warranty is restricted to 60,000 miles, which is short compared to some rivals such as the Renault Twingo (four years/100,000 miles).

At the end of the three-year manufacturer warranty period, you can opt for a one- or two-year extended warranty, which starts from £313.

You’ll need to get your C1 serviced every 12 months or 10,000 miles, whichever is soonest. A Citroen Servicing Package is available, enabling you to pay in advance for servicing for three years/35,000 miles.

In the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, the C1 came 71st out of 150 cars for reliability – below the similar Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo.

However, it should be remembered that in 2014 the previous-generation Citroen C1 was named Britain's most dependable car by Which?. The C1 scored an almost perfect 99.3%, beating higher-priced alternatives such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class to scoop the award. The 2014 Which? Car Survey asked members of the consumer group and other motorists to rate how their car performed for reliability and all other mechanical faults. 

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Pricing: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Citroen C1

The Citroen can’t compete with the likes of the Dacia Sandero and Suzuki Celerio on price, but it’s one of the few city cars in the sub-£9,000 category.

Starting at £8,715 for the entry-level Touch and ending up with Airscape ‘Flair’ at £12,995, it does represent good value for money. However, as with all cars offering a list of personalisation options as long as your arm, you’ll need to go easy or you could end up paying supermini money for a city car.

If you can stretch to it, at least go for the Feel grade, which is one up from the basic Touch. You get essentials like a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and it unlocks access to other optional extras such as electrically-adjustable heated door mirrors and styling packs.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Recommendations

Cost Conscious

VTi 68 Touch – just £8,715 will secure you an entry-level three-door C1 with low insurance, good fuel economy and great manoeuvrability.

Company Car Buyer

PureTech 82  Flair – a well-equipped, five-door C1 capable of 68.9mpg, and emitting just 99g/km of CO2.

First Time Buyer

VTi 68 Furio – low running costs, sporty style, vibrant colours and unique features make this ideal for younger drivers.

Rivals

Fiat 500

Retro and funky, the 500 is as popular as ever. Boasting a punchy Twinair engine, it’s also fun to drive.

Skoda Citigo

Just like its cousins, the Seat Mii and Volkswagen Up, the Citigo is a great little drive, surprisingly spacious and very cute.

Peugeot 108

The little 108 may be cut from the same cloth as the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, but it’s arguably the best of the bunch.

Hyundai i10

Fun to drive, cheap to insure and cute, the i10 also comes with a great five-year warranty and is capable of up to 71mpg.

Renault Twingo

The rear-engined Twingo is a breath of fresh air, but you will have to opt for the flagship GT if you want real fun.

What others say

 

What Car?

“The Citroen C1 is an improvement over its predecessor, but it continues to lag behind the class leaders in too many key areas”

Auto Express

“Latest C1 is much improved, with distinctive styling and a better driving experience. But interior space could still be better”

Car Buyer

"The Citroen C1 city car is a quirky and affordable car, with generous kit, but it can’t quite match the best rivals in its class"

 

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