2014 Citroen C1 driven – is it the coolest city car on sale?

Like its predecessor, the new Citroen C1 is very similar to both sister company Peugeot's new 108, and the latest Toyota Aygo.

The cars do display some distinct differences, but few exterior panels are shared between the three, and given their similar chassis, engines, interiors and infotainment aspects, it should come as no surprise that we rate the new C1 as highly as we did the new Aygo.

Citroen C1 rear angle

Whether you'll rate the styling as highly when you see it in the dealership is a different matter. Citroen says it's given the C1 a "cheeky" look with a distinct face, but we suspect it may turn off some potential buyers. Luckily the side profile and the rear end are more chic than cheeky and the C1 has nice, compact proportions.

The main interior features areshared between all three cars, which means a large central touchscreen, a mix of neat glossy plastics and less-neat scratchy surfaces, but the latter are found in places you'll rarely touch.

Citroen C1 details

The driving position is adjustable enough to find a comfortable setup and there's even space in the back for adults though you might want to place your shorter friends back there if those up front are on the tall side.

The boot, like the Aygo and like the VW Up and its ilk, goes for depth rather than length - but a couple of hand-luggage style suitcases will fit with room to spare.

Citroen C1 top

It drives well too, just like its Toyota counterpart. The engine feels eager a 1.2-litre, 82-horsepower Puretec unit with an official combined economy of 65.7 mpg (and 99 g/km of CO2), giving it a bit more pep than the 74.3mpg, 88g/km 1.0-litre that's also available.

There's a sporty thrum under accelerationbut like most engines of its type, you'll not be disturbed by excess engine noise at speed, or when sitting in traffic.

Citroen C1 roof

All the better, since our 'Airscape' test car also featured a full-length canvas sunroof, which folds itself towards the rear of the roof with the press of a button. A small wind deflector ensures all remains civil inside.

The sporty little steering wheel and slick gearshift are both good to hold and use. It's nimble in the turns, so the C1's city credentials remain intact. You probably won't notice the steering's lack of feedback, since it's light and accurate much more important in this sort of car. It's not nervous at speed either, so occasional jaunts onto the motorway won't leave you trembling in terror.

Citroen C1 driving


Citroen has built the car it needed to with the C1. Alongside the Peugeot 108 it's equal-cheapest of the C1/108/Aygo trio, at 8,245,which immediately makes it attractive to those on a budget. It doesn't want for kit compared to its French and Japanese cousins either.

We're tempted to recommend it over the Aygo, in fact. While cool extras like the canvas roof add to the price, they also add to its appeal. The 1.2-litre engine does too, and it's worth noting that the engine isn't available in the Aygo we'd recommend ordering it if you intend to do longer journeys now and then. If you can live with the unusual styling, we're happy to recommend the new Citroen C1.

comments powered by Disqus