The Citroen C1 Airscape proves that you don’t need to spend much to get the wind-in-your-hair feel. However, just about any alternative has more interior space and pokier engines.
The Citroen C1 Airscape first appeared in 2006 and in 2018 it got a small refresh. Admittedly, the exterior changes are limited to some new badges but thanks to three new paint shades there are now 32 different combinations for the exterior look.
The theme of personalisation continues inside where you’ll immediately spot the brightly-coloured central console that holds the standard-fit 7-inch touchscreen infotainment. You can connect your Apple or Android device to the system and enjoy sat-nav and other features. But, it’s still a touchscreen, making it a tad tricky to use while driving.
You won’t be stretching out in the front of the C1 Airscape and the rear seat space is very tight for adults. However, the driver can at least find a comfortable driving position thanks to a good range of adjustment, so the C1 isn’t so bad if there’s only two along for the ride.
It only takes a few bags of shopping to fill the C1 Airscape’s boot, and you’ll be using the back seats as extra storage for anything like a weekly visit to the supermarket. You can fold the seat backs down and enjoy a pretty large luggage area for the size of the car, but if you want something more practical, have a look at the Hyundai i10.
If you’re looking for the most affordable drop-top, the C1 Airscape is a fair shout. Just don’t plan on taking back-seat passengers very often.
Unlike the i10, you can only get the C1 Airscape with one engine – a 1.2-litre petrol making 72hp. That’s pretty weedy even by small car standards, and you’ll find yourself driving the C1 Airscape like your hair’s on fire just to keep up with traffic. Driving like that inevitably makes the fuel economy plummet so if you want to get close to the official average fuel economy of 69mpg be ready to have a long trail of cars behind you waiting to overtake.
Put simply, The C1 Airscape is a car that’s designed to excel in tight city streets. Drive the C1 Airscape at anything more than city speeds and you’ll hear lots of wind noise which makes it tiresome on long journeys. On the upside, the suspension does a good job of ironing out bumps in the road.
So, if you’re set on the looks, want to drive with the roof down as frequently as possible without spending a huge sum of money, then the C1 Airscape is a fair choice. However, bare in mind that there are better open-tops such as the Mazda MX-5 for not much more money, and better city cars for less such as the Skoda Citigo.