The Citroen C1 is more than 6 years old. Hard to believe, isn’t it? The C1 (even older models from 2006) still look great today, but as is the way with the car market, more modern competition is taking away Citroens sales. So, is the C1 still a good buy?
The Citroen C1 has now undergone its second face lift and it’s cuter than ever. This is the same car as a few years ago, make no mistake, but the front of the car has been redesigned to house fog lights and LED daytime running lights, the latter of which have been borrowed over from the DS3. As such, inside the C1 is basic but comfortable, with no seat side support or luxurious materials to sink your teeth into.
Instead, what the C1 does well is offer up the basics. Every dashboard control is chunky and enlarged, and all switchgear has a firmness to it that inspires confidence. The driving position is on the high side, however getting comfortable is never difficult, thanks to the surprisingly spacious front cabin.
There is only one engine choice available in the C1 – a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder unit that produces 68 bhp and 70 lb /ft of torque from 3,600 rpm. The engine has lots of character and also makes a rather nice sound, but this doesn’t detract from what you will notice about the C1… it’s slow. Citroen says that it’ll go from 0 – 60 mph in 13.7 seconds, but it isn’t accelerating off the line that’s the problem, it’s in-gear response. You effectively have to drive around everywhere under 40 mph in second gear and any form of hill will ensure you drop down a cog if you don’t.
The Citroen C1 range starts from £8,095, which puts it in the firing line of a German competitor – the Volkswagen Up, where prices start from £8,265. The Volkswagen Up is a more modern offering, with a much classier interior, better ride quality, and on-par looks. Both of these cars in their most basic offering lack air conditioning, which in this day age, is pretty ridiculous. If you want air conditioning in your C1 you will have to pay £9,220 for the VTR model, which also gets alloy wheels. Bristol Street Motors Leicester offers the Citroen C1. The most expensive C1 you can buy is the VTR+ EGS 5dr which rolls in at £10,845.
Ultimately, the Citroen C1 is good at what it sets out to be – a runabout. The cars 3-cylinder 1.0-litre engine likes to be revved, but the lack of low down torque ensures that motorways are frustrating. Like the VW Up, the C1 is perfect for first time drivers, and anybody who needs a cheap car that will go to the shops on a weekend. If you don’t expect to win many races or refinement, the Citroen C1 is a fine automobile – the Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo are the same car, so choose which one you prefer based on badge appeal.