Citroen C1 review | Car News, Reviews & Buyers Guides

Citroen C1 review

January 28, 2015 by Perrys Content Team in Reviews

One of the cheapest new cars to buy in the UK, both in terms of outright price and running costs, the Citroen C1 offers near-unparalleled value for money.

Regardless, it’s facing some increasingly hot competition from the likes of Hyundai’s i10 city car among others, so does its low price still justify a purchase?

Well, according to the Which? Car Guide, the new C1, which was released in the middle of last year, the C1 is not only the most reliable car up to three years old, but also scores extremely highly for customer satisfaction.

We thought we’d take a closer look ourselves to see if the C1 still holds up against the competition.


Make no bones about it, the Citroen C1 is certainly a great looking little car. Following the recent trend for eye-catching small city cars, it’s easy to think that that the C1 might get lost in a market saturated with cute and dinky rivals.

Not so, however, as the C1 still makes a strong first impression with its distinctive styling and quirky split-level headlights, plus its extensive range of contrasting colour and trim options.

Having received a facelift last year, it now features a new front end with a shorter bonnet in order to improve pedestrian impact protection, while the front bumper has also been redesigned to house fog lights and DS3-inspired LED daytime running lights.

Being a city car, it’s small enough to navigate through tight corners with ease and it’s also simple to park, but buyers can also specify it with either three or five doors for extra accessibility.

Aimed at young drivers, Citroen also offers the C1 with a long list of customisable options, including chrome features on the outside and a neat retractable fabric roof for open-air motoring.


Being a small city car, the C1 is never going to have the dimensions of a larger car like the C4, for example. However, on the inside it doesn’t have as much space as rivals like the i10, but it’s still comfortable to sit in.

The front has plenty of room for both driver and passenger, while the facelifted C1 now comes with a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Rear space is a little less impressive; it has enough room for the majority of people, though particularly tall or long-legged passengers might find it a little on the pokey side.

Boot size isn’t quite as good as some of its rivals, either, with capacity of 196 litres with the seats upright and a maximum of 780 litres with the rear seats folded down.

However, the C1 does impress with the large panoramic area offered when buyers specify the Airscape model with the folding roof. Rolling back the canvas uncovers an 800mm x 760mm gap, and it’s easily operated via a switch on the ceiling panel.

As well as that, it can also be retracted and folded while driving, even at motorway speeds so drivers don’t have to slow down or pull over if the rain comes on.

Regardless, if you’re not too bothered about space or storage capacity, the C1 is sure to please with the amount of effort that Citroen has put into the cabin interior.

Buyers can personalise their cabin with a wide range of individual colour options for the centre console, air vent trims, door inserts and even the gear lever surround, while the roof fabric on Airscape models comes in a choice of black, red or grey.

Three trim levels are available: Touch, Feel and Flair, while the Airscape model with the folding roof is available only on the top two specifications.

Standard kit includes a hill start assist feature and six airbags as standard, plus electric front windows and an audio system with MP3 and USB connectivity out of the box.

Opting for higher trims will add a seven-inch touchscreen, plus air conditioning, steering-mounted controls and DAB digital radio in addition to body-coloured door mirrors. Additional extras include automatic air conditioning, reversing cameras and a leather-covered steering wheel.

On the road

Two engine options are available in the C1, either a choice of 68bhp 1.0-litre VTi petrol engine or a slightly hotter 82bhp 1.2-litre version. The smaller can be specified with either five-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, while the 1.2-litre is manual only.

In terms of frugality, both engines perform extremely well. Each averages more than 65mpg, while the smaller 1.0-litre unit can get closer to 75mpg. What’s more, both produce under 100g/km of CO2, meaning free road tax, no London congestion charge and a much cleaner performance than many of the C1’s rivals.

The C1’s diminutive size, coupled with its light steering and decent visibility from the cabin, means that it’s extremely nimble and easy to manoeuvre and park.

Drivers who opt for the smaller 1.0-litre engine will find that it offers a more than decent amount of poke in and around the town, but might struggle a little at motorway speeds. However, the 1.2-litre engine is extremely capable both in city environments and on the open road.

As well as that, Citroen also updated the facelifted version with a new rear axle and shock absorbers, plus revised anti-roll bars for a supple ride than irons out imperfections in the road.


It’s cheaper than its rivals, but unfortunately the C1 does suffer from a slight lack of space in the boot and the rear seats. Regardless, it still has enough room in the boot for various shopping bags or suitcases, while the front is also comfortable for both driver and passenger.

Aimed primarily at younger or first-time drivers who live in towns and who don’t have families, the C1 is perfect for anybody looking for a compact and stylish car and who doesn’t need the practicality associated with a larger model.

Add that to excellent fuel economy and some of the lowest CO2 emissions in its class, and the C1 is not only cheap to buy, but also cheap to run, reliable and easy on the pocket in the long run.

Prices for the Citroen C1 start from just £8,245. For more information or to make an enquiry, why not get in touch with your local Perrys Citroen dealership today?

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