Citroen C1

| March 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Ride on Time

New Citroën C1_ naturally urban-56834


The ‘city car’ sector has really taken off in the last couple of years with the launch of the Volkswagen up!, Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii & Hyundai i10 all adding a bit of class to what had been seen previously as a sector for cheap low specced vehicles. Indeed, SMART recently launched a new ForFour & Renault hit the market with a new Twingo last year, so those brands with a model in this sector have had to change things up a bit. One of these old school cars is the Citroen C1 which arrived at CCV in early March for a test. The C1 has recently been updated & along with the similar Peugeot 108 & Toyota Aygo, the C1 has seen a number of upgrades, primarily to take into account the burgeoning desire for young drivers to have touch screen & hands free technology literally at their fingertips, as well as offering parents of young people, the security of having all the latest safety technology on a small car that they may choose for their children

Back in 1989, I was lucky enough to be given a second hand Fiat Uno 55 S as a company car, which cost my boss the princely sum of £1100. It had two goodies ; an AM/LW radio & an ashtray that moved left & right across the dashboard & that was it. In 1989 that was fine, because no one had mobile phones or iPads. However, fast forward to 2015 & young drivers equipped with mobiles & tablets expect an awful lot more for their money when it comes to goodies on their first car & the latest C1 has been designed to appeal to these customers.

To begin with the C1 looks good. Although my test car was liveried in a kind of salmon pink-it still looked impressive.  The C1 is available in an array of colours to capitalise on the trend for personalisation. Following on from the success of the MINI & Citroen DS3, twenty-first-century buyers want to make their car their own, so Citroen are offering new levels of customization, with bold paint colours, decals and alloy wheel choices to customize your C1.

The cabin is a big improvement over the old model as well. The build quality and design are pretty good, with finishes in a mix of different materials & colours. Everything is logically laid out & all the switches are easy to reach & to understand. The dashboard itself certainly gives the C1 an upmarket feel & again is a real step up in class from it’s predecessor.

I was testing the 5do0r C1 Flair PureTech 82  1.2 litre petrol engine & it was a massive blast to drive. Inside space isn’t bad & with two teenagers plus my wife & a Cockerpoo, I found the 5 door more than adequate for us all around town or on a round trip of 60 miles or so to watch my son play rugby.  Driving on my own was a guilty pleasure as the small dimensions, low body weight & fantastic =engine made it impossible not to ‘burn’ away from every junction.

Front passengers get plenty of space & with the passenger seat pushed partially back, there is room for a medium sized dog in the footwell. However, legroom in the back isn’t great & if you are six-feet plus you will really struggle to get comfy. Unsurprisingly, the boot is small, just 186 litres but it is big enough for a few shopping bags or as I discovered, two small suitcases.

More enjoyably, as I’ve mentioned, I spent much of the week driving the C1 on my own & found the 1.2 incredibly nippy around town & out on the motorway it happily ticked along at 70 mph + keeping up & sometimes overtaking much bigger cars with larger more powerful engines. The 1.2 is joyously noisy & in some ways is reminiscent of Fiats 500 Twin Air, but around town this is fine as this noise makes the car feels quite nippy & of course it’s a doddle to park. Performance is a claimed 0-62 mph in 11 seconds ( it feels much, much quicker !)with a top speed of  106 mph, The flip side though is that fuel economy is an impressive 65.7 mpg on the combined with CO2 emissions of 99g/km, only a little worse than the 1 litre which isn’t anywhere near as much fun to drive.

What’s most impressive about the C1 is it’s price, which starts at just £8395 for the 3 door 1 litre Tech VTI. Although my test model the 5 door C1 Flair PureTech 1.2 retailed at £11,035, it did come with lot’s of goodies including a speed limiter, rev counter, reversing camera, leather steering wheel & gear knob ,electrically adjusted heated door mirrors  manual air con, a 7″ touchscreen Touch Drive Interface withy DAB/AM/FM radio, Bluetooth, front LED daytime running lights & 15″ Planet alloys. Just what the kids have ordered !

In conclusion, in what is a very congested sector, if you need a small city car for your employees that’s exceedingly well equipped, looks good, is cheap to buy, own & run then the new C1 will tick all your boxes. It’s certainly a vast improvement on what came before from Citroen & especially my Uno from the 1980′s. Just make sure you pay a little extra for the 1.2, you won’t regret it !

A Blackbox 3.5/5.

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Category: Citroen

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