Citroen C1 (2014-present)

A reasonably priced city car with funky styling, the Citroen C1 falls short with a cramped interior

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Light and easy to drive
Cheap to buy
Good fuel economy

Weaknesses 

Cramped rear seats and small boot
Cheap-feeling interior
Noisy at speed

By the time 2014 came around, Citroen’s first-generation C1 was nine years old and getting quite long in the tooth. This second generation model is a huge improvement over that last car, with a larger boot, more technology inside, and funky looks that will appeal to all ages.

The front of the car gets an upside-down headlight arrangement just like Citroen’s larger C4 Picasso, while at the back there’s an all-glass tailgate which as well as looking cool is actually cheaper to manufacture than a metal-and-glass one.

There are two engines available - a 1.0-litre and a 1.2-litre. They’re both three-cylinder units. The larger engine is better for motorway driving, but most C1 drivers will spend a lot of time in town, where the smoother and cheaper 1.0-litre is the best bet.

You could spend some of that money saved on options, as the Citroen C1 has a lot of scope for personalisation. Top of the list is a large fabric sunroof which makes the car somewhat of a pseudo-convertible - but there’s plenty more on the list including big-car features like leather seats and sat-nav.

The Citroen C1 is roomier than its predecessor, but it’s still cramped inside for adults. There’s far more room in the backseat of a Hyundai i10, for example, while the C1’s 196-litre boot pales in comparison to the 254-litres on offer from the Suzuki Celerio. Citroen has also improved the way the car handles, but it’s not up to the fun factor or refined ride of a Skoda Citigo.

All that being said, the C1 is still worth a look, especially as Citroen is known to offer generous discounts.

Last Updated 

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 15:15

Key facts 

Warranty: : 
3 years/60,000 miles
Boot size:: 
196 litres/780 litres (seats up/seats down)
Width:: 
1,615mm
Length:: 
3,465mm
Height:: 
1,460mm
Tax (min to max):: 
£0 on all models

Best Citroen C1 for... 

Citroen C1 Flair Puretech 82 Manual 3-door
Citroen C1 1.2 Puretech - Feel - 5dr
Though probably too small to function as a family’s only car, the five-door model improves practicality enough to make the extra £400 outlay worth it. The higher-powered engine will improve performance when fully loaded too.
Citroen C1 1.2 Puretech - Feel - 3dr
Speed demons should apply elsewhere, but the 1.2-litre engine endows the C1 with a useful turn of speed compared to some of its city car rivals like the VW up!. It’s still very economical and free from road tax, too.
Citroen C1 1.0 VTi ETG - Flair - 5dr
This is one very expensive little car at nearly £12,000, but the worst feature is the gearbox. It’s slow and clunky - the standard 5-speed manual suits this car much better.

Citroen C1 History 

2014: Model is launched, replacing its nine-year-old predecessor.
2015: The C1 achieves only four stars on the Euro NCAP safety tests.

Understanding Citroen C1 car names 

  • C1
  • Trim
    Airscape Flair
  • Engine
    1.2 Puretech 82
  • Gearbox
    ETG
  • Trim
    The C1 trim levels are Touch, Feel and Flair, with special editions like Lagoon or Sunrise available. Airscape means the car has a large fabric sunroof.
  • Engine
    There are only two engine choices in the C1 - the 1.0-litre VTi or 1.2-litre Puretech. The number after them refers to power output.
  • Gearbox
    ETG means an automatic gearbox.

Citroen C1 Engines 

Engines: 1.0-litre VTi 68, 1.2-litre Puretech 8

While the previous Citroen C1 was available with a diesel option, this model gets a choice of two petrols. The first is a 1.0-litre unit carried over from the previous car. It’s got plenty of power around town but can really struggle with a fully loaded car. It returns fantastic economy figures, though, and if you rarely venture onto the motorway it should be fine for most needs.

The other engine choice is a 1.2-litre unit developed by Peugeot and Citroen. It’s much more powerful than the 1.0-litre and is better for motorway cruising, but a high clutch biting point means it’s more difficult to drive around town.

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 62mph

top speed

1.0 VTi

67.3-74.3mpg

67bhp

14.6-14.3s

98mph

TSI 1.2

65.7mpg

80bhp

11.0s

106mph

Citroen C1 Trims 

Trims: Touch, Feel, Flair, Airscape

The available trim levels in the Citroen C1 are named Touch, Feel, and Flair, but it’s not quite as simple as that. Feel and Flair trims are available as Airscape models, with a large fabric sunroof giving some wind-in-the-hair thrills - while sacrificing some of the already limited rear headroom. Touch trim is pretty miserly - it has electric windows and remote central locking, but lacks a rev counter, height adjustable driving seat and air-conditioning. Feel is the pick of the range as it has all the essentials for a reasonable price, but it’s easy to be tempted by Flair trim which serves up optional keyless start, climate control, and a reversing camera. There’s also a couple of special editions adding extras for a reasonable price.

Citroen C1 Reliability and warranty 

The Citroen C1 has been developed in conjunction with Toyota and is mechanically identical to the Toyota Aygo - which is good news, as the Japanese company has a stellar reputation for reliability. The 1.0-litre engine is a Toyota unit and proved itself in nine years of service on the old C1, so there shouldn’t be any worries there. The 1.2-litre Puretech unit is relatively new but has also proven reliable so far.

However the Citroen C1 only managed a lowly 93rd position in the 2015 Driver Power survey, scoring poorly for ride quality and performance. It came 43rd for reliability though.

Citroen offers a three year/60,000 mile warranty on the C1, which isn’t as generous as the five year/100,000 mile warranty on a Toyota Aygo, or the seven-year/100,000 mile warranty on a Kia Picanto.

Used Citroen C1 

As a relatively new car, there’s not much saving to be had on a Citroen C1 - but a lightly used model could save thousands of pounds for not much sacrifice.

It’s worth thinking carefully about what you’re looking for - don’t be tempted to pay extra for models with ugly paint and trim combinations that may be difficult to resell. As with any city car look out for parking dents or dings from shopping trolleys.

Typical prices: A table showing the savings to be enjoyed (compared to new, list price) for each of our “best” variants at each age, from new to three years old (or generation launch year, whichever is later)

 

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for economy

Citroen C1 1.0 VTi S&S - Flair - 3dr

Price

£10,785

£9,960

£7,940

N/A

N/A

Save

7.6%

26.4%

N/A

N/A

Best for families

Citroen C1 1.2 Puretech - Feel - 5dr

Price

£10,595

£9,441

£7,950

N/A

N/A

Save

10.9%

25%

N/A

N/A

Best for performance

Citroen C1 1.2 Puretech - Feel - 3dr

Price

£10,195

£9,089

£7,910

N/A

N/A

Save

10.9%

22.4%

N/A

N/A