Citroen Ami Review

The Citroen Ami is a tiny two-seater electric vehicle that’s cheap and very cheerful

Strengths & weaknesses

The Citroen Ami isn’t actually a car - it’s technically a quadricycle, which means it’s very small and speed-limited to 28mph. It’s designed for cities and on-site uses, for example at a zoo or stadium that might need a tiny zero-emission vehicle for getting around.

The Ami is road legal, though, and it’s also really cheap to buy and run. You probably won’t ever consider one unless you have a very specific set of circumstances, however. We can imagine that people who live in the city and have a very short commute that they need to do without public transport might have a use for the Ami.

A motorbike or scooter is perhaps a better idea for many drivers, but you will at least stay dry in the Ami. Since it’s limited to 28mph, the Ami is unsuitable for anyone who might go near a road with a speed limit higher than 30, plus it has a tiny battery that allows a range of only 46 miles. That’s plenty for use in town, though.

Inside, there are two seats and the driver sits on the left-hand side. Citroen says this is because the car is so small that it doesn’t matter which side you sit on, but of course the real reason is that the market for the car is so limited that it’s not worth Citroen spending the money to produce a right-hand drive model for the UK.

The Ami is fun to drive, as there’s really nothing else like it. It’s tiny, everyone will want to know what it is and the little electric motor is fun to use, even though the Ami is rather slow. Unfortunately it’s rather uncomfortable - if you’ve ever driven a golf cart you’ll understand how it can be both fun and unpleasant to drive at the same time.

The interior is incredibly sparse, with a wipe-down theme that will add appeal for businesses that want a small car for on-site transport but it’s a bit off-putting for drivers after a car for themselves. The Ami may be cheap, but you can still buy plenty of actual cars that are far more capable for a lot less second-hand.

Should I get a Citroen Ami?

Very cheap to buy and run
Easier to drive, safer and drier than a motorbike
Novelty value - the Ami looks like nothing else

Scary to drive on fast roads due to 28mph limiter
Very uncomfortable over bumps
Plenty of used cars are cheaper to buy

Sadly the Citroen Ami is a rather tough sell for typical drivers. It’s aimed at people who live in the city, but public transport is typically a better option for urban dwellers, while a motorbike is better for slipping through traffic.

Even if you don’t want to deal with either of those options, there are used city cars available for less than the Ami that offer far better comfort, much more equipment and can be driven safely on roads with a speed limit of more than 30mph.

The Ami is fun, though, and businesses with a large site that they need to travel around might find that it’s a good zero-emission solution. It could also work for short-range deliveries of small packages.

Citroen Ami (2022-present): models explained

Citroen Ami

Citroen Ami

The Citroen Ami is an electric quadricycle, which means it’s limited to 28mph. This also means that teenagers in some countries can drive it, but that’s not the case here in the UK - you need a normal car licence.

The Ami has two seats and is left-hand-drive only. It’s powered by a small electric motor with just 8hp and a 5kWh battery. As with other new electric vehicles it’s an automatic, so it’s really easy to drive, and the design means that the cabin is quite spacious despite the car’s tiny size.

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Which Citroen Ami to buy: trim levels

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Trim Equipment Deals
Citroen Ami From £6,653: There aren’t any trim levels with the Ami and nor is there really any equipment. You don’t even get roll-down windows (they flip open) and the seats are made of hard plastic. There isn’t even a media system, just a smartphone mount.

 
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Citroen Ami batteries and range

The Citroen Ami has a 5kWh battery, which is tiny by the standards of even the smallest electric cars. For context, the Fiat 500 Electric, one of the smallest and cheapest electric cars around, has a 24kWh battery in entry-level form.

This tiny battery gives a range of 46 miles per charge, which is quite impressive in some ways. This is because the Ami is really light - it weighs just 458kg, so there’s not much mass to carry around.

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Citroen Ami charge time

You can charge the Citroen Ami at home with a normal three-pin plug in about three hours, although it also comes with a Type 2 charge cable for use with a dedicated electric car charger. It takes the same time to charge no matter which type you use, though, as the onboard charging setup is limited to that speed.

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Best Citroen Ami model for…

There is only one version of the Citroen Ami so while we would normally have a section here about which version is best for a variety of situations, it’s not applicable here. While the Ami doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for ordinary drivers, there are some organisations that might consider one or more Ami models.

For example, a large site, such as a theme park, airport or industrial estate, might use an Ami to get staff from one place to another - especially if it suits a brand's image to use electric vehicles rather than petrol or diesel ones. It has enough range to do this all day, and even if it doesn’t, three hours on a plug will see if fully charged again.

It could also be useful on public roads for getting from one site in a city to another, for example in the case of hospitals or universities with multiple campuses in one city. The Ami could be useful for carrying essential equipment, too, as the interior is quite spacious for the car’s tiny size.

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Citroen Ami rivals

Renault Twizy

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Skoda Citigo-e iV

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Fiat 500 Electric

BuyaCar prices from £6,695
Monthly finance from £121.39*

There really are no direct rivals for the Ami aside from perhaps the Renault Twizy. This is another tiny electric quadricycle, though it’s much more exposed to the elements than the Ami.

For drivers buying their own car, we’d recommend a city car such as a Skoda Citigo, Hyundai i10 or Kia Picanto on the used market, which will cost about the same amount and be better in practically every way, aside from the low running costs in the Ami that come from its electric motor.

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Citroen Ami practicality: dimensions and boot space

Citroen Ami dimensions

The Citroen Ami is just 2.4 long, 1.4m wide and 1.5m tall, so it’s almost comically tiny next to even the smallest city cars on the road.

It’s left-hand-drive and the doors open strangely; the driver’s door is hinged at the back and the passenger door is hinged at the front. This saves manufacturing cost and keeps the price down. The Ami is quite roomy inside, as the wheels are right at the corners of the car. There are only two seats, though.

CLICK TO READ OUR FULL STORY ON CITROEN AMI DIMENSIONS

Length 2,410mm Width 1,390mm
Height 1,520mm Weight 458kg

 

Citroen Ami boot space

The Citroen Ami doesn’t actually have a boot at all. There’s no dedicated storage space, so any luggage you bring along will need to fit either in the passenger footwell - which is quite large - or on the passenger seat. There is a large dashboard with some cubbies for storing smaller items, and a smartphone mount as well.

CLICK TO READ OUR FULL STORY ON CITROEN AMI BOOT SPACE

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Citroen Ami reliability

The Citroen Ami is likely to be reliable, because it’s built to appeal to businesses that will need a dependable form of transport. It’s electric, so there’s not much to go wrong, and the interior is built using hard plastics. Even the seats are made of a very hard-wearing material that should stand up to more abuse than a normal car seat. It doesn’t do much for comfort, but it’s likely to stand up to heavy use at least.

One thing to be aware of is that since it’s not a car, the Ami doesn’t have to be crash tested like one. It has almost no safety kit, but since it’s limited to 28mph and won’t be used like a normal car, this may not be an issue for many drivers.

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Citroen Ami warranty

Citroen is still finalising plans for the Ami’s warranty in the UK. There are no details available yet, but you can check the brand’s website for the latest information on this.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON USED CAR WARRANTIES

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Used Citroen Ami: should I buy one?

Very few Citroen Ami models are likely to be sold in the UK as, unlike in some European countries, you can’t drive one without a driving licence. They may be useful for businesses but in that case, fleets of new models will be ordered rather than choosing used examples.

This means it’s only normal drivers that may consider a used Citroen Ami - and we wouldn’t recommend one. A motorbike is more practical in terms of avoiding city traffic and parking, and public transport will be faster in most cities anyway. The fact that you can’t go more than 28mph in an Ami means that it’s rather scary on even a 40mph road, so it’s far from ideal for out-of-town use.

It’s a fun car to drive, but a used city car like a Skoda Citigo or Hyundai i10 is a far better choice and costs about the same amount.

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Best Citroen Ami deals

The Citroen Ami is still very new, so there aren’t many for sale used. Even if you’ve always bought used cars in the past, if you have your heart set on the Ami then even a new model might be worth considering - it’s actually very affordable, although you do have to accept plenty of compromises to drive one.

Some deals on the Ami have low headline monthly payments, but you have to bear in mind that these also generally have very high initial deposits, so the car isn't as affordable as you might initially think. Running costs, however, are where you're likely to save money.

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*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:

  PCP representative example     APR rates available    
  Cash price £12,000 APR 7.90%   Value of loan From  
  Fixed monthly payment £218.12 Annual mileage of 8,000pa   £25,000+ 6.9%  
  Total cost of credit £2,755.55 Term 48 months   £12,000-£24,999 7.9%  
  Optional final payment £4,285.79 Loan value £12,000   £8,000-£11,999 8.9%  
  Total amount payable £14,755.55 Deposit £0   <8,000 9.9%  

 

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.