Citroen C1 (2014-2021) Review
A reasonably priced city car with funky styling, the Citroen C1 falls short with a cramped interior
Strengths & weaknesses
- Cheap to buy
- Good fuel economy
- Light and easy to drive
- Noisy at speed
- Cheap-feeling interior
- Cramped rear seats and small boot
Citroen C1 prices from £5,990 Finance from £133.28 per month
Anyone looking for a practical small car with efficient engines and an up-to-date interior should take a long look at the Citroen C1. It's a second generation model that has built on everything that made the orignal C1 such a success among young drivers especially. It's got a sizeable boot for a car this size, plenty of interior tech and funky looks that ought to 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.
This model is roomier than its predecessor, but it’s still cramped inside for adults - there's no getting away fom the Citroen C1's minute dimensions. 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 on new cars, while used car deals on BuyaCar are always worth consideration.
|3 years/60,000 miles
|196 litres/780 litres (seats up/seats down)
|Tax (min to max):
|£0 on all models
Best Citroen C1 for...
Best for Economy – Citroen 1.0 VTi manual 3-door
In this configuration the little Citroen can reach a massive 74.3mpg.
Best for Families – 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.
Best for Performance – 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.
One to Avoid – 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.
2014: Model is launched, replacing its nine-year-old predecessor.
2015: The C1 achieves only four stars on the Euro NCAP safety tests.
2018: In April 2018 Citroen added two new trim levels, Elle, and Urban Ride. This trim added gloss black mirrors, geometric patterns for the interior, and rafts of customisable options
Understanding Citroen C1 names
Trim Airscape Flair
The C1 trim levels are Touch, Feel and Flair, with special editions like Lagoon, Sunrise, Elle and Urban ride available. Airscape means the car has a large fabric sunroof.
Engine 1.2 Puretech 82
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.
ETG means an automatic gearbox.
Citroen C1 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.
0 - 62mph
Citroen C1 Trims
Touch, Feel, Flair, Airscape, Elle, Urban Ride
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.
The latest of these are the Elle, and Urban Ride editions. The Elle gets two tone paint and new upholstery with 'cherry pink' stitching. Yet more personalisation options are available on the Urban Ride, including new 15-inch alloy wheels and a stream of new colours.
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.
|1 year old
|2 years old
|3 years old
Best for performance Citroen C1 1.2 Puretech
Best for families Citroen C1 1.2 Puretech Feel
Best for economy Citroen 1.0 VTi manual 3-door