Citroen C1 Review
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Citroen C1 Tested October 2006
Recommended. Clean, green and clever - but why would you pick one over the pretty much identical Toyota Aygo?
There's lots to like about the Citroen C1. Along with its Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo sister cars, you could make a good case for it being a far more realistic look at the future of motoring than expensive electric cars or will 'o the wisps like hydrogen power. The C1 is small, light, good fun to drive and very, very economical.
The cutesy styling is probably the least successful of the three cars, with Citroen's chevron radiator grille looking as if it's been grafted onto the rest of the design. The cabin has some neat design touches, but some of the materials feel very cheap and, being priced below the Toyota and Peugeot, the Citroen is also really lacking standard equipment.
Front seat occupants enjoy a respectable amount of room, but the back seats are cramped and the boot is almost laughably small. Anything above the smallest loads require you to fold down the rear seat - and the most basic C1 doesn't even come with a 60:40 split in its back pew. That's taking penny pinching too far.
On the road the C1 impresses, certainly in town where its combination of a rev-happy engine, accurate gearchange and direct, responsive steering make it easy to dart into tight spaces. Out of urban areas the bouncy ride and poor refinement against wind noise tell against it. The petrol engine is excellent, so don't even think about the loud (and barely more efficient) diesel version.
Next: ratings and breakdown
1. Zingy petrol engine
2. Zippy urban driving experience
3. Attractive pricing
We don't like:
1. Silly looking Citroen front end
2. Cheaper versions are very, very basic
3. Diesel engine makes no sense at all
Most fun: 1.0i Rhythm 5-dr
Most sensible: 1.0i Vibe 3-dr
Worst: 1.4 HDI Rhythm diesel