- Good value for money
- Solid equipment levels
- Colourful interior
- Not the most spacious
- Poor boot space
- Engines aren’t the most flexible
Stylish city car is well-equipped and good value for money
The Citroen C1 is a city car that shares its platform with the Peugeot 108, and the Toyota Aygo. Since its first introduction in 2005, the C1 has differed from its siblings by incorporating funky aesthetics, and generous levels of equipment throughout its range. The 108 isn’t the most practical car in its class, nor is it the most refined, but it’s performs well around town, and most importantly, with Citroen’s competitive pricing it represents great value for money.
The second-generation C1, released in 2014, featured a complete redesign, with a new interior, aesthetics, and chassis.
Stylish with a class-leading infotainment centre
The Citroen C1 features one of the funkiest interior designs in its class. With an array of personalisation options, buyers can also make it truly unique. There’s not as much storage space as rivals, but there’s generous equipment throughout the range.
The dashboard of the C1 really is a striking design, especially when the optional colour packs are added. These are relatively cheap options that add vibrancy and colour to the cabin, and is sure to put a smile on buyers faces. Material quality is far from prestigious, as cheap-feeling plastics are used throughout the cabin. Nevertheless it’s all well-built, and is almost a match for the VW Up!.
Space wise the C1 is a little disappointing. With 196 litres of boot capacity, it’s bigger than it’s predecessor, but it still falls some way short of the biggest cars in the class. If practicality is a primary concern to you it’s worth considering the more practical Hyundai i10 (252 litres), or the Skoda Citigo (251 litres). There’s still enough room for a bit of shopping in the C1, but not much else.
Equipment levels in the C1 are thankfully quite generous, but only if you avoid the entry-level trim. There’s not an awful lot of kit included with the Touch trim, so unless you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth considering the mid-range Feel trim. With this you’ll get air-con, electric windows, and an excellent 7” Touch Drive infotainment system. You can easily connect your phone to the car, which is sure to be a hit with young buyers.
Overall the C1 boasts an interior that is decent, without being spectacular. The cabin feels pretty solidly put together, and is well-designed, but material quality is disappointing. There’s very little space in the boot as well, and whilst mid-range trims come with plenty of kit, at the entry-level the C1 is pretty sparse.
Good around town, struggles elsewhere
The Citroen C1 is a car that’s designed to be good to drive in the city, and in these terms, it does its job well. But a lot of city cars offer greater flexibility. The steering is light, which makes parking in small spaces, and weaving through traffic a doddle. Get the C1 out on the open road however and it offers very little in the way of feedback, so it’s not the most assured car to drive out of town.
Suspension and Chassis
The chassis and suspension system in the C1 is also geared towards city driving, but it doesn’t quite achieve its goals. Ride refinement is pretty poor, even around town, as speed bumps, potholes, and loose surfaces all send shudders through the cabin. The C1 isn’t a great motorway drive either, as there’s quite a bit of road and wind noise.
Gearbox options in the C1 come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a five speed manual, that is sharp and snappy, which makes it good to use around town. There’s also an automatic option in the form of the ETG automated manual transmission, but it has been widely criticised in the press, so is probably one to avoid.
Clean, efficient, but a little underpowered
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your C1, you’ve only got the one fuel type to choose from: petrol. That’s fine for a city car, but the entry-level engine feels a little bit on the slow side, though it is super efficient.
If it’s power that you want from your C1, you’ll be disappointed to learn that there isn’t a ‘hot’ version of the C1. The most powerful engine in the range is the 1.2 PureTech, which produces 82bhp, and boasts a 0-62mph time of 11 seconds. It might not look good on paper, but it has enough punch to feel nippy around town, and can cope with the occasional motorway journey pretty well.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleased with the C1 engine range, as all models fall below the magic 100g/km of CO2 emissions mark. This means whichever C1 you go for, you won’t be paying any road tax. For those with intense concerns, the best option to go for is the 1.0 VTi Start/Stop which produces just 88g/km. This model is also the best for money-savers as it can achieve up to 74.3mpg. Money saved on fuel, tick. Money saved on tax, tick.
Whichever engine you go for in your C1 you’re going to get great value around town. Every engine in the range is economical and green, though both are best suited to city driving, and struggle out of town.
Four star NCAP, good standard safety equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the Citroen C1 failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 80% in adult safety, 80% in child safety, and 62% in pedestrian safety, the C1 scored a respectable four stars. It’s also not too far behind the class-leading VW Up!, which achieved 89%/80%/46%. The C1 also comes with six airbags, hill start control, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and ESP as standard.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Citroen C1 represents impressive value for money, no matter which model you go for. No car in the range exceeds 100g/km of CO2 emissions, so road tax is free in all C1s, and fuel efficiency on even the thirstiest of models is more than 65mpg. The C1 is an incredibly cheap car to run day-to-day.
Insurance costs in the C1 are also incredibly good value for money. This does depend on which engine and trim you choose to go for, but you won’t be paying any more than you would for equivalent rivals. The cheapest model in the range is the 1.0 VTi Touch, which is in group 6, whilst the most expensive is the top of the range Airscape 1.2 PureTech Feel Edition Lagoon which is in group 13.
Depreciation is a factor with the C1, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Citroen C1 is a solid city car that is worth some consideration. It’s not the best car in its class, but it does represent good value for money. It features some efficient engines, is good to drive around town, and has a funky interior. The C1 a great car for first time drivers.
Buying a used Citroen C1 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Citroen C1 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used C1. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Citroen C1 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Citroen? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Citroen C1, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used C1, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Citroen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.