Review: Citroen C1 (2014)
Cheap to run with zero tax on all models. Improved interior quality and refinement over previous C1. Available with retractable fabric roof. Decent at motorway speeds.
Similar Toyota Aygo has sharper looks.
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Citroen C1 (2014): At A Glance
- New prices start from £12,970, brokers can source from £7,695
- Contract hire deals from £164.20 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 7–13
- On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure
Citroen is sticking to the friendly and cheeky look for the second generation model as it aims to differentiate its C1 from the now more aggressive Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 108. As before, all three are part of a joint venture, but this C1 is a significant improvement on the original model.
It still retains the compact dimensions with a length of less than 3.5 metres but there's more interior space and a larger boot too. The big changes are in refinement with a better ride quality and less noise on the move. Citroen has also revised the gear ratios on the five-speed manual and as a result you don't have to work the C1 as hard to get meaningful performance.
There are two engines starting with the 1.0-litre VTi which has enough power for the C1 and is economical with a claimed 68.8mpg. Alongside this is a 1.2-litre engine with more power but in everyday driving there's little to choose between the two. Both qualify for free tax due to CO2 emissions under 100g/km.
In town the C1 is highly manoeuvrable thanks to its short wheelbase and light power steering. It's better than before on the motorway with less noise intrusion and the handling has been improved thanks to new suspension springs, new shock absorbers and a new large-diameter anti-roll bar. It's not quite as agile as the Skoda Citigo but it's still very composed and safe.
The interior of the C1 is more plush than before but still functional and hardwearing plus you can jazz it up with optional packs which add a dash of colour to the central console and air vents. Storage includes twin cup holders and a lidded glovebox that can accommodate a one-litre bottle.
All models apart from the entry-level versions, have a seven-inch touchscreen in the dash that helps life the cabin, although features like the old fashioned trip computer display make it feel a little dated. On the plus side, a new open-top version called Airscape is available and comes with a fabric roof which electrically retracts and adds to the fun feel of the little Citroen.
Overall the C1 is a good quality small hatchback that builds on the qualities of the original model but with some much needed improvements in quality and refinement. It's cheap to run and feels solidly built. There are some dated elements inside and it's not as roomy as a Skoda Citigo, but it still has plenty of appeal helped by good equipment levels across the range.
What does a Citroen C1 (2014) cost?
Citroen C1 (2014): What's It Like Inside?
Citroen has given the second generation C1 a plusher cabin with less exposed metal and a more sophisticated feel throughout. It's still functional and hardwearing though and retains some of the designs of the original C1 like the circular revolving air vents and the large speedo fixed to the top of the steering wheel.
This means that whatever driving position you have, you can always see the instrument cluster. The little pod rev counter has sadly gone to replaced by a digital version on the left hand side, although it does look a little like it's from an 1980s' electronic toy. In the middle of the speedo is a digital trip computer, but again this looks quite dated like an old mobile phone display and not in keeping with the rest of the cabin design.
On the plus side, the big speedo is easy to read and there's both height and reach adjustment in the steering column, so it's easy to find a good driving position. The gloss black finish on the steering wheel give it an upmarket feel and even the standard plastic finish feels decent, while top models get a leather wrapped wheel. The seats are a big improvement on the old C1 and are wider with better support so you feel like you're sitting in them rather than on them.
The interior certainly feels solid and well finished so although there are hard plastics, they don't feel cheap and are what you'd expect in a car at this price level. Practicality is good too with two cupholders next to the gear lever and a small cubby ahead of that's ideal for phones and sunglasses. The door pockets are pretty narrow but at least the glovebox is a decent size and you can now fit a drinks bottle in.
Where the C1 can't compete with rivals like the Skoda Citigo is space. The back is as cramped as you'd expect and doesn't have the room of the Citigo. Like the Skoda both three and five-door models come with pop-out rear windows. The boot is smaller too, the C1 being able to carry 196 litres while both the Citigo and the Hyundai 10 have a capacity of more than 250 litres. That said, Citroen has managed to find 28 litres more boot space than the near identical Toyota Aygo.
All models, with the exception of the entry-level Touch, come with a seven-inch touchscreen on the centre stack. It controls the stereo, media inputs with a clear screen and easy to use layout. One clever feature is Mirror Screen which mirrors the screen of certain smartphones allowing you to control your phone - and various apps - through the touchscreen. It means you can run navigation of your phone as an alternative to the optional integrated system.
The open-top models, known as Airscape, come with a retractable fabric roof that electrically folds back. It doesn't go all the down like a DS3 Cabrio, but that's good news as rear visibility isn't hampered. Plus it still gives the C1 the feel of an open-top car and you can have the roof open to whatever point you like.
There are eight paint colours available on the C1, including four metallic options, along with three wheel designs and four interior upholstery finishes. The fabric roof will be available in three colours - black, grey and Sunrise red. There are also different interior colour packs - such as the White Colour Pack and the Sunrise Red Pack - which add colour to elements like the centre console, air vents and gear lever surround.
C1 Touch comes with ABS, EBA, ESP, power steering, remote central locking, electric front windows, six airbags, an MP3 compatible audio system, a USB socket and LED daytime running lights.
C1 Feel adds air conditioning, DAB digital radio, 7-inch Touch Drive interface with Mirror Screen technology and steering mounted controls, along with body coloured door mirrors and door handles.
C1 Flair comes with 15-inch Planet alloy wheels and additional features including a speed limiter, rev counter, reversing camera, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, a leather steering wheel and dark tinted rear windows.
Child seats that fit a Citroen C1 (2014)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Citroen C1 (2014) like to drive?
The C1 is designed to be cheap to run and impressively all models qualify for zero annual tax and have strong fuel economy. The entry-level engine in the C1 is the same 1.0-litre petrol that's also used in the Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 108.
The three-cylinder engine is carried over from the previous C1 and has the same eager nature and distinctive sound with an identical 68PS but there have been improvements to refinement and as a result there's less vibration through the cabin.
Economy is also better and the 1.0 engine now returns a claimed 74.3mpg in Airdream versions thanks to an engine start/stop function. Even the standard 1.0 averages an official 68.8mpg. The five-speed manual gearbox has been improved with better ratios and as a result the C1 is easier to drive with less noise at motorway speeds. As an option, the 1.0-litre engine comes with an automated manual gearbox, labelled ETG, although it's best avoided unless you must have an automatic.
The 1.0-litre engine has enough get up and go about it, helped by the fact it's a three-cylinder unit. It's good fun around town and despite a modest 95Nm of torque it has enough poke due to the light weight of the C1 - it tips the scales at just 840kg. Away from a standstill it has real pep while at motorway speeds it feels far more comfortable than the previous C1 with less engine and road noise.
The C1 also comes with a 1.2-litre VTi engine producing 82PS. This unit isn't offered in the Aygo - it's only available in the C1 and Peugeot 108. Along with the extra power, the PureTech unit also has more torque with 116Nm and comes with start/stop as standard giving a claimed economy figure of 65.7mpg.
In everyday driving there's little to choose between the two different engines. It's only at higher revs when you're really working the engine that you notice the extra power of the 1.2-litre. The rest of the time it feels similar with the same three-cylinder thrum and nippy performance. We'd suggest sticking with the 1.0-litre engine which is cheaper and more economical.
Whichever engine you chose, the C1 is good to drive with safe handling and responsive power steering which has been revised to be more direct. It's at its best in town thanks to a tight turning circle and plenty of grip, but it's now out of its depth on the motorway and is surprisingly good at 70mph with little noise and enough power to keep up with faster flowing traffic. The suspension has been carried over from the original C1 and although it's a touch bouncy, it's better set-up for corners with less lean.
|1.0 VTi||52–74 mpg||12.6–14.3 s||88–95 g/km|
|1.0 VTi ETG||67 mpg||14.6–15.7 s||95–97 g/km|
|1.2||66 mpg||10.9–11.0 s||99 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Citroen C1 (2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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