Citroen C1 (2014) Review

Looking for a Citroen C1 (2014 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Citroen C1 (2014) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
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

+Cheap to run, improved interior quality and refinement over previous C1, available with retractable fabric roof, decent at motorway speeds.

-Similar Toyota Aygo has sharper looks.

New prices start from £14,340, brokers can source from £10,970
Insurance Groups are between 7–13
On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure

The Citroen C1 launched in 2014 was the second generation of the French brand’s city car, designed and built as a joint venture resulting in the near-identical Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo, built to take on cars like the Hyundai i10 and SEAT Mii.

With a relentless focus on cost, the C1 and its relatives have been consistently one of the cheapest new cars that money can buy. Even so, this second-generation version has improved in a number of key areas over the original C1, with greater refinement, improved specification and more capability to deal with traffic conditions outside of the city.

Looking for a Citroen C1 (2014 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Citroen has stuck to the friendly and cheeky approach 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 under than 3.5 metres but there's more interior space and a larger boot too. The big changes are in refinement, with improved 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.

Originally launched with a choice of two petrol engines, the C1 range has now been cut back to leave only the 1.0-litre VTi. Thankfully this engine provides characterful performance despite its size, has enough power and is economical with more than 50mpg possible. 

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 shows a significant improvement over the previous model whilst still being functional and hardwearing.

You also have the option to 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 bar the entry-level Touch are fitted with a seven-inch touchscreen in the dash that is a genuine plus on a car at this price, although features like the old fashioned trip computer display make it feel a little dated. On the plus side, an 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.

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.

Ask Honest John

What small cars do you recommend?
"I have a Citroen C1 that has been amazing but I'm thinking of changing it. I have about £1600 to spend and need something with good mph, comfortable and reliable. Should I change? If so, can you recommend three cars which would be great and relatively cheap to run? Thank you."
It might be wise to keep the C1 - better the devil you know, especially at this price point. If you do wish to change, a Honda Jazz could be a good choice. Also consider a Ford Fiesta with the bulletproof 1.25-litre petrol engine, or a Toyota Yaris. Any of these should be very reliable.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is a Citroen C1 a good small car for an older driver?
"My wife, who is aged 73, needs to change her aged Peugeot 207 CC and has seen a 2016 Citroen C1 at a local dealership - priced at £6690. The car appears well looked after and has covered 16,700 miles. She drives between 3000 and 4000 miles per year. Mobility is not a problem. Would you consider this a suitable, reliable and comfortable vehicle or should she look at alternative small cars? Thank you for your help."
The Citroen is a decent small car. But I'd probably choose something that's more comfortable and still has some of its manufacturer warranty left on its books, like the Kia Picanto: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/kia/picanto-2017/ A new Picanto is sold with a seven-year-warranty as standard. Buying used, £6700 will get you a five-door model from 2017 with a big chunk of that warranty remaining: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/search/Kia/Picanto/?l=0&p2=7000
Answered by Dan Powell
Which city car has the best automatic gearbox?
"What is the best automatic city car to buy? I've looked at the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo."
I wouldn't recommend a C1/108/Aygo - they use a frustrating automated manual gearbox rather than a 'proper' auto. I'd suggest a Kia Picanto with its four-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's a good second car for teenagers to learn to drive in?
"Please can you recommend a good second hand car? We are looking for something fairly cheap to buy, low cost to insure for new drivers and mostly just used for around-town driving. My wife will drive it (aged 45) most of the time but it will also get used by our two teenagers who are learning to drive - our daughter aged 17 and our son aged 19."
We'd be looking at a Toyota Aygo (or equivalent Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108). They're cheap to buy and run plus they're robust enough to cope with two learner drivers. Alternatively, the Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii are all excellent city cars which shouldn't cost a fortune to insure.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Citroen C1 (2014) cost?

Buy new from £10,970 (list price from £12,595)