Citroen Ami Review 2024

Citroen Ami At A Glance

3/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Ever wished you could drive a dodgem on the road? Say hello to the Citroen Ami...

+It's a genuinely affordable electric car. Amusing to drive (in a rubbish kind of way). Can't go fast enough to get into any trouble.

-It's not actually a car. Nor is it subject to car safety regulations. It has a top speed of 28mph.

The Citroen Ami is probably the most back-to-basics electric vehicle you can buy. It's actually a quadricycle, rather than a car, which means it's limited to a top speed of 28mph and you can drive it in the UK from the age of 16. It's a bit rubbish in many ways but, like a Reliant Robin or Suzuki Jimny, its charm and personality will win over the harshest of critics.

First and foremost, the Citroen Ami has been designed to be cheap. We mean genuinely affordable - not a £30,000 entry-level electric car. That means it's built in Morocco and has a quirky symmetrical body. The front and rear are the same, while the doors open in opposite directions.

It's also only available with the steering wheel on the left but, as the Ami is so small, that doesn't make a huge difference. There's little in the way of equipment - you don't get a radio, for example, while split-screen windows flip open like those on an old-fashioned bus. Want to adjust the mirrors? Reach out and do it yourself.

The Citroen Ami comes with just two seats (side-by-side, which differs from the Renault Twizy) and you even get a roof and windows as standard. You don't get a great deal else bar a basic heater, but what more do you need? A radio..? No, but Citroen will offer a Bluetooth speaker and a phone mount for the dashboard.

Jumping into the Citroen Ami feels a bit like getting into a theme park ride. The firm, plastic seats offer little in the way of comfort or adjustment, while you're not going to cause a lot of damage by cleaning the interior with a hosepipe.

The Citroen Ami is started using a key, while there are awkwardly-placed buttons to make it go forwards or backwards. It's amusing to drive, although its lack of power-assisted steering might be a shock to the system for those of us who learnt to drive within the last 20 years.

There's not a great deal of safety kit, either. You don't get airbags or ABS brakes and we hate to imagine how it'd come off in a fight with an articulated lorry. But, at least with a 28mph top speed, you're unlikely to get into too much trouble. You also get more protection than you would on a motorbike (or even a push bike), which is probably the best way to put the Ami into context.

The Citroen Ami wouldn't be a huge amount of fun on a national speed limit road, but it's hilarious around town. Its cheeky character means people will turn a blind eye as you nip in and out of traffic, while its diddy turning circle means you can pull off a quick 360-degree turn as soon as you hit congestion. It's staggeringly unrefined for an electric car, while the firm ride reminds us of how we'd imagine it'd feel to ride downhill in a supermarket trolley.

Don't necessarily dismiss the Citroen Ami as just an urban runaround. While its core market is city-dwelling millennials, we've heard tales of buyers who want something halfway between a mobility scooter and a car - it's ideal for popping to the shop at the end of the village (provided you don't need to go beyond the 30mph zone).

Charging is easy, taking around three hours using a regular three-pin socket. It'll be extremely cheap to run, costing less than a couple of quid to fully charge (even with today's rapidly increasing energy rates). You can buy the Ami online at a cost of around £8000, while high demand means we suspect used prices will be strong for a while yet.