Citroen C1 (2014 – 2022) Review

Citroen C1 (2014 – 2022) At A Glance

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.

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.

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

Should I avoid the ETG gearbox in the Citroen C1?

"I am thinking of buying a used Citroen C1 auto but have read the ETG gearbox is best avoided. Do you agree? Do you know why?"
We would suggest avoiding the C1 with the ETG gearbox, as it delivers clunky gearchanges and a less comfortable driving experience, as well as being slightly more thirsty than the manual version.
Answered by David Ross

What do I look for when buying my first car?

"I am finally looking to buy my first car (having been driving my mothers for about 10ish months). I am particularly interested in the Peugeot 107 (or Citroen C1, Toyota Aygo.... all the same really). I would prefer a used car as my budget is £4500 max. Is there any advice you would give when looking for a first car? What sort of things do I need to look out for, particularly with these makes?"
When choosing a first car one of the most important aspects is low running costs, particularly insurance. New drivers have the highest insurance premiums because they are less experienced, so we would recommend choosing a car with the lowest insurance group possible to minimise the insurance cost. The cars you have suggested are ideal; the Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo are all city cars with low insurance as well as low fuel and servicing costs. Other alternatives to look for include the Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Skoda Citigo, SEAT Mii and Volkswagen Up. As with any used car, finding an example with a full service history is recommended, as this shows that the car has been maintained correctly by its previous owners and reduces the likelihood of problems in the future. If you are unsure about what to look for we would also suggest taking along a friend or family member who is mechanically-minded to help you when shopping around. Once you have set your budget stick to it, and be sure to work out what your running costs will be including tax, insurance, fuel and servicing before taking the plunge.
Answered by David Ross

Do you rate the Citroen C1?

"I have really appreciated your advice in the past so I would be so grateful if you could advise me again now. I have driven various Honda Jazz models for 20 years. My current one is 11 yrs old and it has been brilliant. I’d love a newer model but they seem too big for me now and I'm considering a Citroen C1 1.2 petrol. What would your opinion be of a car like this, please?"
We're glad to hear that our advice has helped over the years. We'd say it is definitely worth going for the 1.2-litre version of the C1 as it's more relaxing on motorway trips, the 1.0-litre struggles to keep pace with traffic and gets noisy. It's also worth looking at the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 if you haven't already as these are the same car underneath, just with slightly different designs. It's also worth considering the Hyundai i10 1.2 and Kia Picanto 1.25 - they might not be as stylish as the C1 but they are more refined and slightly better built.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

What is the value of a 2016 Citroen C1?

"What is the value of Citroen Cl, first registered in January 2016? No vehicle tax."
I'd need to know the trim level and mileage to give an accurate valuation, but prices range from £4,000 to £10,000 for a 2016 Citroen C1. You can also use our free car valuation tool:
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Citroen C1 (2014 – 2022) cost?