Cost & verdict

Citroën C1 review

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Citroën C1
Review continues below...
8 Nov 2016 14:43 | Last updated: 18 Sep 2018 14:00

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Citroën C1 hatchback running costs

When lined up against its equivalent rivals, such as the Volkswagen Up and Hyundai i10, the C1 looks competitively priced. Even up against the Toyota Aygo, with which it shares so much, the C1 is priced more keenly. Airscape models command a premium, though, and can’t be bought in entry-level Touch trim.

Running a C1 should be a painless experience. No model in the range emits more than 99g/km of CO2. The 1.0-litre petrol engine performed well in our True MPG tests, achieving an impressive 54mpg.

Company car drivers will also benefit from these low prices and low CO2 emissions, because the C1 is seriously cheap to run through work.

Most C1s are bought on PCP finance, though, and Citroën offers some attractive deals that feature very low monthly payments.

Citroën C1 hatchback equipment

The most popular trim level is the mid-range Feel. It’s our favourite, too. It may have a plastic steering wheel and gearknob, and lack something as fundamental as a rev counter (it’s a cost option) but it does have that neat touchscreen, manual air-con, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and 15in steel wheels.

Splash out a little more on Flair and you get quite a few extras, including alloy wheels, a colour reversing camera, a speed limiter, foglights, chrome details and electric and heated door mirrors.

Unsurprisingly, range-topping Urban Ride gets all of the kit that’s featured in Flair, plus matt black wheel arch extensions, black 15in wheels, black door mirrors, tinted rear windows, a special rear-quarter graphic and a striking blue and orange interior. If you like the idea of a ‘ruggedised’ city car, this would be the model to go for.

There are relatively few options for the C1, but the Automatic Plus Pack and Active City Brake are well worth considering. The former brings climate control, automatic high beam headlights and keyless entry and start, while the latter brings automatic emergency braking, active lane departure warning and speed limit recognition.

Citroën C1

Citroën C1 hatchback reliability

The C1 didn’t feature in our latest reliability survey, but Citroën as a manufacturer did. Unfortunately, the French brand came in a lowly 25th place out of a total of 31 car makers.

Thankfully, new C1s benefit from a Citroën-backed two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and an additional free, one-year warranty provided by dealers. On top of this, all new Citroëns come with breakdown cover for the first year of ownership. Extended warranties are available for those who intend to keep their C1 for longer than three years. Three-year, fixed-price servicing plans are available at a reasonable cost.

With the exception of the Kia Picanto, whose warranty is a generous seven years, the C1’s cover is on a par with rivals.

Citroën C1 hatchback safety and security

The C1 has been crash tested by Euro NCAP and scored four out of five stars. This puts it behind rivals such as the Up, but on a par with the Aygo and the Peugeot 108. However, it should be noted that the Up was tested back in 2011 and Euro NCAP has introduced tougher testing criteria since.

This is underlined by the fact that the Citroën is well equipped from a safety point of view, with six airbags, hill start control, tyre pressure monitoring and electronic stability control as standard. Every C1 has Isofix child seat mounting points, too.

All C1s have remote central locking, a steering column lock and an immobiliser. Even so, security firm Thatcham Research rated the C1 poorly in its resistance to being broken into, awarding it two out of five stars. Its resistance to being driven away earned four stars, though.

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Verdict

Decent, but lags behind the class leaders in too many key areas to be a class leader

  • Competitively priced
  • Cheap to run privately or as a company car
  • Some personalisation options
  • Cramped rear passenger space
  • Poor interior quality
  • The ride is unsettled
There are 8 trims available for the C1 hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
Feel
Citroën says the most popular specification is mid-range Feel – and it’s our favourite, too. It comes with a plastic steering wheel and gearknob, and no rev counter (it’s a cost option), but it doe...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£10,050
Average Saving £1,250
View Trim
Flair
Splash out a little more for Flair and you get quite a few extras, including alloy wheels, a colour reversing camera, a speed limiter, foglights, chrome details and electric and heated door mirrors...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£10,745
Average Saving £1,345
View Trim
Urban Ride
Range-topping Urban Ride gets all of the kit that comes on Flair, plus matt black wheel arch extensions, black 15in wheels, black door mirrors, tinted rear windows, a special rear-quarter graphic a...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£11,097
Average Saving £1,393
View Trim
Feel
Citroën says the most popular specification is mid-range Feel – and it’s our favourite, too. It comes with a plastic steering wheel and gearknob, and no rev counter (it’s a cost option), but it doe...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£11,220
Average Saving £1,410
View Trim
ELLE
We are yet to try out this variant; please check back later...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£11,519
Average Saving £1,451
View Trim
Urban Ride
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£11,915
Average Saving £1,505
View Trim
Flair
Splash out a little more for Flair and you get quite a few extras, including alloy wheels, a colour reversing camera, a speed limiter, foglights, chrome details and electric and heated door mirrors...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£11,915
Average Saving £1,505
View Trim
Touch
Entry-level Touch is cheap, but it doesn't get much. Front electric windows, LED daytime running lights, a trip computer and a USB socket do feature, but we’d recommend spending more on Feel if pos...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£9,450
View Trim