Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
As we said in the introduction, one engine choice is offered for the Citroën C1: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol. With just 71bhp available, performance is what we’d call a little underwhelming.
Maximum grunt is delivered at 4800rpm, so you need to rev the engine hard and work the five-speed manual gearbox to make any meaningful progress. Once up and running, acceleration is by no means immediate so getting up to speed on a motorway slip road takes some time.
Unfortunately, it's not much better on a motorway. The C1 is easily unsettled by expansion joints and potholes at speed, although it does at least ride over undulations well enough. Entry-level cars have 14in steel wheels, Feel has 15in ones and the others have 15in alloy wheels, none of which makes any difference to ride comfort.
The C1's steering lacks feel but is reassuringly consistent in its weighting. Better still, it’s light enough to make quick U-turns and parking in impossibly tight spaces a piece of cake.
However, faster bends will expose how the C1’s soft suspension leads to a noticeable amount of body lean. Still, at lower, urban speeds, it’s a usefully agile car that can zip in and out of traffic with little bother.