Of the two engines we prefer the 1.0 litre, certainly for city driving. It feels very slow and needs to be worked hard, but its five gear ratios are well spaced. Bear in mind, however, that with two or more people on board, it will struggle on steep hills. Even solo, and with your foot to the floor, the C1 builds speed very gradually. Once the power does arrive at high revs, the engine note becomes really strained. The 1.2-litre engine is only a little better in this regard because it doesn’t need to be worked quite as hard.
As with the majority of automatic city cars, we’d avoid the ETG auto version. It’s a robotised manual that is slow and clunky. It often gets caught out when you’re pulling away from the lights, or when you require a burst of speed. At least it has only a small impact on the official economy figures.