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Citroen C1 Test Drive Review

Date: 25 August 2014   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

There's an all-new version of Citroen's C1 city car, which, along with the Toyota Aygo (on the opposite page) and the Peugeot 108, makes up a fresh trio of small cars that share the same essential components under the skin.   

A big styling change over the old model has left the C1 looking more radical, but it isn't quite as out-there as the Toyota. A first for this generation is the addition of the Airscape model, which has a canvas roof that slides back to make it a quasi convertible.

BusinessCar tested the open-top version, which costs more than the hatchback (around an £800 to £1100 premium depending on the model). The open-air dynamic is fine, but it doesn't quite seem worth the extra cost, and the intrusion of the retractable roof doesn't leave much rear headroom.

In every other respect, the C1 is a fine little car: the 82hp 1.2-litre engine loves to be driven hard (a cheaper 68hp 1.0-litre unit it also available), it rides well and is refined for its size.

The firm is expecting a reasonable amount of fleet business for this model - 37% of the sales mix if you believe the forecast. The majority of that will be typical public sector and pool car usage, but a certain amount will also be taken up by existing fleet deals.

In hatchback guise, the Citroen has the lowest P11D value at £8040 for the basic three-door VT (the Peugeot 108 starts at £8190 and the Toyota Aygo £8595), so it's the cheapest in terms of outright purchase. Other variables such as residual values (not that the C1's are bad, they're just not quite as good as the Toyota's) mean it doesn't always make the most sense in terms of cost per mile, but at this level, there's often less than a penny in it between equivalent models and trim levels, so you're splitting hairs.

Where the Citroen makes more sense is with its Airdream variants, which add stop-start among other eco measures, to hit a CO2 low of 88g/km (the Peugeot 108 also has an 88g/km version). This is particularly good for drivers, who will see BIK figures as low as £19 a month if they're a 20% tax payer.

C1 Airscape Feel Puretech 82

P11D price £11,040
Model price range £8040-£11,880
Fuel consumption 65.7mpg
CO2 (tax) 99g/km (12%)
BIK 20/40% per month £22/£44
Service interval 10,000mls
Insurance (1-50) group 4
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 196 litres
Engine size/power 1199cc/82hp
Top speed/0-60mph 106mph/11.0secs
On sale July 2014


Cheap and cheerful transport for low-mileage drivers