Citroen is often praised for its trendsetting ability to push the envelope and do something a little different. This reputation holds true for the brand’s front-runners, the DS3 and the C4 Cactus. However, the new Citroen C1 is, at its core, a regular commuter car. It has a more modern look and feel, and offers new features that were unavailable on older models, but these changes have not pushed it out of the realm of the ordinary.
When it comes to driveability, its old stand-by 1.0L engine is generally considered the better choice. It is available in a 1.2L, but drivers report its five-speed manual transmission to be unsatisfying in comparison to the 1.0L. As a light commuter car, quite clearly intended for city driving, it doesn’t really benefit from the increase in engine size.
There are plenty of extras available for drivers interested in customizing the interior of their new cars, and as a general rule, they come at a quite reasonable price. One interesting available feature is the large fabric sunroof, referred to as the Airscape by the vehicle’s creators. The new C1 doesn’t feature any more interior room than its predecessors, although it does provide enough storage space for either passengers or luggage.
When it comes to safety, the C1 gets the job done. It doesn’t boast many active safety features, but the results of both adult and child NCAP occupant protection tests place it at around 80%, which is not great, but not bad. It comes in a bit short on NCAP pedestrian protection tests, though, ranking in at 62%. Although these numbers are up to snuff according to federal safety standards, drivers of the new C1 may want to go ahead and exercise a little bit of extra caution behind the wheel.
Bottom line: let’s not call an apple an orange. The new C1 is intended to be an inexpensive, easy to drive, and cost-effective little city car. It is great at fulfilling these goals, with official fuel economy estimates coming in at just under 75mpg, quite impressive for a vehicle in its class. Anyone looking for all the bells and whistles is unlikely to find them in this vehicle, but those wanting a practical way to get around the city without spending a fortune are certainly in luck.