AN 88kW/160Nm 1.6-litre will be coming soon with a four-speed automatic, but the first cars to arrive are the 115kW/320Nm turbocharged 1.6-litre — also used by the BMW Mini and the new Peugeot RCZ — but with only a six-speed manual in the Citroen.
Both versions get sports-tuned pseudoMacpherson-strut front suspension and flexible beam rear and variable electric powerassisted steering.
DISC brakes with ventilation on the front are standard, as are the anti-skid, brakeforce distribution and brake-boost technology, and stability and traction control.
Crash protection includes six airbags, side impact protection and seatbelt pretensioners. Rear park assist is a factory option.
OUR car was kitted out with a host of options, and the first we would have crossed off the list was the centre armrest, which you have to flip up and out of the way to comfortably use the manual shifter.
But you get over that annoyance fairly quickly, once you kick off the line and find that within minutes you’re enjoying yourself.
The car connects with you, with plenty of pick-up from the 115kW engine, and the manual’s smooth, precise action makes it fun to use — and even bearable in peak-hour city traffic.
Slightly firm suspension helps it around corners, but manages to take care of most bumps without it skittering around. However, nothing seems to get rid of the tyre noise.
The luggage area is necessarily small, but the rear easily folds flat, offering a great load space. The question will be how the auto goes because the 88kW engine is likely to be far less responsive.
CHIC and a little idiosyncratic, but a lot of fun.
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