So cute it copped a glad eye

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODWHEELS - PABALLO THEKISO

OVER the years I have grown to be a man not eas­ily af­fected by what oth­ers say about me – crit­i­cism or com­pli­ment. My men­tor taught me never to al­low peo­ple’s views to change or af­fect my char­ac­ter.

And I have also been that guy who wears a pink shirt with con­fi­dence and who is not wor­ried about be­ing called names.

I have of­ten dis­agreed with those who as­so­ciate the size of a car with gen­der. Some peo­ple have the view that small cars are for women, as I do and I wouldn’t waste my breath de­bat­ing whether a pink car with a pink dash­board and pink seats was de­signed for women.

But test- driv­ing the new facelifted Citroën C1 cabriolet Airspace al­most changed the above.

While in the 60kw 1.2- litre, I ex­pe­ri­enced a few in­ci­dents but, due to lim­ited space, I can­not re­veal all – so let me tell you about one that de­serves men­tion­ing.

Two po­lice of­fi­cers thought I was a woman and tried their luck with me. I was driv­ing to work one morn­ing with the roof open and, with the car’s built-in Blue­tooth, I was play­ing mu­sic loudly.

I re­alised the lights flash­ing be­hind me were those of a po­lice van and, be­cause I had done noth­ing wrong I con­tin­ued driv­ing. But, when I re­alised the lights were for me, I moved into the left lane at the next traf­fic lights and their car drew up along­side.

I looked at them, re­alised they were wav­ing and smil­ing at me, so I rolled down my win­dow and asked if they needed help. To my sur­prise noth­ing was wrong – all they asked for was phone num­bers.

I’m not sure if it was my cold man­ner or their hav­ing a closer look and re­al­is­ing I was a man that made them make a U-turn and drive off.

For a mo­ment my ego felt tram­pled, and my self-con­fi­dence went out the roof. But mainly I was left feel­ing of­fended.

From that mo­ment, the fun of sit­ting in the pink in­te­rior al­most ended – I was now con­scious of who was look­ing at me.

But the C1 Airspace is too funky and ex­cit­ing and the in­te­rior too bright for one to stay of­fended.

As the say­ing goes, you can’t keep a good man (or woman) down.

The C1 comes stan­dard with some prac­ti­cal tech­nolo­gies, such as a re­verse cam­era, Blue­tooth, steer­ing wheel con­trol but­tons, a USB port, 15-inch al­loy wheels, air con­di­tion­ing and my favourite – cruise con­trol.

At first I was im­pressed to see the C1 had cruise con­trol, but af­ter I had worked out how it op­er­ated, it be­came more frus­trat­ing to have it than not to have it at all.

You set your de­sired speed limit on your dash­board dig­i­tal screen and – un­like other cars, – with the C1 the cruise con­trol serves only to help the driver not ex­ceed the speed limit.

No mat­ter how hard you press the ac­cel­er­a­tor, the car will not go faster than the set speed.

You also have to ap­ply your foot con­stantly to the ac­cel­er­a­tor or lose mo­men­tum.

But noth­ing can keep a good man down when he is in this ideal city runaround.

Priced at R168 900 and com­pared with cars in its league, such as the Fiat 500C, the C1 Airspace of­fers more and comes out tops.

Be­sides the po­lice of­fi­cers’ in­ci­dent, in my view this city car is the cutest and most bril­liant city car… for women.

● Editor’s note: The C1 does have a con­ven­tional cruise con­trol and it in­cludes the speed-lim­it­ing func­tion, which is ap­par­ently all our tester found.

SIT­TING PRETTY: The Citroën C1 Airspace is a zippy pink co­coon that al­most charmed a guy into chang­ing his ways.

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