C1, drive 1, want 1…
With more than 760,000 sold worldwide, the first C1 has laid down quite a marker. Matt Kimberley bundles himself into the new one to find out whether it can fill some very big boots.
The old C1 had problems, and as you’d expect, the new one has largely fixed them. The boot has been made bigger, the styling has been made more unique and there’s some excellent technology on board. Add softer, comfier seats and you’ve got a Citroen that blends the old and the new with a side order of cheerful three-cylinder engine buzz. Looks and image
Citroen describe the C1’s face as having a ‘mischievous gaze’, and for once I can engage with the PR waffle.
The cutesy, round eyes are framed by slanted eyebrows and a big, cartoonish grinning grille that makes it look like the car might be up to no good. Revving at the neighbours’ cat, maybe.
As a small, affordable biffabout the C1 has never had an image issue. Younger drivers love it, and with more distinctive looks thanks to that new face and even a different shoulder line than its Peugeot and Toyota siblings, this one is even easier on the optic fibres. Behind the wheel
In the lower-powered version of the 1.0-litre engine, whose lower price and extra frugality make it the one to have, there’s a slight tendency to border on stalling when pulling away, so it’s not the most confidenceinspiring for learners... unless they like a challenge.
Once moving, though, the engine thrums away nicely, the ride is fantastic for a small car and the soft, squashy seats are super-comfortable. From the driver’s perch you can take advantage of the new seveninch colour touch-screen, which is bright and clear with fresh, colourful graphics.
It’s designed with integrated Bluetooth for hands-free phone use and music playback, but the real news is the Mirror Screen system, which magics whatever’s on your own phone onto the main screen.
It means you can use Google Maps, for a start, which is like getting sat-nav for free. Value for money
For a car that many folks will say is better looking than the, err, “dramatic” Toyota Aygo, the news that it undercuts the Japanese motor by a good few hundred pounds will be like sweet music. In fact, against all its rivals it looks like fair value or better, although dealers will be under orders to minimise discounts on this new model.
This car summed up in a single word: Chipper