New Citroen C1, A fun French city car

Citroen C1

Citroen C1

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CITROEN’S cheeky new C1 city car has got off to a great new start in life thanks to the model it has replaced which has just been voted the most reliable car up to three years old by a top motoring magazine writes Bryan Longworth.

This accolade has provided a big boost for the new generation baby Citroen that has more style and charisma than the model it has replaced and which is also another joint production project along with Toyota and Citroen.

The new C1 needs all the help it can get for since the original model was launched in 2005 the competition has become much more intense especially with the trio of new models from the VW group led by the VW Up which are all very good small cars along with rivals from other manufacturers such as Kia.

Citroen’s new C1 which is available as a three and five door has a cheerful gaze up front with eye catching headlights and distinctive vertical daytime driving lights and it is quite clear that it is being aimed at a younger age group especially females although it should also have plenty of appeal to older owners looking to downsize to an economical car.

Prices start at £8,245 and my test car was the C1 Flair Pure Tech 82 with the larger of two petrol engines available a 1.2-litre 82bhp unit costing £10,935 and which had several optional extras including leather seats and a space saver spare wheel.

With CO2 emissions of 99g/km there is no road tax to pay and other statistics for the three cylinder power unit are a top speed of 106mph and zero to 62mph time of 11 seconds with a combined fuel consumption of 65.7mpg.

As with all three cylinder engines they do sound different and younger owners may feel this is a sporty noise although others may feel it is a bit intrusive but whatever the engine provides quite sporty driving through the five speed manual gearbox.

Younger owners in particular will appreciate the seven inch touch screen that groups together the car’s media functions such as radio, telephone and on board computer and it is the first Citroen to feature mirror screen technology which allows the driver to copy their smartphone content onto the screen.

C1 has new and very comfortable seats and is quite roomy for the size of the car both back and front with the rear doors allowing easy accessibility although the boot is quite deep it is not all that large but should accommodate bags from an average weekly supermarket shop.

The exterior styling is far more distinctive than on the previous model and when I pulled up outside my local fish and chip shop the staff positively drooled over it and left the chips and fish frying unattended to go outside for a closer look!

As with the Toyota Aygo the only feature I was not too happy about was the large central speedometer which was difficult to see in bright sunlight and I would have been happier with a digital speedo.

But overall I predict a very bright future for the cute C1 especially among younger owners which it is aimed at and Citroen appear to have a very popular new small car in their range although I would not go so far as to say it will ever rival the legendary appeal of the iconic 2CV.

Fact File.

Model: New Citroen C1.

Engine: 1.2-litre three cylinder.

Output: 82bhp @ 5750rpm.

Transmission: Five speed manual.

Top speed: 106mph.

Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 11 seconds.

Fuel consumption: 65.7mpg combined.

Price: £10,935 on the road.