In-depth Reviews

Citroën C1 hatchback

"The Citroen C1 is a stylish city car with plenty of kit and personalisation options, but it’s not quite class-leading"

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.6 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Good list of standard equipment
  • Full-length fabric roof option
  • Funky looks

Cons

  • Cramped rear seats
  • Weak 1.0-litre engine
  • Some cheap materials inside

The Citroen C1 is the French brand’s most affordable car and underneath it has a lot in common with the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108. Originally conceived as a joint project, all three cars now feature unique styling making them more distinctive from one another.

Unlike some rivals, you can buy a C1 as a three or five door model, with the option of an optional retracting fabric sunroof for use in the summer - a feature which is also available on both the Aygo and 108 models.

Best city cars you can buy today

With two of its closest VW Group rivals, the Skoda Citigo iV and SEAT Mii, now being fully electrified, the C1 remains a direct rival for the revised petrol powered Volkswagen up!, the Hyundai i10 and the Kia Picanto.

Starting from just over £10,000, the Citroen C1 is certainly good value, but there are other factors to consider, like the fact the Toyota Aygo comes with a five-year warranty as standard while the Citroen and Peugeot make do with three years of cover.

Your decision is also likely to be influenced by their styling and the best manufacturer deals offered at the time of purchase. If you plan on spending much time on the motorway or country roads, it’s also worth considering that the C1 is now only available with a 71bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine. This engine is best suited to urban driving rather than long-distance motorway miles. Rivals such as the Volkswagen up! are a better bet for longer trips, offering more refinement and comfort.

Unless you always plan on driving solo, the five-door version is worth serious consideration, making access to the rear seats far simpler. Even in this form, it’s clear the C1 wasn’t designed with passengers in mind, with rear windows that pop out rather than go up and down and a small boot only big enough for a weekend bag or a small amount of shopping.

While new models from Citroen like the Citroen C3 and Citroen C4 Cactus have highly individual interiors, the C1 is a little more bland, featuring a dashboard shared with the Toyota Aygo. Higher trim levels look better, though, thanks to a touchscreen display, colour coordinated pieces of trim and bright seat patterns.

Trim levels are called Touch, Feel, Flair, and two special editions known as the Urban Ride and Origins. The entry-level, three-door only Touch spec likely to be too basic for most, so Feel is our pick, with desirable features like air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, a seven-inch touchscreen, 50:50 split-folding rear seats, DAB radio and a space-saver spare wheel.

The Citroen C1 finished 72nd out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2020 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK.

The C1 was awarded four out of five stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2014, with an 80% score for adult occupant protection. Rear ISOFIX child-seat mounting points are included as standard, along with electronic stability control and hill-start assistance.

Most Popular

Cupra Formentor SUV review
Cupra Formentor SUV front 3/4 cornering
Cupra Formentor
13 Oct 2020

Cupra Formentor SUV review

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k
Volkswagen ID.3 - front 3/4 view - 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show
Volkswagen ID.3
14 Oct 2020

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k

Audi Q8 gains plug-in hybrid versions with 28-mile electric range
Audi Q8
14 Oct 2020

Audi Q8 gains plug-in hybrid versions with 28-mile electric range

More on C1

Show me:
Best city cars
Best cars
10 Sep 2020

Best city cars

If you’re after low-cost motoring, check out our list of the 10 best city cars on sale today
Colourful Citroen C1 JCC+ special edition now on sale
Citroën C1
28 May 2020

Colourful Citroen C1 JCC+ special edition now on sale

New Citroen C1 spec starts from £14,135
Special edition Citroën C1 and C3 Aircross Origins announced
Citroën C3 Aircross Origins - front quarter
Citroën C1 hatchback
26 Apr 2019

Special edition Citroën C1 and C3 Aircross Origins announced

Origins editions of the C1 and C3 Aircross celebrate 100 years of Citroën
Special edition Citroën C1 Urban Ride announced
Citroën C1 Urban Ride - front quarter
Citroën C1 hatchback
3 Apr 2019

Special edition Citroën C1 Urban Ride announced

Citroën has revealed a special edition of the C1 that boosts style and luxury
Citroen C1 vs Toyota Aygo vs Peugeot 108
Toyota Aygo
29 Oct 2018

Citroen C1 vs Toyota Aygo vs Peugeot 108

Which city car should you buy? We compare three small cars from Citroen, Toyota and Peugeot
Citroen C1 updated for 2018
Citroën C1 hatchback
4 Apr 2018

Citroen C1 updated for 2018

Citroen's city car gains new driver-assistance technology and two limited editions
Used Citroen C1 buying guide: 2005-2014 (Mk1)
Citroën C1 hatchback
8 Sep 2016

Used Citroen C1 buying guide: 2005-2014 (Mk1)

The Citroen C1 Mk1 makes a lot of sense as a first car, thanks to its low running costs and modest performance
New convertible option for Toyota Aygo
Toyota Aygo hatchback
15 Jan 2015

New convertible option for Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo buyers can now enjoy wind-in-the-hair thrills with a new fabric roof option
Citroën C1 hatchback (2005-2014)
Citroën C1 hatchback
25 Mar 2014

Citroën C1 hatchback (2005-2014)

"The Citroen C1 is a basic and cheap-to-run city car. It’s fun to drive but it’s also pretty basic, and is outclassed by newer rivals."
New Citroen C1 2014 prices and specs
Citroën C1 hatchback
11 Mar 2014

New Citroen C1 2014 prices and specs

Prices and details of the new Citroen C1 ahead of its release date in July 2014
Citroen C1 Edition and Platinum now on sale
Citroën C1 hatchback
19 Nov 2013

Citroen C1 Edition and Platinum now on sale

New specifications for the Citroen C1 have been revealed, priced from £9,760
Citroen C1 deals: Car deal of the week
Citroen c1 hatchback 2012 deals
Citroën C1 hatchback
16 Aug 2013

Citroen C1 deals: Car deal of the week

The Citroen C1 now costs from £6,995 thanks to a £1,100 discount