In-depth reviews

Citroën C1 hatchback - Interior & comfort

The Citroen C1 doesn’t feel as well built as the Hyundai i10 or Skoda Citigo

Step from a Hyundai i10 into the Citroen C1 and there’s an obvious drop in quality that you’ll notice the minute you close the Citroen’s door. Settle into the driver’s seat and it doesn’t take long to notice that the cheap-feeling plastics are less sturdy than the ones used in the Hyundai, or the Kia Picanto or Volkswagen up!.

How easy it is to get comfortable behind the wheel of the C1 depends on which model you go for. The basic car only comes with a height-adjustable steering wheel; if you want height adjustment for the driver’s seat, you’ll have to splash out on the mid-range Sense model. We’d advise going for a long test drive before making a decision. Like many cars of this size, the C1 doesn’t offer reach adjustment for the steering wheel.

In city traffic, the C1’s soft suspension setup pays dividends by soaking up lumps, bumps and broken surfaces impressively, but it’s not as accomplished as the more comfortable Hyundai i10.

Where the C1 really loses out is motorway refinement. It’s significantly better than the old model, but it can’t match the Volkswagen up!’s quiet interior, which remains subdued even at motorway speeds.

Citroen C1 dashboard

In the up!, Volkswagen has managed to create an interior and dashboard that feel well built, but are also cool enough to appeal to younger buyers. The initial C1 range didn't really achieve this, so Citroen added colourful dashboard options to try and boost the car's appeal with first-time buyers. All C1 models have plenty of coloured plastics and various trim options that look nice, but it simply doesn’t match the quality of the Volkswagen up! or Hyundai i10. The Citroen’s dashboard is also less clearly laid-out than the up!’s, which features simple, intuitive controls.

Equipment

The basic C1 comes in three-door-only Live trim level with remote central locking, electric windows, and a two-speaker MP3 stereo. Upgrading to the Sense model adds useful kit such as air-conditioning, split-folding rear seats, a space-saver spare wheel and Bluetooth phone connectivity. It also comes with a seven-inch touchscreen that mirrors your smartphone's screen and gives you access to functions such as music streaming and sat nav.

As the name suggests, the Shine model is more eye-catching thanks to 15-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors, flashes of chrome and tinted rear windows. In such a small and manoeuvrable car, a rear-view parking camera seems like overkill, but it should still be useful for getting into very tight spaces. Other additions include a sporty leather steering wheel, a rev counter and electrically adjustable heated door mirrors.

Two range-topping special editions were launched in 2019, known as the Urban Ride and Origins. Both are based on the Flair trim level and only sold as five-door models. They both feature black alloy-wheels, additional paint colours and unique interior trims. Now, these have been succeeded by the colourful JCC+ edition, which is a collaboration with a French designer and also includes automatic headlights.

One thing that sets the C1 apart from rivals is the 'Airscape' roof (above). This is a roll-back fabric roof that lets you enjoy fresh-air motoring in the summer (or winter if you wrap up warm). The Airscape roof can be specified with the top Shine trim level for around £1,000 extra, although it's only available with the five-door C1, whereas the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo can be specified with a fabric roof on the three and five-door models.

Options

Citroen offers trim packs that start from £100. They add flashes of colour and yet more youthful appeal to the interior. Buyers can upgrade their sat navs to include European mapping on Shine models for £400, and add further safety features to Sense models upwards, such as Active City Brake, Lane Departure Warning and Sign Recognition all for £480.

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