The following review is an expanded version of Citroën C1 PureTech 82 manual 5-door: I Can’t Let Go by MotorMartin published on DriveTribe, By friend of MotorMartin, Tony Yates, perhaps better known as @xinterceptor.
The Citroën C1 is becoming a common site on our roads today, partly due to it’s quirky, good looking styling and partly down to the impressively economical and efficient PureTech engine that Citroën have blessed their new City Car with. This, the littlest Citroën, is a blast.
Citroën have rightly made a feature of the vast array of choices available to you when purchasing an all new C1, which means that you should be able to match the car exactly to your needs with a little browsing of the catalogues. Starting with three different trim levels, Touch, Feel and Flair and three distinctive body styles, 3 door, 5 door and the summer loving open top Airscape version, the scope for personalisation is immense and positively encouraged as Citroën themselves say: Few things in life are more personal than style and Citroën C1 knows how to bring style to life. It’s not just about curves, proportion and balance either, but about choice and freedom of expression. Exactly.
The car on test arrived in the very agreeable Jelly Red Flair Edition including, as it does, 15 inch ‘Planet’ alloy wheels, Dark tinted rear windows, Electrically heated adjustable door mirrors, superb looking Chrome lower window surrounds, a tactile Leather steering wheel and gear knob, handy Rev counter and Speed limiter, useful Reversing camera and the essential, in my opinion, Chrome Pack which includes Chrome door mirrors and chrome door handles and that’s on top of the equipment already included in both the Touch and Feel Editions. This is a very well equipped car indeed and is comparable with all in this particular segment. There really isn’t anything that you are left wanting that you haven’t already got.
Comfort levels are excellent for those travelling in the front seats whilst the rear are perfectly fine for children over a days travelling although adults may wish to get out and stretch their legs after a while. The C1 is certainly no better or worse than the competition when it comes to rear legroom though, it is a small City car after all. A fantastic days driving from Bradford across the stunning Yorkshire landscape towards Hawes, home of the world famous Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese, was dispatched with ease once the postcode was input into the simple to use Sat Nav and sandwiches securely packed in the boot. What was surprising though was the ability of the C1 to climb the hills of this beautiful part of the world as the Citroën was still able to keep it’s speed up on all but the steepest climbs. Obviously we’re not talking about the Alps here but the drive was impressive non-the-less.
And it’s this ease of use that is one of the Citroën’s best features as everything is designed to be light to the touch or to offer maximum feel through the controls. Steering and suspension combine to provide a car that turns well, utilising its short stature to maximum effect on country lanes and in town, being ridiculously manoeuvrable and yet stable when the cruising speeds begin to increase, cleverly done Citroën.
Anyone wanting to sample the delights of North Yorkshire could do worse than follow the A684 out of Hawes, running adjacent to the River Ure, before following the signs to Leyburn and just enjoying the relatively empty roads. Interest in Castles is a bonus when turning towards Middleham as it’s own superb example, built by Robert Fitzrandolph, the 3rd Lord of Middleham and Spennithorne, in 1190 is certainly well worth a visit with the town itself providing ample opportunities for refreshment as well.
It’s the engine that really impresses though. What appears to be a rather offbeat note at tickover rises to a (mildly) throaty roar when pressing on which, when combined with the C1’s flexible 1199cc three cylinder motor, further encourages progress. With around 80bhp at 5750rpm and 86ft/lb torque at 2750rpm you can certainly enjoy this peach of an engine on your own or with a full complement of passengers whilst still delivering impressive economy of up to 68.9mpg. Up hill and down dale this littlest Citroën isn’t short on ‘real life’ power and the real bonus, that power is completely accessible in all but the most extreme situations.
This cleverly customisable C1 wears it’s main marketing angle well and has been designed and built to showcase some of the more subtle styling touches that are available from the catalogue when purchasing your C1. A quick glance through the accessories brochure shows that each Citroën out of the factory can be almost infinitely different from the next and as Citroën themselves say: The New Citroën C1 accessories are all about adding your personality, whether that means Alloy Wheels, CODE or FEEL Body Stickers or Chrome Mirror Covers. With so many style options the end result will be a car that faithfully reflects your style. Not a particularly unique ability in this day and age granted, but one that has been carried out extremely well and will certainly help to encourage the consumer into the showroom.
Overall, this is a car that fully deserves to do very well indeed. It is fun to drive, efficient, plenty powerful enough, spacious within the confines of the class, good looking, well specced and continues that certain joie de vivre that Citroën has a history of producing in their products. From those downsizing to those starting out on their driving experiences, the Citroën C1 could well be all you ever need.
Where will you go?