A history lesson…
Being biologically linked to two other cars doesn’t sound like the greatest start to the Citroen C1. And in many ways, you’d be right to judge. After all, it shares the same platform, body and technology as the Peugeot 107 and the Toyota Aygo. All three of the cars are brilliant, though, so you shouldn’t worry too much about the family-connections.
Released in 2005, the C1 has been a monumental success. Despite the three cars being basically the same car, a lot of consumers went for the Citroen because of the French company’s love of cash-back offers and finance deals.
The C1 has recently been refreshed, so expect models from 2005-2011 be going for very respectable prices, indeed.
Bang for your buck
0-62mph comes in a disappointing 13.7 seconds, but that is just a figure. Thanks to the ultra-low kerb weight of the C1, the car feels alive and agile, even with such a small engine underneath it. Citroen offered the C1 with a diesel engine from launch, meaning a lot of customers chose the C1 over its brothers.
If you want Range Rover levels of comfort and technology, this isn’t the car for you. The C1 is a basic supermini designed to be cheap and easy to run. It’ll give you better miles per gallon than almost any car on the market – including hybrids – and will be so easy to park even your grandma could do it.
You do get a bit of kit like power steering and a CD-player, but that’s basically it. This car is all about keeping the price down so you can enjoy worry-free motoring.
What you’ll pay
The C1, 107 and Aygo were all priced at the bottom of the market. They were some of the cheapest cars you could buy in 2005 and remain so today. Prices for the C1 start at about £2000 on the used car market for a half decent motor with relatively low mileage, which is pittance for such a capable and reliable car.
What to check
There’s hardly anything that can go wrong on a C1, so just do basic checks of the usual components: interior, paint, wheels. Lift up the bonnet and have a look at the slam-panels, make sure it’s not been in an accident.
Parts, thanks to the Peugeot and Toyota connection, are not only easy to come by, but remarkably cheap, too. It’s the one of the most attractive sides to supermini-motoring. Nothing to worry about here.
How it drives
The C1 is a hoot to drive, thanks mainly due to its low weight. As anyone in the business knows, reduce weight, increase fun. It helps with everything: fuel, agility, feel and performance. Ok, so the C1 isn’t quick, but its tiny little body feels so eager to impress that you’re just proud of it for doing so well.
Inside, it’s very small and cramped for anyone over six foot, but it’s a small price to pay for cheap motoring. The driving position isn’t perfect, nor is the interior quality, but what do you want for sub-£4k?
If all you want is a car to take you from A-to-B, then the Citroen C1 is that car and a whole lot more. It probably won’t ever let you down and won’t cost you a dime in relative terms to run.