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The Citroen C1. A Long Term Review

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Citroen C1

The Citroen C1. A Long Term Review

Geoff Maxted
August 15, 2013

Citroen C1
As I see it, city cars were originally designed for, well, the city. Every motor manufacturer had the totally urban motorist in mind as they gradually produced a range of small, fuel efficient vehicles for transporting the nuclear family around our towns and cities.

Over the last few years however these city cuties have evolved and taken it upon themselves to get above their station. In fact, with the exception of range limited electric versions, most of them are perfectly at home on the open road. They laugh in the face of motorway traffic and sneer derisively at those who dare suggest they are out of their depth.

The Citroen C1 is a case in point. I own one and I‘ve had it for about eighteen months. It is described as being cheap and cheerful and so it is. It is also described as having flaws although, without these being specified, it is hard to find anything wrong for the money. Certainly, the suspension is a bit firm but I quite like that as it goes around corners as if on rails. The seats are fabric covered and lack some extra bolstering but I find that even after a long drive I do not have any terminal spinal issues.

Thrust is provided by a mighty 1.0L three-pot engine delivering 67bhp of raw power from the high revving unit. There is no turbo power yet in this car. The top of the range version has alloys, rudimentary air-con, split folding rear seats and rear head restraints. That’s the options list covered. Sat-nav is taken care of by my trusty Garmin and Bluetooth by an absolutely terrific £20 unit that works faultlessly and syncs with two phones. No fiddling about in the depths of some infotainment centre - it’s plug and play.

This car has been all around England; why, it has even been to the frozen wastes of North Yorkshire where it was parked on a lonely, lofty eminence to view your actual Wuthering Heights. It has been to Whitby for fish and chips and Scarborough for real imitation authentic Italian ice-cream. It has been to stately homes and theme parks; to the seaside and up on the moors. It has tackled rough-hewn roads and steep inclines and it has never, ever, missed a beat.

So, would I buy another one. No, but only because I have no intention of parting with this one. Here on DriveWrite we’ve talked a bit about the value and pleasure to be had from cheap cars. Whatever cars come and go parked adjacent to this one (and I suspect an Alfa Romeo is next up) I will continue to maintain that if you need a second car, or a first set of wheels for your offspring or you are just a bit strapped for cash then you could do a lot worse. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.

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