What is it?:
It’s the car that Facebook built, after Citroën asked its Facebook followers to design a special edition of the C1.
Around 24,000 responses later and the most popular design that emerged is this, the Connexion. It's something that looks like a negative image of a ladybird, with red door handles and exterior mirrors sitting on black paint.
The Facebook fraternity asked for 14in alloy wheels; they got them too. They also wanted the ladybird theme to continue inside with lashings of red trim for everything from the rev counter surround to floor mate trim; Citroën obliged.
Air-con, front electric windows and remote central locking were some of the goodies Citroën threw in, by basing the Connexion on a VTR specification model.
What's it like?:
What the Facebookers didn’t get a say in is what the car was like to drive. Mechanically, the Connexion is like any other C1, with power coming from a 67bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.
The engine makes a pleasing sound and is nippy enough around town, but it’ll soon run out of puff outside the city limits, the noise switching from pleasing to intrusive in the process.
The ride is a bit firm and not the most supple, although it never becomes uncomfortable. The steering feels a bit disconnected from the wheels, but at least the C1 shows a willingness to cling on — to an extent — when you’re feeling a bit brave while cornering.
Inside, the new trim that the Connexion model brings is a bit garish to our tastes and lacks subtlety. But some eye-catching touches remain in the C1’s cabin – the floating speedo and excellent visibility among them – even if the quality and interior space of the VW Up is not there.
Should I buy one?:
The C1 Connexion is good enough in isolation, but good enough is not good enough in a class that contains rivals as strong as the Fiat Panda, VW Up and Hyundai i10.
When you think of something the C1 does quite well, it’s not hard to quickly think of a rival that does the same thing better. The Panda’s TwinAir engine sounds better than the C1’s; the Up’s engine is quieter and more refined; the Panda and Up are more spacious; the Up and i10 both eclipse its dynamic slickness.
You shouldn’t necessarily write it off completely though (unless that colour scheme really isn’t for you), as the C1 Connexion is being offered with one year of free insurance for those as young as 19, with monthly payments for the car costing upwards of £109.
Other manufacturers offer something similar; Seat’s Mii is available from £79 per month with a year of free insurance - but only for those aged 21 and over. Citroën is able to offer the free insurance for those aged a couple of years younger by fitting an all-seeing insurance black box in the car.
The cost of an insurance policy alone - on even the most basic car for an average 19-year-old - is likely to exceed the £109 you could hand over to Citroën, and you get a new car out of it as well.
Young drivers who won’t settle for an old banger should look no further.
Citroën C1 Connexion
Price £10,170; 0-62mph 12.3sec; Top speed 98mph; Economy 65.7mpg; CO2 99g/km; Kerb weight 805kg; Engine 3 cyls, 998cc, petrol; Power 67bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 69lb ft at 3600rpm; Gearbox 5spd manual