What is it?
Another installment in a crucial year for the humble city car. And the not-so-humble one, come to mention it. This is the facelifted, 2012-model-year Citroen C1.
No prizes for guessing why it’s here. The arrival of Volkswagen’s Up right at the top of the class, as well as its Seat and Skoda sister models, is forcing the city car segment’s established entrants to sharpen up or suffer the consequences. We’ve quite recently seen all-new or improved versions of the Fiat Panda, Renault Twingo, Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10. Which leaves, among few others, the Aygo/107/C1 triplets introduced jointly by PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Toyota nearly seven years ago.
All three cars will be getting cosmetic and minor mechanical revisions this year, but Citroen was first to give us access to an updated car. Its C1 has been given new front-end styling, revised engine mapping, a new chassis specification, equipment level upgrades and better quality cabin materials. All of this comes hand-in-hand with a price realignment that’ll slash the entry-level C1 VT three-door’s price to less than £8000.
What’s it like?
There remains only one engine option in the C1: a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with 67bhp and 69lb ft of torque. Our test car was a range-topping manual in VTR+ trim, positioned directly against the very plushest VW ‘High’ Up, and more powerful versions of the Picanto, i10 and Twingo.