Citroen C1 Flair VTi 82

Citroen C1 lr

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By Tim Saunders

“It’s the same car isn’t it?” asks a friend as he looks at the Citroen C1 parked alongside the Peugeot 108. They even share the same glass tailgate and handles.
But in the same way that a Terrier dog is one of many different breeds such as the Airedale (my favourite dog), Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier etc. the Citroen C1 might share similarities with the Peugeot 108 but it is a quite unique car in its own right. It’s all about temperament and style.
Firstly, while both are available in a choice of eight exterior colours, they are eight entirely different colours. But like the 108 the C1 is also available in funky two tone colours. The C1 I am testing is finished in an eye-catching, and arguably feminine, Blue Lagoon with Caldera Black Roof. If you want a blue 108 it is available in Tahoe Blue, which is a much lighter shade.
Again just like its relative, the C1 is a city car and the model I am testing is a three door hatchback. Both share the same 1.2-litre three cylinder lawnmower sounding engine, which needs revving hard to make progress, and like the 108 the C1 is a great little car to drive. The model I test is fitted with black leather interior and although it shares exactly the same black dashboard with its Peugeot counterpart there is a striking white section in the centre around the touch screen and around the air vents. Where the 108 I recently tested had a reversing camera this C1 does not. And I don’t think it’s a great loss either because although I find that the rear pillars do block my view a little, I don’t feel a reversing camera is necessary in such a small car. There is a seven-inch multimedia touch screen system which includes radio, Bluetooth, video player and on-board computer (like in the 108).
Other little touches to set it apart from its rival are the distinctive alloy wheels and of course the Citroen grille. However, much like the Peugeot the Citroen pleasingly incorporates chrome on its grille and wing mirrors.
There’s a reason why it looks so similar to the Peugeot 108 and indeed the Toyota Aygo and that is because it is built in the same plant as both counterparts, with the engineering handled by the latter company. However, the new C1 is the most solid supermini from the French firm yet.
The C1 was introduced in 2005 and Citroen has sold more than 760,000 of its supermini.
“The firm has upped the quality the baby Citroen offers,” writes Parkers, the car experts.  
“You’ll also notice keyless entry, hill-start assist, climate control, heated seats, reversing camera and memory settings for the front seats on the standard and optional kit lists. Buyers looking for some personality with their C1 should check out the Airscape model, which boasts an electrically folding fabric roof that runs the length of the cabin – offering wind in the hair motoring without any of the scuttle-shake shortfalls. Otherwise the C1 is available in three trims; Touch, Feel and Flair with the 800mm x 760mm fabric roof Airscape option offered on Feel or Flair only. There are eight exterior colours to choose from, along with the option for that Airscape roof to be either Black, Grey or Red to contrast or match the bodywork. Inside the dashboard, air vent trim, gear lever base and door panel trims can be specified in brighter colours to live up the cabin.”

Facts at a glance:

New price range: £8,345 - £12,415
Top speed: 106mph
0-60mph: 10.6secs
Power: 80bhp
Economy: 65mpg
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