If you’re stuck in a traffic jam for an hour or so you need to be in a comfortable car. So when it took me that long to travel less than 10 miles after road-works had shut lanes on the M6 I was glad I was in a Citroen C1, writes Ian Strachan.
Yes, the C1 is small – very small. But it’s not the least bit cramped, thanks to a clever use of available space and light coloured trim and materials, which give it a fresh feel. That, combined with seats that are small but comfortable, makes the cabin a pleasant place to be. Just as well.
Eventually the hold ups cleared and I was on the open road again. The Citroen does its job well here as well. Despite its 998 cc three cylinder engine the C1 is brisk and free revving. It has to be wound up a little at low speeds, but when it’s going it goes well. It is a light car, however and gusts of wind on an open road or a passing juggernaut can knock it off line.
I test drove the five door C1 in Platinum trim. It has a pleasing profile which belies its small stature. The back view is strikingly different too, with a large tinted rear screen (which is also the tailgate) and neat light clusters.
Interior space is well used, with plenty of leg and headroom for driver and passenger. Rear passengers also get plenty of room. This has been achieved by sacrificing rear luggage space – you’ll only get a small suitcase in the back, but as this is unashamedly a city car, that’s not going to be a problem for most buyers.
There’s no glovebox as such, but there are plenty of storage areas and cubby holes – more than you get in some cars much bigger than this. Ride is comfortable, helped by a good driving position, and steering is precise and predictable as long as you’re not driving on a motorway in a gale
For a small car you get plenty of standard equipment, including all round airbags, remote central locking, 14 inch alloys, a full size spare wheel (for a change), electric front windows and radio and CD player with MP3 and USB connections. You also get a 50/50 split rear seat, air conditioning and front fog light. The big appeal of this little car is its price and running costs. It comes at just £11,040 on the road, And in mixed driving you’ll get a very competitive 65.7 miles to the gallon. This is a small car which will make an equally small impact on your pocket.