This made it very light, and very cheap, with prices starting at just £6,495. But it has only been available with a petrol engine since its launch, and now Citroen has launched an ultra-frugal diesel C1.
The 1.4-litre HDi unit is capable of an impressive 83mpg out on the open road and 69mpg combined, together with a low CO2 emissions figure of 109g/km. It produces 55bhp at 4,000rpm and 96lb-ft of torque at 1,750rpm.
The C1 is available only in Rhythm trim and as a five-door, priced at £8,475. Despite its stature, Citroen has still managed to cram in four airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and cornering stability control, remote central locking and a CD player all as standard.
Behind the wheel
THE interior of the diesel C1 feels as basic as basic gets. The minimal dashboard, which sits alongside bare metal on the doors, is made from a hard scratchy plastic, although its design is contemporary.
Pull away and it’s immediately clear what kind of engine lurks under the tiny bonnet, as all 55 horses are eased out of the chugging diesel unit. Acceleration is fairly smooth, but by no means quick. The low-down torque makes ‘nippy’ a better description, reflecting its likely use around town. The steering is very light, which makes manoeuvring a doddle, as does the short-throw gearbox.
THE C1 has no pretensions – you get what you see, and Citroen has produced a functional, funky city car for minimum outlay. The diesel model is a touch noisy when working hard, but it is agile, easy to drive and very friendly on the wallet.
Model: C1 1.4 HDi Rhythm
Power (bhp/rpm): 55/4,000
Torque (lb-ft/rpm): 96/1,750
Max speed (mph): 96
Comb economy (mpg): 69
CO2 emissions (g/km): 109
Price (OTR): £8,475