2014 Citroen C1 Flair PureTech 82 Manual Review – Stylish City Car Appeals

Cool exterior design, funky & well-equipped cabin, 1.2 litre PureTech 82 engine is superb,

Firm low-speed ride

Citroen C1?

2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual review-feature-0644

It’s safe to say that the C1 has proved itself a popular city car, with over 780,000 sold since its introduction in 2005. After a couple of facelifts (’09 & ’12) the first generation was replaced by the new 2014 model. While the original was a cute, rounded little thing with slightly feminine looks, the second generation version goes with the current city car trend of appearing more ‘small car, big looks’.

With plenty of tough competition vying for a place in the city car marketplace, how does if fare? We were sent the 2014 Citroen C1 Flair PureTech 82 to find out…

Exterior. Butt ugly or beauty?

2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual review-0667

The C1’s styling goes in line with the rest of Citroen’s current range, and therefore in a nutshell it is unusual, slightly quirky, and also has a decent degree of cool exuding from its lines, curves, and angles.

The second-gen design is contemporary, more masculine, and generally more appealing to a wider audience than the previous model was. Eye-catching features from the front are the C1’s upper slit-thin lights, which house the indicators. Great call, and after all why should they be a conventional shape? At the bottom half are the now-familiar Citroen trademark super-bright vertical LED running lights, which always give cars upmarket look.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our test car was the 5-door, and strangely a fair few people – including myself – missed that and assumed it was a 3-door. This could be because the rear doors end far back but either way it still looks good from the side, whichever version you go for. The black A-pillars, high side shoulderline and narrow-looking windows help with this, and of course like any car the paint/wheel combination make a huge difference. Admittedly, I didn’t favour the noticeable ‘Sunrise red’ hue my press car was in as it could also be named ‘Salmon pink’, and therefore very girly. Tapenade Grey would be my choice, thank you.

At the rear the boot lid is a single piece of shaped glass, and very cool – a big improvement over the first-generation’s traditional half-glass half-metal design. Overall, I think the 2014 Citroen C1 looks very neat. More appealing than the last one, and in the looks department it competes well against crammed category.

Interior. Neat or nothing special?

2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual review-0609

Inside the C1 is all fun and funky. The doors are half plastic half metal skin, and this matches the exterior colour of the car. It’s minimalist, but looks great. As standard the C1 comes equipped with a 7″ Touch Drive interface Mirror Screen, which has DAB radio and Bluetooth. The ‘Mirror Screen’ technology is designed to copy and control certain smartphone apps from your phone on the touchscreen.

That side, the Touch Drive system is superb, with super-easy menus and slick graphics. The Flair-spec version we were sent had a reverse camera on too, which was of brilliant clarity. Might seem a bit pointless on such a small car, but actually it meant instead of parking in just tight spaces, you could get into really tight spaces – and without using the bumpers as ‘touch guides’.

Below the screen are a few ergonomic controls for the heating, and on that you get air conditioning as standard which is  a nice touch. The console is simple, straightforward, and exactly how a city car dash should be. On the lower ‘Feel’ model, Citroen give the option of having brighter plastic trims for £100, and they’re well worth it simply to brighten to the cabin up and give it a bit more personality.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The ‘Flair’ spec we had sports classy piano black trim on the centre console, steering wheel, and vent surrounds. It gives the interior a bit more flair than the usual mottled or matte plastics, and it suits the C1 perfectly.

I loved the huge single dial in the driver’s binnacle. It houses the speedometer, an LCD digital info readout for your fuel economy stats etc, and there’s a rather retro-looking vertical rev counter at the side – fantastic stuff, and all who noticed it thought it was cool. Oh, and if your model of C1 doesn’t have it, you can option one for just £40.00! A must.

2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual review-0630

Another option added to our C1 Flair were black leather seats (£650), and while it does push the cost up somewhat they not only look good but are also surprisingly comfortable and supportive up front too. On that note there’s also decent head and elbow room as well. Leg room for the rear two seats is as you might imagine – not too bad if you’re on the shorter side, but only really any good for brief journeys if you’re tall.  The backrest for the rear seats will sit you slightly more upright than I’d like, and could do with being reclined more.

One good point is that the hinged rear windows open slightly. It’s enough to get air in, and makes the rear far less claustrophobic than a car that doesn’t have them (like the Alfa Romeo MiTo, for example). If you’ll be transporting mates a fair bit, I’d definitely recommend getting the 5-door version over the 3 as access is so much easier.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally, boot space is about the same as all the other minute city cars out there: enough to get a few bags of shopping in and that’s about it. Specs are 196 litres rear seats in place and 780 with them folded.

All said, the 2014 Citroen C1’s cabin has a cool and funky design, a decent equipment level with unexpected stuff as standard such as the 7″ touch screen with DAB and Bluetooth for phone calls and music, air con, height adjustable driver’s seat and more. The safety kit is also impressive too, as the C1 packs front, front lateral and curtain airbags. It’s all good news up to now, but what about the rest. Read on…

Engine and gearbox

A choice of two petrol engines are available with the C1, depending on the spec you go for. The lower ‘Feel’ gets the 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder VTi 68 with a manual gearbox, whereas the ‘Flair’ has either the aforementioned or the version our C1 test car had: the PureTech 82 – a 1.2 litre, 3-cylinder in-line turbocharged unit. This comes only in 5-speed manual guise, whereas choosing the VTi 68 gives you the option of having the 5-speed automatic ETG (Efficient Tronic Gearbox).

2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual engine

Personally, whilst the fuel economy between the two engines (with the manual ‘box) is barely any different, the performance is. Massively. The VTi 62 does the 0 – 62 mph run is a snail-like 14.3 seconds and tops out at just 99 mph, whereas the PureTech 82 does the same in 11.0 seconds and hits 106 mph. Power is 82 hp at 5,750 rpm, and 86 lb ft (116 Nm) of torque at 2,750 rpm

Official UK mpg fuel stats for the PureTech 82 are: urban: 52.3, extra urban: 76.3, combined: 65.7, with CO2 emissions quoted as just 99 g/km. Currently (Nov. ’14), that means you’ll pay exactly zero pounds car tax. Sweet.

The ‘real-life’ fuel economy was actually very decent. Even when putting the hammer down and being generally silly with the accelerator, I still got a return of 45 mpg average. Without too much effort, a mix of town and country roads saw around 50 mpg, and approximately 60 miles-per-gallon when on a run in light traffic at around fifty miles-per-hour. Stats are a necessary bore though – let’s find out what it’s like to drive!

Ready to roll? Let’s drive!

Driving the 2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual review-0724

Mated with the PureTech 82 engine, the Citroen C1 is a great little car to drive. The brilliant little turbo’d 3-cylinder petrol offers great low to mid-range torque, giving a very agreeable rounded drive, whether you’re in the city of pounding some motorway tarmac. The 5-speed manual gearbox’s ratios having been excellently set up, with 1st to 3rd being much longer than you’d imagine.

This means that in annoying slow-moving, stop-start traffic, when you’ve barely changed into second gear before having to stop again. This is annoying and means you’re using the clutch pedal often, giving your left leg’s muscles a real workout. However, the C1’s long ratios mean you can comfortable use first gear up to around 25 miles per hour without having to change up, eliminating the need to change in the aforementioned paint-in-the leg congestion.

Third is joy to use, as the mph range on it is so remarkable. It’ll go from thirty to sixty miles per hour, which makes for fun times should you want to giving it a bit of a thrashing without losing your licence. With a kerb weight of only 865 kilograms (1,907 lbs) it’s unsurprising that the C1 PureTech 82 nips about in a sprightly manner, and indeed the acceleration up to 50 mph is remarkably good, and you’ll hit it way before you expect.

Driving the 2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual review

In the top fifth gear, the C1 cruises down motorways perfectly happily, both in the run up to seventy miles per hour, and beyond. My only gripe with the gearbox is that quite randomly I occasionally found it difficult to get into first or reverse, and would have to re-try several times before they engaged. Whether that’s a problem with the clutch or ‘box, I couldn’t fathom.

For the 2014 C1, Citroen added new suspension springs and shockers plus a large-diameter anti-roll bar. They say these have improved handling and comfort over the previous model, and while that’s good it must have been rather a harsh ride if that’s they case. Like most city cars, the ride is quite firm, and you do notice imperfections in the road more than you would in say, a large non-sporty family saloon. However, it’s not that uncomfortable, and a positive is that there’s plenty of fun to be had around the sharp city turns, and at higher speeds those long, flowing corners will put a grin on your face as you weave the little Citroen around them.

Runs at higher speeds are fine regarding the relaxed engine, but you will notice the road and wind noise is higher than you’d find on larger cars. This is to be expected though, and it’s very much the same story on the other tiny city cars out there.

Also new for 2014 is electric power steering. I found it fine, and it meant an incredibly light feel when parking which is rather important considering you’ll likely be using this a lot in cities, where nipping into minute parking spaces quickly is must. The (front-disc, rear drum) brakes on the C1 do the job adequately, but they’re nowhere near as sharp or positive as the Kia Picanto’s all-round disc brakes. Still, this Citroen is light as a feather, so it’ll still stop quickly.

2014 Citroen C1 Flair VTi Pure Tech 82 manual review-0741

These little modern French cars are now known for the amount of electronic safety they have as standard, and the 2014 C1 is no exception, packing ABS, EBA (Electronic Brakeforce Assist), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), and Cornering Stability Control, as well as the 6 airbags I’ve already mentioned. A piece of modern tech I love that also comes standard is the Hill Start Assist, which holds the car in place for two seconds on uphill gradients of 3% or more.

Overall, the 2014 Citroen C1 with the PureTech 82 engine makes for a great and very rounded city car. The 1.2 litre engine gives decent power and torque, and is adequate for such a light car. The long ratios on the 5-speed manual make driving in heavy traffic easier and less stressful, as well as providing surprisingly relaxed motorway cruising, and while the ride is quite firm it’s no more or less than I’d expect from this type of car, and certainly I would not describe it as uncomfortably so.

Price

(prices correct ‘Nov. ’14) Costing between £8,245 and £10,935, the 2014 Citroen C1 (three or five door) competes easily within the tough and crammed city car marketplace. There’s little to differentiate between it and rivals price-wise, but you can say that it comes well-equipped as standard, taking into account that it has comforts such as a 7″ touchscreen system and air conditioning.

Regarding the competition, the C1 competes for your money against the Suzuki Alto, Toyota AYGO, Alfa Romeo MiTo, Fiat 500, Nissan Micra, MG MG3, Peugeot 108, Volkswagen up!, Seat Mii, Skoda Citigo, Renault Twingo, Hyundai i10, and Chrysler Ypsilon.

2014 Citroen C1 Flair PureTech 82 manual 5-door verdict & score

In amongst a packed city car category, what does the ’14 C1 offer? The styling is funky and cool, as is the interior. The dash and centre console look neat, and any controls are ergonomic, and the cabin is generously equipped too considering how cheap the base model is. The front leather seats in our test car were comfortable and supportive, although the rears will sit you slightly more upright than I’d like, and could do with being reclined more.

The ride is a little firm, but only what you’d expect from any tiny city car. The crowing glory is the superb 1.2 litre PureTech 82 engine, which powers the C1 along nicely, with plenty of mid-range punch should you want a bit of fun. All in all, the C1 will no doubt continue to sell strongly, especially now this much-improved model is on the scene.

Do you own a Citroen C1? What are your views on it, and what are the best and worst points? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below!

Exterior  7.5
Interior  7
Engine (PureTech 82)  8.5
Gearbox  8
Price  7.5
Handling  6.5
Drive & Ride  6.5
Overall Score  7.5 / 10

Read more of our Citroen reviews here

Specs

Model (as tested)  2014 Citroen C1 Flair PureTech 82 manual 5-door
Spec includes  15″ alloy wheels, tinted rear glass, LED running lights, speed limiter, tyre pressure monitor, reverse camera, 7″ Touch Drive system with DAB, Bluetooth, USB & AUX sockets & Mirror Screen tech & reversing camera, 4-speakers, CSC, ESC, ABS, EBD, EBA, front, front lateral & curtain airbags  See website for more details
Options you should spec  Black leather: £650
The Competition  Kia Picanto, Suzuki Alto, Toyota AYGO, Volkswagen up!, Seat Mii, Skoda Citigo, Hyundai i10, Chrysler Ypsilon, Alfa Romeo MiTo, Nissan Micra, MG MG3, Peugeot 108, Renault Twingo
Price  (Nov. 2014) £8,245 – £10,935
Engine & hybrid  Engine: petrol, 1.2 litre, 3-cylinder, turbocharged,
Power, Torque  Engine: Power: 82 bhp @ 5,750 rpm | Torque: 86 lb ft (116 Nm) @ 2,750 rpm.
Drive, Gears (as tested)  Front wheel drive | 5-speed manual
Top Speed, 0 – 60 mph, Euro NCAP  Max speed (limited): 106 mph | 0 – 62 mph: 11 seconds | Euro NCAP rating: 4-stars
Fuel economy (UK mpg), CO2   Urban: 52.3, Extra urban: 76.3, Combined: 65.7 | CO2: 99 g/km
Weight (kerb)  Min kerb: 865 kg’s (1,907 lbs)
Websites  Citroen UK, Citroen France, Citroen worldwide

Words: Chris Davies | Photography: Chris Davies, Matthew Davies

One response to “2014 Citroen C1 Flair PureTech 82 Manual Review – Stylish City Car Appeals”

  1. Chris

    Why can’t the C1 Airscape come with leather seat & why doesn’t the C1 Airscape not come with the automatic door locking system which kicks in at 6 mph like other models in the range.
    8/3/16

Leave a Reply