Performance and 0-60mph time
Diminutive city cars aren't really required to excel in straight line performance terms and indeed, many will rarely see 60mph, never mind sprint to it from rest in a bid to set a benchmark time. Nonetheless, it is a measure that buyers are used to and it indicates to a certain extent how nippy a car like the Citroen C1 will be around town.
The entry-level 1.0-litre engine makes just 68bhp and 70lb ft of torque, which isn't a lot by any standard and it's reflected in a measly 14.3-second 0-62mph time. That's increased by a further 0.3 seconds if the 'ETG' automatic gearbox is fitted. There are faster glaciers.
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Thankfully the new 1.2-litre PureTech engine is better, producing 81bhp and 86lb ft and it drops the 0-62mph time to a more respectable 11.0 seconds. Top speeds are 98- and 106mph respectively, though the C1 feels distinctly uncomfortable with speeds in excess of the motorway limit. It's better in town, where its tiny size makes it perfect for nipping in and out of gaps.
Even the 1.0-litre engine has acceptable performance for this, though you need to use every ounce of its output at times to keep up with fast-flowing traffic. Annoyingly, there's a flat-spot in the engine's delivery that's noticeable when you need the acceleration the most. The 1.2 unit is far more satisfying in its performance.