Citroen C1 review - does French hatch offer the thrill of city driving? - Engine and Gearbox

Good value city car, but unrefined on the road

Evo rating
Price
from £8,345
  • Efficient, easy to park, well-equipped and good value
  • Poor body control, coarse manners, better rivals

There are essentially three different powertrain options in the Citroen C1. Buyers can choose between manual or automatic gearboxes in conjunction with the 1.0-litre engine, or go for the 1.2-litre unit with a manual transmission. All gearboxes have just five ratios and both engines have three cylinders.

That entry-level engine, a naturally aspirated unit producing 68bhp and 70lb ft of torque, is quite lumpy at idle and has an uneven power delivery that makes it at times frustrating to drive.

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The 1.2-litre is far more satisfying and the extra little performance makes the C1 a better all-rounder. Though the 1.0-litre engine can be had with an automatic gearbox - complete with a paddleshift system behind the steering wheel - it's not a great option unless you really need it.

As an automated manual - the sort falling out of favour as dual-clutch transmissions become cheaper to develop and traditional automatics more efficient - progress is jerky unless you're prepared to really concentrate and lift off the throttle at the perfect time to smooth out its shifts.

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