There is also plenty of room for hiding away everyday paraphernalia, with twelve storage compartments in the dash, centre console and doors - the front door bins are even big enough for A4-size books. The rear seat, which may be 50/50 split/fold depending on the model, can easily be dropped to expand boot space from the standard 139 litres up to a sizeable 751 litres on the 5-door version.
With its compact dimensions - just 3.4m long, 1.6m wide and 1.5m tall - the C1 is ideally suited to life in-town, and its manoeuvrability is further enhanced by the availability of electric power steering, which gives it an extremely good turning circle of just 9.5 metres.
The nimble C1 is powered by a choice of three cylinder 68bhp 1.0i petrol or 54bhp HDi diesel engines, perfect for driving around town. Both are Euro IV compliant, return over 60 mpg on the combined cycle and are available with five-speed manual gearboxes. A SensoDrive gearbox, without steering wheel paddles, but with an automatic mode for stress-free driving on busy roads, is also available on petrol versions in some countries.
In keeping with the rest of the Citroen range, C1 is big on safety. As well as its newly developed body structure, which incorporates crumple-zones and impact absorbers at the front and rear as well as reinforced doors, it also offers ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, CSC (Corner Stability Control), Isofix anchor points, rear door child safety functions, and up to six airbags.
C1 has been specially designed to limit the consequences of a pedestrian impact with, for example, two impact absorbers at the front to help limit leg injuries and a bonnet that has been designed to absorb energy more effectively. It has also been designed to keep down repair costs in the event of a low speed impact, thanks to the type and position of the bumpers and the use of detachable energy absorbers at the front and rear.
Alain Favey, Managing Director of Citroen UK Ltd, said: "With C1, Citroen now offers a complete range of superminis, catering for all requirements in this growing market area. C1 will be a perfect city car combining space, comfort and practicality in a stylish, new body which is ideally suited to crowded urban environments. We are sure it will build further on our reputation as a maker of trend-setting small cars."Published 2 March 2005