Citroen C1 Airspace

Flair PureTech

Citroen C1 Airscape, front, action
Citroen C1 Airscape, rear, action
Citroen C1 Airscape, boot
Citroen C1, interior through roof
Citroen C1, engine
Citroen C1, striped seats
Citroen C1 Airscape, front

A POLAR vortex sounds like, and indeed is, an extremely chilly meteorological phenomenon normally the preserve of the Arctic.

This large pocket of very cold air - the coldest the northern hemisphere has to offer - sits over the polar region during the winter but can very occasionally be displaced - dragged screaming and kicking across the Atlantic to our fair isle via the infamous jet stream.

When this happens huskies rejoice and penguins prepare to party, but for those driving soft-top motors it is normally time to batten down the hatches.

Not so for me when I took delivery of a Citroen C1 Airspace - boasting a peel back fabric roof - as the aforementioned vortex decided to spend an extended period visiting the UK.

Temperatures plummeted heralding a brief return to the Ice Age, but there were also glorious blue skies and bright sunshine as you could see clear through to the stratosphere. This demanded shades and warm clothing be donned and the Airspace's natty roof be retracted.

This is done electrically via a push-button control that when viewed from outside looks for all the world like rolling back the lid on an old-fashioned tin of sardines - anyone younger than 40 ask your parents, they'll know what I mean.

You earn plaudits from passers-by for bravery while the car looks the trendy little fashionista it is.

The C1 was born in the noughties - a collaboration to produce a city car that also spawned the Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 107. The fruits of this partnership have obviously been successful as the next generation has just emerged with, as before, each manufacturer seeking to differentiate their version of the basic model.

Thus the C1 is given the upside down headlamp arrangement on the Picasso MPV as well as a smiling face and glitzy Citroen badge.

The rear meanwhile has ‘3D'-effect tail-lamps and a stylish all-glass tailgate leading to a boot which can just about handle a couple of overnight holdalls. It's just as well we're apparently all moving away from the weekly family shop as half-a-dozen bags from the local supermarket and the C1 is full to bursting.

The cabin is funky, bright and modern with lots of gadgets to play with. There is plenty of room up front with the driver's seat and steering wheel adjusting to allow a decent position to be achieved without too much fuss. The rear seats are a little cramped however, especially if you're thinking of a long journey.

The 1.2-litre three-cylinder PureTech engine is punchy though so you will have no trouble driving along the motorway to get there with fuel economy and tax-busting emissions also likely to bring a smile to the face of your wallet.

But it is in the urban jungle where this car will shine as a low kerbweight makes it as agile as a ballerina around town.

The soft suspension ensures a supple ride as any humps and hollows are easily dealt with while the light steering and dinky dimensions are just what is needed when tight parking spaces are being negotiated.

Citroen ensure the C1 Airspace is reasonably priced which together with low running costs, a decent drive and moden interior make it an enticing package - particularly for younger generation.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C1 Airspace Flair PureTech

Price: £11,935

Mechanical: 82bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 11 seconds

Combined MPG: 65.7

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 99g/km

Bik rating: 12%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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