Citroen, Peugeot and Toyota have enjoyed reasonable success with the C1, 107, and Aygo city cars which all share the same underpinnings. Thanks to the positive track record, they’re at it again with the new C1, Aygo and 108 – all being developed simultaneously.
Despite being updates, the new models do look more substantial and clear water has been put between the different designs. The Peugeot is more restrained whilst the Citroen adopts a wild concept car look at the front which isn’t quite carried through in the side and rear angles but remains a distinctive package. The Aygo gets a wacky ‘X’ treatment at the front and commands a higher price.
With a clear trend towards increased personalisation, the latest models allow various exterior decals, and interior colour combinations some of which are more tasteful than others. The dashboard design incorporates a simplified central control unit with a 7-inch touch-screen display. The result isn’t the most pleasing to the eye and doesn’t feel too upmarket but it is uncluttered and retaining rotary dials for ventilation control is much better than fiddly touch-screen menus.
Fuel economy was clearly a key target area during development and the 1-litre three-cylinder petrol engine excels. With 71 bhp at a heady 6,000 rpm and peak torque (69 lb ft) arriving at a lofty 4,400 rpm you do need to rev it to extract performance but that is no chore thanks to the rev happy character of three-cylinder motors. Of course do it too often and fuel consumption will suffer.
The 108, C1 and Aygo have moved the game forward with even better fuel economy, more style, a bigger boot (up to 196 litres in the C1) and mobile-friendly touch-screen displays. Some of the new colour combinations are highly questionable and material quality still isn’t at the premium end of spectrum but they remain sensibly priced, practical and fun to drive city cars.