Citroen C1, Peugeot 107, 108 & Toyota Aygo Owners Club. (Discount code for CityBugStore: C1OC)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:32 pm 
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Cookeh wrote:
I don't entirely disagree with you. As I've said a couple of times now, they are okay at what they were designed to do - ferry people around the a city centre. My comments are relating to my experience and usage, which has been and will continue to be, on a 60 mile commute, mixing motorway and stop start city centre traffic. I also echo the idea that it is refreshing to have a car that is rather more minimalistic - without a nanny state of electronics over-ruling your entire input. Unfortunately I feel that experience is let down by some things I've mentioned in before, namely the disconnected steering, poor gearbox and terrible clutch design - all of which do really impede on that feeling of being 'connected' and in control of the car.

All of which is probably fair comment. I guess I'm more forgiving/accepting of the car's limitations (even enjoy them) but I can easily understand why they would reduce the enjoyment of the car for someone else. I certainly find any time on a dual carriageway or a motorway in the C1 to be the least enjoyable aspect of driving it - fortunately, I rarely need to do that.

When it comes down to it, you've picked up a tired and ropey example of a car designed to be cheap and basic even when it was brand new (although it's already looking much nicer). I'm sure you weren't expecting a Rolls Royce-like experience but you're using the car for what it can provide for you: a cheap and easy way to do your commute. And that's fair enough. You don't have to love it. ;)

Your comments have made me realise that I don't think I've ever read a proper evaluative review that compares our bugs with other really cheap, entry-level cars of a similar type. I mean, I've read a few reviews, even comparative ones, but never any that compare things to a little more depth - like the quality of the gear change, the feeling of "connectedness" and some of the other points that you have made. Possibly because that kind of experience is not really what these cars are meant to be about?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:30 am 
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Enjay wrote:
Your comments have made me realise that I don't think I've ever read a proper evaluative review that compares our bugs with other really cheap, entry-level cars of a similar type. I mean, I've read a few reviews, even comparative ones, but never any that compare things to a little more depth - like the quality of the gear change, the feeling of "connectedness" and some of the other points that you have made. Possibly because that kind of experience is not really what these cars are meant to be about?

There are worse cars out there IMHO.

Just after German reunification, which was when I worked at an automotive consultancy, one of the ride & handling engineers decided he wanted to own a Trabant so he flew over to the former East Germany to buy one, and drove it all the way back!

It was often to be seen in the car park as he ended up preferring it to his "normal" car :?:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:46 am 
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Enjay wrote:
All of which is probably fair comment. I guess I'm more forgiving/accepting of the car's limitations (even enjoy them) but I can easily understand why they would reduce the enjoyment of the car for someone else. I certainly find any time on a dual carriageway or a motorway in the C1 to be the least enjoyable aspect of driving it - fortunately, I rarely need to do that.

When it comes down to it, you've picked up a tired and ropey example of a car designed to be cheap and basic even when it was brand new (although it's already looking much nicer). I'm sure you weren't expecting a Rolls Royce-like experience but you're using the car for what it can provide for you: a cheap and easy way to do your commute. And that's fair enough. You don't have to love it. ;)


Oh my gosh no, I had extremely low expectations. Remember this exact car (HN56 OCE) was one of the cars I learned to drive in - I recall putting about 1000 miles on it during my learner period. My only expectation was a minimum of 55mpg to save £2k a year or so in fuel. I have driven and experienced a lot of other cars since, including plenty small hatchbacks and city cars like Pandas, Yaris, Fiestas, and so on so I guess that may have subconsciously changed what I thought was the "norm" for this type of car. This car, as you say, is nothing but a tool for me, designed to save me a bit of money on my commute whilst it is increased for the last year of my studies.

This thread is just to vent my honest and obviously personal opinions on my experience with it as I use it on a 60mile commute, alongside getting it tidied up to the extent it doesn't look like a skip! If I can get some advice on sorting some of its mechanical flaws (like that blessed boot leak, the presumed aerial leak, the manual mirrors that don't work; all very common issues) then that is all the better.
I openly said at the beginning and multiple times throughout that the opinions I have will not be popular. I can't really understand why some people seem to be getting angered by it and resorting to personal jibes, opinions are subjective and dictated by so many factors. If you use the car for what its intended for, rarely exceed 50mph and just whizz around town in it then it accomplishes that rather well and can't be faulted for too much more than a lack of refinement - which some people may like as they may feel it gives it a sporty feel. If you use the car for extended periods of driving then I do feel that the issues I have highlighted are certainly valid, and some on here would seem to agree with me too.

Enjay wrote:
Your comments have made me realise that I don't think I've ever read a proper evaluative review that compares our bugs with other really cheap, entry-level cars of a similar type. I mean, I've read a few reviews, even comparative ones, but never any that compare things to a little more depth - like the quality of the gear change, the feeling of "connectedness" and some of the other points that you have made. Possibly because that kind of experience is not really what these cars are meant to be about?


There were a few by Autotrader, comparing them to Ups, Citigos and Miis (same things anyway) but not really to any sort of depth. As you say, the market for these sorts of cars aren't interested in that, it's just a car to pop to the shops in when you live in the city. I'd presume the market briefs are small size, fast steering, and high fuel efficiencies as opposed to any sort of focus on driving dynamics. I only comment on it because I am personally interested in driving and a lot of the roads I drive on are really rather excellent and encourage more spirited driving, so its something I've picked up on - especially when you A to B it against other cars whose design brief incorporated driving dynamics a bit more.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:12 pm 
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All good points from both sides, to be fair you did say you wouldn't be popular, but all depends what you want the car to be, when we got ours new 10 years ago we looked at Fiat 500, Hyundai i10 etc, but ours was for my older Mum who driven 1980s Escort for years and preferred 107s simplistic basic design and I just wanted something that could compete with modern traffic, had a lot more safety equipment and easier for her to drive.

Ours has performed the brief perfectly and handily has been cheap to run, easy to work on and very reliable, so for me can't really ask anymore, at the same time my Mum's friend got a Fiat 500, I wanted my Mum to have one as she had an original one in 70s, but she didn't like their modern effort, but by the time her son had perused the options list, her car was twice the price of ours, she was happy and it does look good, but our 107 has a better rear parcel shelf :lol:

The real shame is the way the car market is going, the days of cheap, basic, no frills city cars like these are gone, back in the day when we got ours compared to the competition, they could just about hold their own, Ford were still punting the old Ka, so that was an easy win, but when VWs triplets came along, they were always struggling. Few years ago, my sister got a Peugeot 108, again I showed her lots of others Fiat 500, VW Up, Kia Picanto etc, but she preferred the 108, and to be fair they fixed a lot of the little niggles and annoyances with our 107, maybe our experiance with 107 swayed her decision, having owned a Fiesta for 25+ years she would of loved another one, but Ford's latest effort is such a lard ass it wouldn't fit in her garage, so she had to think smaller. As good as the 108 has been and is better in many ways than our 107, still love our 107 and not tempted swap, I'm more worried that when we do have to get rid, those boring electric city Pods will be the norm and then driving will be dull.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:38 pm 
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The Fiat 500 is still incredibly popular, so cheap city cars haven't quite gone just yet.

I actually have a 500 (2009 model) and it's a great little car. I guess that by most criteria, it would be considered "better" than my C1. However, personally, I prefer the C1. In fact, the 500 feels relatively sophisticated in comparison to the C1 - almost point that I'm not sure that I'd really consider them to be the same class of car.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:53 pm 
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Pretty entertaining read and if being honest with myself relatively true. Don't agree so much on gearbox, you probably just have a shoddy one.
I'm not really in agreement on buying a 2-3 year old Fiesta or Yaris from the early 2000's. Have you drove one recently? The Yaris has even less driving dynamics and the interior looks like it's from the late 80's. As for the fiesta it will have either fallen to bits or rotted away by now.
Back then it was a great buy. Toyota engineering for Citroen money.
Nothing was as fresh looking, as well built or economical as these back a launch. Picanto, Getz, Ka, Alto were what were available and they were rubbish.

I'm probably biased mind as our car is now 12 years old and done 160k miles since we bought it new.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Enjay wrote:
The Fiat 500 is still incredibly popular, so cheap city cars haven't quite gone just yet.


Here's hoping, although I agree comparing the Fiat 500 with our 107 is a stretch for me as well, problem is they make very little money on city cars, hence why the specable/options type cars Mini,Fiat 500 tried to boost profit, but original C1/107/Aygo concept of low spec/few options is gone for me, cos they don't make money, think I even read that VW is not sure if they will do another Up/Mii/Citigo as numbers don't add up!

Vauxhall no frills Viva been binned as well, and their Adam has/is going, so they couldn't even make the luxury end work, but that maybe cos they in PSA group now, so other forces at play.

You never know Dacia may see a gap in the market for a cheap no frills city car and come up trumps!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:07 pm 
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Interesting conversations there. I'm not convinced there is a real market for them anyway, given most cities are no introducing stricter emissions zones and really punishing drivers - which probably shrinks the market for people looking at pure city cars. In the case of people looking for a cheap runaround, but whom also have some longer trips to accommodate I don't particularly think that these fit the bill, people have come to expect (in our materialistic world) far more in terms of refinement and driver aids (auto lights, wipers, lane departure assist, self parking, bla bla bla, all those other 'aids' that suck away an sort of driving experience away from your driving) than you can get with the bug-type utlra-low cost city car.

I got a bit more time to work on it today before the heavens opened. I was still trying to make it safe to enter without a hazmat suit at this point, but I'd say its now fairly respectable. Further maintenance cleans of the interior will only improve it, and if I'm honest I don't care about it enough to get it properly 'concours'.

First things first I figured the sparks plugs needed changing, my sister had been advised of this at a service some 200000 miles ago but never did anything about it - despite me offering to do it for her. As it turns out, they weren't terrible. Gap was only 33% larger than spec... Would I be right in saying it looks like it might be running a bit lean too? Removal requires unclipping the airbox (some 4 clips or so, then removing two squeeze clips), revealing your three DI coils with a single 10mm bolt. Spark plugs themselves are your fairly standard 16mm thread. Some pics of old vs new and the three old ones.

ImageSpark plugs old vs new by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImageSpark plugs old by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr

The car runs a little better now, less dag-dag-y on start up and a fraction quieter throughout the rev-range. Still very unrefined but better. Can only hope it gives even more mpg to cover its cost.

Next up it was onto that interior. The rear bench was obviously removed previously, so I tackled that last night inside (thankfully I have an understanding and car-sympathetic fiancee!). This was by far the worst seat in the car, so it got a vacuum, a healthy scrub with upholstery cleaner and finally a steamclean. Came out fairly well I think.

Couple of reminders of the before...
ImageRear bench dirt 4 by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImageRear bench dirt 3 by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImageRear bench staining by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr

Then some 50/50s and finals:
ImageRear bench 50/50 vacuumed by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImageRear bench steam cleaned by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImageRear bench steam cleaned 3 by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr

Much better methinks. The rest of the car wasn't so bad and was unfortunately confined to the outsides so I decided against using the steamer (too much effort being wired and not being able to leave the seats by a radiator to aid drying). That meant a slightly different approach. Copious vacuuming, followed by a huge scrub with plenty of upholstery shampoo before vacuuming out the liquid and giving it a final dry down with some microfibres.

ImageRear bench upper 5050 2 by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImageRear bench upper 5050 by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
Apologies for image quality phone camera had a hard time focusing due to the pattern, and I'm a lousy photographer!
ImageRear bench uppers after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImagePassenger seat after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
ImageDrivers seat after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr

And here is the dirt from just the headrest on the drivers seat... Scrubbed with a microfibre as I was curious just nasty it was.
ImageDrivers seat base dirt by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr

So now that the seats are acceptable, minus some loose fibres, it was time to move on to the door jambs. I still can't wash the exterior (apparently), so this is as close as I can get. Quick clean with some APC, a soft bristled detailing brush paired with a small nylon brush, and some microfibres later:

Imageosf after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
Imageosf after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
Imageosr edge dirt by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
Area under this seal was grim, but came up well. Oddly there are some tar spots in there, and I'm fresh out of tar remover. Will get that at a later date.
Imageosr after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
Imagensr after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
Imagensf after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr
Imagensf after by alistair.hurrell, on Flickr

These were then treated with a spray sealant to try and keep them cleanish for a bit longer.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:14 pm 
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Thanks for all the pics, what also a pleasant surprise for me considering your cars age and its 'life' experiances is the lack of major rust, ok seen some surface rust, but good to see from what I can see in the usual suspect areas it looks still solid, that is progress, if only our BL original Mini had been as good after 10 years it was like a colinder!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:35 am 
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It's cleaning up remarkably well. What a contrast between the before and after pics of the seats.

Steve's right about the rust too. It looks surprisingly clean given how "carefully" the car has been looked after to date.


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