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Peugeot 107 X-Line and Citroen C1 Play

Broadcast date : 6th May 2007

The Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107 are built in the Czech Repbublic in a joint venture with Toyota.

The Toyota’s version – again sharing the same bodyshell and mechanicals – is known as the Aygo, and it’s not available here – yet!

There’s a legend about the original Herbie movie that when the producers chose a car for the title role, they parked a whole lot of prospects side by side to check people’s reactions.

There’s nothing new in selling near identical cars under different names. The original Mini was launched both as an Austin 7 and a Morris Mini Minor, and its detail changes were limited to grilles and badges.

As with the Mini, there’s a strong urge to bond with these modern baby cars, which look almost identical.

The tiny length of these cars belies their interior space packaging. While the luggage space is minimal with the rear seats upright, at just 130 litres, four or even five adults can live happily inside the cabin.

The accent on the Peugeot and Citroen, which have near-identical interiors, is on high style.

And it’s style, as well as an excellent engineering package, that’s going to sell these cars like hot cakes.

The co-operation between Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota in the development meant there was more money available to spend on design, styling, and the materials used.

At first glance, some of the items may look a bit frivolous, but on closer inspection you realise there’s very real quality in the cabin fitments – at least for cars in this entry-level market.

Yes, that rev-counter may look like an add-on – but the much more expensive new Mini and the Smart both have the same funky, bug-tendril-like arrangements. 

The interior of the Citroen is just about identical to that of the Peugeot, except for trim surface finishes and the badge on the steering wheel.

Cheap and nasty is definitely going a bit too far as a description of the cabin ambience, especially considering that pricing starts at under R90 000 for the base model.

Our test cars were higher-specced top models, which sell for around R104000, and include electric windows, side airbags, and air-con.

Talking of air-con, you can order an intermediate model with basic trim plus air-con, and this sells for just under R95000.

One of the nicest features of this joint Toyota-Peugeot-Citroen venture is the power-plant. We’ve always enjoyed three-cylinder motors because of their unique sound, not unlike half a flat-six Porsche motor.

This is a good engine, and time may well prove it’s a great engine.

From its 998 cc it develops an impressive 50 kiloWatts and 93 Nm of torque.

According to Car magazine, who tested the 107, the car accelerates to 100 km/h in 14,5 seconds, and has a true top speed of 165 km/h.

That’s way more than you need in a car like this, and as long as you keep the revs up, overtaking acceleration is not bad either. The low overall mass of around 850 kilograms plays its part here.

Best of all is fuel consumption, with an achievable 5,5 litres per hundred kilometres in day-to-day driving.

The charisma of the engine cannot be overstated on these little cars, and the gearing is also extremely tall, taking advantage of the flat torque curve.

Despite a very short overall length of 3,4 metres, the ride is good and high-speed stability is excellent.

Although drum brakes are used at the rear, they do come with ABS.

Peugeot 107 X-Line and Citroen C1 Play

  • Engine: Three-cylinder petrol, 998 cc
  • Power: 50 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 93 Nm @ 3 600 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 14,4 seconds (Car Magazine)
  • Top speed: 165 km/h (Car Magazine)
  • Fuel consumption: 5,7 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R103 900 (Peugeot) R 107 500 (Citroen*)

*Citroen’s marginally higher price is due to spec differences, such as alloy wheels

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