Test Drive: Citroen C-Elysee 1.6 HDi Exclusive image

Citroen has introduced the second generation of the C-Elysee last year. The model is smaller than the C4 and it is based on the Peugeot 301, being offered in markets such as Eastern Europe or North Africa. The C-Elysee is rivaling the popular Dacia Logan, the expensive Skoda Rapid or the unseen Seat Toledo, being assembled in Vigo, Spain, along with its 301 brother.

Engine and Transmission

The tested car came with perhaps the most popular engine offered by the group, the 1.6 liter HDi diesel. This isn’t the most powerful unit in the segment and it doesn’t even have the most torque, but it manages to do its job just like it should. It is capable of producing 92 HP (68 kW) at 4,000 rpm and it has 230 Nm (170 lb-ft) of torque, available at 1,750 rpm. Power is being sent to the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission which feel robust and made to last. The engine is not underpowered and being a diesel, it works good at low revs.

Fuel Consumption

Citroen says that the C-Elysee 1.6 HDi is burning 4.9 liters of fuel in the city and 3.9 liters on the highway, with an average of 4.3 liters and 112 g/km of CO2 emissions. In the real world, the urban fuel consumption stands at just over 6L while on the highway, the vehicle is “eating” 3.7L / 100km at 100 km/h or a whopping 7L / 100km at 130 km/h, in fifth gear, at 2,750 rpm. This could be lowered by adding a new transmission, with six gears.

The Ride

The C-Elysee is surprisingly comfortable for a vehicle in its segment. It is handling pretty well around corners too but the fat tires meant to absorb most of the shocks before going through the suspension mean that understeer can come even at low speeds. This is a compromise with which you will have to live, but, then again, we’re not talking about a sporty vehicle, but about a family sedan, meant to take you from A to B.

Interior Design

The cabin of the low-cost Citroen vehicle is nicer than the one of the Logan but it cannot compare to the one of the Rapid and this is normal considering their pricing range. You will feel the lack of some safety gizmos such as the rear parking sensors or the rearview camera, but the C-Elysee is not a large vehicle, so parking it is not difficult at all. However, you are getting electric windows, air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, an audio system meant to make you forget about the annoying engine noise, USB, AUX, heated seats and so on. A downside is the foot rest which is too close to the clutch pedal and this can make you go mad at some points.

Citroen has mixed the buttons inside the C-Elysee so accommodating with their layout can prove to be tricky, at first at least. The rest of the elements found inside will give you that déjà-vu feel but all of this will end once you will take a look at the gauges, which don’t scream “look at me, I’m brand new!” at all. The “technology feel” will be uprated by the manual climate control, which has a digital display to trick your eyes. In the front, there is a single cup holder.

Likes / Dislikes

Despite starting the test drive with a feel that I won’t like the C-Elysee at all, I ended up phoning the PR and asking how much this costs, because I was fascinated that this is aimed towards models such as the Dacia Logan. The price is not its strong part but it does compensate with what it has to offer, and here I mean a lot of gizmos, a dashboard which has been raised to trick your mind that you have a low driving position, a good diesel engine under its hood, a robust transmission and so on.

The “dislike” part on the other hand is highlighting its build quality, which doesn’t seem to be one of the best. Some body panels are simply too thin, such as the boot lid, which feels all wobbly when raised. The foot rest fitted too close to the clutch pedal is another down part and so is its price. The soundproofing could have been better made and some details are showing that the engineers may have exaggerated a bit with the low production costs.

Entry-level – 9,424 EUR
Tested car – 16,234 EUR
Tested Vehicle
Citroen C-Elysee 1.6 HDi Exclusive
Engine: 1.6 liter diesel (1,560 cc)
Power: 92 HP (68 kW) at 4,000 rpm
Torque: 230 Nm (170 lb-ft) at 1,750 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Dimensions: length 4,427 mm, width 1,748 mm, height 1,466 mm
Weight: 1,165 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50L
Trunk Capacity: 506L
0-100km/h: 11.2 s
Top Speed: 180 km/h

3.9 / 5

Photos by Gabi Gogiu