Citroen C-Zero

The Essentials

  • Price from £26,216
  • What Car? says: 1 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 0.0mpg
  • What is it? Electric motoring but at a shocking price

Great

  • Running costs will be lower than for a regularly fuelled car
  • Quick off the mark and agile to drive around town
  • No nasty exhaust emissions, but that electricity has to come from somewhere..

Gripes

  • How much?! Other, better electric cars come cheaper
  • No steering wheel adjustment so itNo steering wheel adjustment so it's hard to get comfortable
  • Six-hour charge for 90-odd miles
  • Drive

    Handy in town where it's agile and can pounce away from a standstill neatly, but needs a six-hour charge every 90-odd miles

  • Inside

    Perched up driving position wont suit everyone; dash looks familiar but includes all the information you need about the level of charge remaining

  • Safety

    Stability control and six airbags helped the C-Zero score a respectable four-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests

  • Reliability

    Eight-year warranty and four years servicing come as part of the package, which is reassuring, and electric motors are relatively simple, too

  • Space

    Four adults will fit at a push-  rear leg room is on the minimalist side, and they'll need to pack very light, so it works best for two

  • Standard and extras

    All C-Zeros come with air-con, electric windows, and Bluetooth phone connectivity

  • What's it like to drive?

    The all-electric C-Zero has enough instant power available to make it a perfect getaway car ? but that's not matched by quite enough grip so any sharp exits are likely to be accompanied by wheel-spin. We like the simple gearbox which offers drive, reverse and park options. The ride is comfortable enough around town but on faster roads can feel unsettled by passing lorries or gusty winds. Too much wind, road and motor noise can be heard from the cabin, too.

  • What's it like inside?

    That bubble-car styling makes the C-Zero feel light and airy inside and although the high-set driving position won't suit everyone, there's a good view out from every angle. If this were a cheap city car the interior quality would feel acceptable, but at this price we'd hope for nicer feeling plastics. Although technically you can fit four adults inside, the rear seats offer very little room for passengers' knees, so are best left for children.

  • How reliable is it?

    You have to remember to charge the car, which takes six hours and you'll then be able to travel up to 93 miles. If you drive on fast roads, in cold weather or use the air-con this will reduce the car's range.
    Cars with electric motors are simpler than those with conventionally fuelled engines, so should present fewer problems. An eight-year warranty and four years' servicing come as part of the package, which is reassuring. Stability control and six airbags helped the C-Zero to a four-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests, scoring 73% for adult protection and 78% for child protection. That's no match for the five-star Nissan Leaf (89%/83%).

  • Should I buy one?

    You can't just go out and buy a Citroen C-Zero, you need to lease it for four years/40,000 miles and it will cost at least 400 per month. That includes servicing and removes any worries about depreciation so may make sense if you don't want to have to think about anything apart from remembering to charge it. We reckon the Nissan Leaf is a more practical and cost-effective option.