Citroen C-ZERO All-Electric Mini Car (2014/2015 Model Review)

Written By: David S.

Edited By: Assen Gueorguiev

                               All-Electric Citroen C-Zero. Photo Credit Citroen.co.uk

The Citroen C-Zero -- another all-electric car, but is it worth the buzz? For the price and performance, you be the judge. The Citroen C-Zero launched in the spring of 2011 and was last updated in the spring of 2013. There is no word from Citroen about an upgrade in the near future. The 2014 and 2015 Citroen C-Zero will remain the same version as 2013. Why change what is not broken?


Overview of the Citroen C-Zero

The Citroen C-Zero offers a perfect platform for urban driving. The approximate 93 mile range and the vehicle's small size offer urbanites two strong features. The small size enables easy parking in city and urban settings. The approximate 93 mile range is perfect for those who commute or who run errands in a stop-and-go environment. One drawback is that the electric motor also taps into the same main battery as the AC and heater. The more electrical gadgets that you use, the faster the battery drains. That is an issue that Citroen should address during the next round of improvements.


Citroen - Well Known Auto Manufacturer

Citroen is a rench automaker and part of the PSA Peugeot Group. The long history of Citroen goes back to the early 1900's. Citroen was the first major car manufacturer outside of the United States following Henry Ford's contribution to the industrial revolution. Back in the mid-1990's, Citroen debuted an electric car under the brand of Peugeot. Today, the C-Zero is right at home in a world that is hungry for zero emission vehicles. The car sells on average in the UK for £26,216 which equals roughly $40,668 US Dollars. It is not offered for sale in the US and probably will not be sold there. The Citroen C-Zero is the twin of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which is sold in the US for just under $23K. The US market is highly competitive with the Chevrolet Volt ($34,345), Toyota Prius Plug-in ($29,990), and All-Electric Smart ($12,490.) The Citroen C-Zero can be found throughout Europe, including the United Kingdom.


Stats and Specs for the Citroen C-Zero

If the name “C-Zero” somehow left you wondering, this is indeed an all-electric, zero-emission vehicle. Bonus benefit - there are many government incentive programs or tax credits for buying an electric vehicle, even in Europe.  The good end of the driving range is 93-miles, though, for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV the range is listed as 62-miles. That however is highly subjective on how you drive and when you drive. A double-edged sword is the fact that the car is nearly silent when it is running. For city driving, this means that drivers and pedestrians will need to pay close attention. It features a low annual running cost (approximately $2500) in comparison to a similarly equipped compact four-door gasoline powered car ($8,500.) It also features three types of chargers that can charge the car to 80% capacity in as little as 30 minutes. It can attach to public charging stations or to a standard home's 110V outlet. It seats four people fairly comfortably and offers a skinny design that also has a low center of gravity. It is perfect for driving on narrow city streets, and for parking in smaller spots. Power is via a 66 hp electric motor that is designed to take you from 0-30 MPH quickly. It hits 60 MPH in just about 16 seconds. The five-door design is appreciated by drivers and passengers because it allows for easy entering and exiting.  Because the electric motor is rear-mounted, the car has an incredibly short turning radius. That feature combined with the vehicle's small size is golden for city driving.

All-Electric Citroen C-Zero. Photo Credit Citroen.co.uk


Considerations for Drivers

The biggest complaints involve freeway driving for both the Citroen C-Zero and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The car has a top speed of 80 MPH, but the faster you drive, the shorter the driving range before it needs recharging. Also, this is not a sports car, so from 55-80 MPH expect a lag. That makes it difficult for full speed maneuvering. At lower speeds, it feels quite zippy.

Overall, the Citroen C-Zero is a solid small compact vehicle that offers its best performance on city streets. It features enough lux to be modern, and not so much bling to be excessively expensive. It competes well within its market and over its inception has had few problems or recalls.