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Citroen Ami Coupe

New from £7,695

Electric
Automatic
Coupe
2 seats
2 doors
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Is the Citroen Ami Coupe a good car?

Read our expert review

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Words by: Dan Trent

"The Citroën Ami stands out for both its cute design and for being the cheapest way to go electric on four wheels, though technically it’s a ‘quadricycle’ and not a car. While a 16-year-old could conceivably drive it on a motorcycle licence there are limitations to factor in like the 28mph speed limit and left-hand drive layout. Even with that it could open electric car ownership to a wider audience. And as an urban runabout or cheap ‘station car’ for suburban commuters dashing for the morning train we can see its place in the wider transport ecosystem. Be under no illusions, though. The Ami is about as basic as four-wheeled transport can get and, for not much more money, even the most basic Dacia Sandero would feel like a Bentley in comparison, and take you beyond city limits."

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Running costs for a Citroen Ami

4/5

There are two ways of buying an Ami, both exclusively through Citroën’s online sales portal with the option of collection from a designated dealer or home delivery to your door. The headline price of less than £8,000 for an upfront purchase puts it between electric scooters and the very cheapest ‘proper’ city cars like a Kia Picanto, which kind of sums up what the Ami is about. At the time of writing the most eye-catching offer is a monthly PCP of £20 per month with a deposit of less than £3,000 and a two-year term, after which you have the option of a (chunky) final fee to make it yours. This works out a lot more expensive than just buying outright so, if that is your goal, best consider your options. Day-to-day the tiny battery will cost pennies to charge so, in theory, you could run an Ami for less than a monthly bus fare. One thing to bear in mind is that if you intend to charge at home by Citroën’s approved method the ‘Type 2’ plug on the end of the built-in charge cable needs a dedicated wallbox, which can cost as much as £1,000 to install if your property or designated off-street parking doesn’t have one already.

Reliability of a Citroen Ami

4/5

Quadricycles are a bit of an unknown quantity on British roads but Citroën’s reliability record is decent, there’s very little to go wrong with it and the Ami only needs servicing every two years or 12,500 miles, whichever comes first. The main battery is guaranteed for three years/25,000 miles and there are a variety of service packages to choose from to extend your warranty in increments up to a maximum of five years as required.

Safety for a Citroen Ami

1/5

Because of its limited top speed and legal definition as a quadricycle the Ami does not have meet anything like the same safety regulations as a conventional car. The enclosed bodywork offers a greater sense of security and weather protection than a motorbike or scooter but don't kid yourself there's much more to it than that. True, you can't fall off it as you might a two-wheeler but your only real safety features are a pair of conventional seatbelts. Given the speed limits on the roads it’s designed for and fact you’re not even allowed to take it on a motorway that’s less of a worry than it might otherwise seem, though.

How comfortable is the Citroen Ami

2/5

Hard seats and a bouncy ride on tiny wheels mean the Ami jiggles about on city streets and can hardly be described as comfortable. But the attraction compared with riding a motorbike or scooter is you can just jump aboard in your normal clothes, with no need to wear bulky protective clobber or fear getting a soaking if it’s raining. So it’s a lot less faff. It’s also very easy to drive, though the steering is unexpectedly heavy and requires quite a lot of arm twirling in low-speed manoeuvring. On the plus side the turning circle is very, very tight, so you can manoeuvre in some tiny spaces. Although it’s left-hand drive only the tiny size means this is less of an issue than expected and you quickly adapt. In terms of load space quirky offset positioning of the two seats leaves a big space in front of the passenger for both legroom and luggage and there’s more stash space behind the driver’s seat for a small rucksack or a few bags of shopping. A My Ami Cargo version with 400 litres of carrying space (about the size of a typical hatchback boot) and a load shelf beside the driver is also available for ‘last-mile’ delivery services.

Features of the Citroen Ami

2/5

The basic version of the Ami really is that, with little more than two seats, a steering wheel, a digital speedo and a simple heater. It was a warm day when we drove it so we can’t vouch for how effective it will be in the depths of winter but, given there’s no insulation in the plastic body, we’d suggest you’ll still need to wear your coat. All Amis get a USB-A charging socket, while an optional dongle can connect your phone to the My Citroën app for more information about charging state and suchlike. On higher trims you also get a ‘Citroën Switch’, which you can stick anywhere in the Ami to wake your phone via a Bluetooth connection and access the My Ami Play app. Stick your handset in the cradle beside the steering wheel and that basically means navigation, phone and other apps are available at the touch of a button, a wireless speaker also available as an option to drop into a holder on the dash. The Citroën Switch and app are included on the ‘colour’ packs that include various accessories intended to be fitted at home, including coloured trim, storage netting, luggage hooks, decals and wheel trims. Or you can choose from the Pop, Tonic or Vibe options with various colour combos and extra trim bits already fitted.

Power for a Citroen Ami

1/5

The Ami only has eight horsepower to play with, but that’s enough to do what it needs to do. Which is to say keep up in busy city traffic and use that tiny on-road footprint to nip in and out of gaps. Floor it off the line and you’ll keep up with most of the other vehicles around you and the whole driving experience is a bit of a giggle. With that limited 28mph top speed don’t be tempted to try your luck in faster roads, though. We did on a previous drive and ended up on a 40mph inner-city ring road, which was not a pleasant experience. Although the battery is small and the Type 2 connector suggests you should be able to top it in no time it will actually take three hours for a full charge, whether you’re plugged into a home wallbox or a kerbside charger. But the novelty will wear off long before you get near the claimed 46-mile range and we’d be surprised if anyone goes far enough in an Ami to get caught short.

Standard equipment

Expect the following equipment on your Citroen Ami Coupe. This may vary between trim levels.

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