The Citroen Ami is a compact all-electric quadricycle that aims to bring urban mobility to a wider audience. Its classification, size and limited speed make it a viable option for teenagers in France aged 14 or above, while in European countries, the age requirement to drive the vehicle is 16.
In the UK, it’s a bit more complicated: you need to hold a category AM or B (known as Full) license; the former type can be completed at the age of 16 but requires completing a CBT, passing the theory, and then attaining a full bike license by doing Module 1 and Module 2.
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Citroen Ami price and competition
In the UK and at the time of writing, the Ami is available in different trims: the entry-level Ami (£7,695), My Ami Colour Orange/Grey/Blue (£8,095), My Ami Pop (£8,495), My Ami Tonic (£8,695) and My Ami Cargo (£7,995). A breakdown of the differences can be found below – click to expand:
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Meanwhile, in France, it can even be bought via FNAC and DARTY, two French retailers that stock a variety of consumer electronics.
In terms of competition, there’s the Carver at around £12,000, the City Transformer, which costs between €12,500 and €16,000, and the Smart fortwo coupé from £22,225. Of course, there’s also a plethora of larger-sized EVs to consider, such as: the Cupra Born from £36,475; the VW ID.3 from £36,990; the Honda e from £36,920; the BMW i3 from £33,805; the Peugeot e-208 from £31,345; the Fiat 500 Electric from £30,645; the Renault Zoe from £29,995; Vauxhall Corsa-e from £29,035; the Mini Electric from £29,000; the Nissan Leaf from £28,995; and the MG4 EV from £25,995.
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Citroen Ami design review
The Ami has a unique look, where its body panels are uniform in order to keep manufacturing costs down to a minimum. For example, the front and rear of the vehicle are identical; they’re only differentiated by the colour of their lights. The doors are also identical and thus open in different ways: the passenger side door opens in a conventional manner, while on the driver’s side, it’s a suicide door. Essentially both doors are alike, thus the position of their hinges reflects how they operate.
When it comes to its dimensions, the Ami is 2.41 meters long, 1.39m wide and 1.525m tall; making it ideal to park almost anywhere. Its hard plastic shell sits on 14″ rims, which can be altered in colour – the trim colour is reflected inside the cabin, too. There are three shades to choose from: Grey, Blue, and Orange. These ‘My Ami’ editions add numerous extras, such as colour-coded wheel trims, while the ‘Pop’, ‘Tonic’ and ‘Vibe’ packs add extra decor and stickers to the vehicle.
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Citroen Ami comfort & interior review
Inside, the vehicle is very simplistic, with limited comfort and storage at your disposal. Here, one can fit a small cabin suitcase (or up to 61 litres) by the passenger-side footwell, store small bags behind the two seats and place valuables by the door compartments or by the colourful dashboard. Note, the My Ami Cargo gets rid of the second seat to free up more space, whereby there’s a quoted 260 litres instead.
Back to the passenger model, there are two manually-adjustable seats that have very limited padding to protect one’s back from the plastic frame. Given the Ami is aimed at shorter commutes this should be a non-issue but of course should be a consideration when it comes to driving comfort.
Next to the seats, there are two coloured drawstrings, which are used to operate the doors. One can be tugged to release the latch and the other is used to slam the door shut. Indeed, its interior design is simplistic, that said, it’s functional and will be perfectly amicable to those taking the Ami on a short commute.
In terms of technology, there’s only a USB socket to charge a smartphone. The instrument cluster is a non-coloured LCD display that provides only vital information to the driver: speed, range and total mileage.
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Citroen Ami performance review
Speaking of which, the vehicle houses a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery under its floor. According to the French manufacturer, this yields an all-electric range of 46.6 miles (75 km). From our own inner-city driving tests, we netted a very respectful 38-43 miles of range on a single charge. As one can imagine, given its size, it’s truly meant to reside within city centres.
To replenish the Citroen Ami, it can be plugged into a conventional 3-pin socket, which will take roughly three hours to charge till full.
It’s even more apparent that this vehicle isn’t suited for A roads or the motorway as it’s limited to a top speed of 27.9 mph (44.9km/h). However, given its purpose to be driven within the city, we found it to be nippy and ideal for weaving in and out of traffic. Indeed, thanks to its 6 kW electric motor and its lightweight 471kg (478kg in the Cargo) frame, there’s a whopping 625 Nm of instantly-available torque.
According to Citroen 0-27.9mph will take 10 seconds, however, using Racelogic’s Vbox Sport, we had it tested from 0-20mph in just 4.83 seconds. It’s to be a joyous experience – one could even describe it as an all-electric go-kart. You sit close to the windscreen, can feel the road and there’s a good driver’s feel – it’ll leave most with a smile.
It’s also extremely easy to manoeuvre, with a turning circle of just 7.2 metres; making it ideal for those who aren’t overly confident drivers or are new to the roads. It’s also safer to use over open-air quadricycles or motorbikes, whereby its doors and roof make for a bettered experience – especially in the colder months – over some of its four-, three- or two-wheeled rivals.
While it’s all very positive, it is worth considering that the Ami is only available as a left-hand drive (LHD), so it might take some getting used to on UK roads. Elsewhere, there’s an inherent lack of soundproofing, which causes a lot of resonance within the cabin. Indeed, there’s a lot of road noise that creeps in and a noticeable echo that can be heard when conversing.
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TotallyEV’s verdict of the Citroen Ami
The Citroen Ami is the ideal companion for those seeking to do short commutes around the city. It’s one of the most affordable EVs on the market and will provide a degree of protection over open-air solutions. It’s ridiculously fun to drive thanks to its all-electric powertrain and looks the part, too.
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For us, it’s the perfect city car and Citroen has pretty much nailed the execution – as a result, it receives TotallyEV’s Best Buy award. What do you make of the Citroen Ami? Let us know in the comments below or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Why has no one done a proper review with hill starts and the like. I love the car ? but there is more to know than just that.
We only had limited time with the Ami; sorry to disappoint, John.
So wht happens at the end of 48 months? Does it become your own property or do you have to give it back?
Good question. If you pay off the monthly instalments, it’ll be yours after the 48-month period; at least that’s our understanding of the contract!
If you’ve paid EUR3,603.53 over the 48 months (deposit plus monthly payments) then you won’t get to keep it – that’s just 60% of the up-front cash price.
The remainder will represent the car’s residual value.
I would be interested in a small electric city commuter but 45km/hr top speed is a deal breaker for me. Imagine trying to reach home after a night out and even with the streets mostly empty you could only go up to 40-45km/hr. Also, what happens when the street is uphill? What about simple stuff like supermarket shopping. Smart cars don’t even cover that, imagine this. I understand they needed to keep the specs in check for regulations but for an adult commuter, it just doesn’t cut it.
Well in the city, you shouldn’t be going any faster than 45-50km/hr as that’s the speed limit.
Of course, we understand your sentiment if you live a little outside a major city and near A or B roads, where the limit is higher.