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A day in the life of the Citroen Ami

By Maxine Ashford | October 3, 2022

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It is a two-seater, left-hand drive funky model that is easy to manoeuvre, can turn on a sixpence and has a driving range of 46 miles between charges.

A day in the life of the Citroen Ami

Come to London, they said, to spend the day driving around the big tourist attractions in the tiny Citroen Ami. Sounds like hell on earth with all that traffic, but proved to be outrageously entertaining.

That’s because the Ami is not a car. That is something that needs to be clarified from the off because it is pointless ever comparing it to one. It is a fully electric quadricycle that is priced from just £7,695 and has a top speed of 28mph (which is plenty quick enough in London’s congested streets).

It is a two-seater, left-hand drive funky model that is easy to manoeuvre, can turn on a sixpence and has a driving range of 46 miles between charges.

Citroen says it aims to change the urban landscape with the Ami and after several hours of driving, interspersed with talking and waving to members of the public, I have to say that I totally agree with them.

With its quirky box-like shape, large windows and compact wheels, it’s an unusual creature, but oozes charm at the same time. It certainly can’t be ignored.

There are trim levels called My Ami, My Ami Pop, My Ami Tonic and My Ami Vibe with the range-topper only costing £8,895. All versions are powered by a 5.5kWh battery alongside a 6kW motor and charging takes just three hours via a type 2 connecter which is tethered to the vehicle for convenience.

We opted for the My Ami Pop costing £8,495 and what a fun day we had. A smartphone can be connected so navigating complicated city streets is a doddle and special mention to the fantastic all-round visibility. You sit quite far back and it feels like a greenhouse at times with large windows but you are treated to a panoramic view of your surroundings. There are side mirrors, but no rearview mirror, although after a few minutes, you don’t miss it at all. And if it’s a real issue, you can always get a stick-on one.

The agility of the Ami is superb and, despite its compact battery, the acceleration is fine too for city life. It can reach 28mph from a standing start in 10 seconds and officially tops out at 27.9mph. Venture onto slightly faster roads and you could become unpopular with following traffic, but that’s not what the Ami has been designed for.

We visited Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and various other London landmarks and the Ami was the star of the show at every destination with many people wanting to take photos of the vehicle.

Even though it is left hand drive, the Ami is so narrow that you soon adapt and, with instant power out the starting blocks, it won’t be left standing at the lights.

Admittedly, its looks won’t be to everyone’s taste – after all it’s quite difficult to differentiate the front from the rear, but once again, look at that price.

For that outlay, our Ami Pop featured LED front and rear lights, LED indicators, a single front windscreen wiper, a panoramic glass roof, folding side windows that pop out, a driver’s seat with manual adjustment, a USB  socket, a heating fan, neat upholstery and a charging cable in the passenger door. There is no boot as such, but a vast area in front of the passenger to store stuff.

And there are plenty of ways to personalise the Ami too with colour packs, colour-coded dashboard storage boxes, storage nets and various wheel trims.

As the Ami is classed as a quadricycle, it can be driven by anyone with a moped licence aged 16 and above. Its limited top speed makes it far safer than scooters and motorcycles, but don’t expect to find anything like the comprehensive safety systems such as airbags that you would find on standard vehicles. Once again, this is not a car.

But what it really addresses is everything about driving in London, or any other big city, that is so irritating. It has zero emissions so is good for the planet. It has a turning circle of just 7.2 metres meaning you can spin it round in the tightest of spaces. It is just 1.4-metres wide, so narrow streets won’t be an issue and its very cheap to buy and run with charging possible from a three-pin domestic plug too.

There are also My Ami Cargo models which have one seat and a huge amount of storage space where the passenger would usually sit – 260 litres of room to be precise This means the My Ami Cargo can carry 400 litres of goodies. It costs £7,995 and screams city delivery vehicle at you. 

With its agility and the safety of the driver exiting from the left, which is the kerbside, the My Ami Cargo is ideal for city centre fast food deliveries. And, of course, there are no emissions and it is safer than all those bicycles we see weaving around these days.

In addition, there is a door-less My Ami Buggy that would look great on any beach or golf course. This went on sale in France back in June with the limited 50 units selling out in less than 18 minutes. Fingers crossed that model will come to the UK too.

It’s amazing to think that the Citroen Ami was never destined to come to these shores. Thank goodness it has. We are going to get very used to seeing these vehicles fizzing around our streets in the months ahead. 

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