Review: Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010)

Rating:

Low running costs, including insurance. Good crash test rating.

Tailgate isn't that practical. Poor showing in JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Recently Added To This Review

27 March 2017

Report of Citroen C2 Sensodrive automated manual failing to go into reverse. Read more

9 April 2015

Haynes Manual now available for Citroën C2 petrol & diesel (2003 - 2010) 53 to 60reg. Price £22.99. Covers: C2 Hatchback Petrol: 1.1 litre (1124cc), 1.4 litre (1360cc) & 1.6 litre (1587cc);... Read more

1 August 2008 Citroen C2 range facelifted

Range facelifted and refreshed with new radiator grille and one-piece front bumper. C2 line-up has been simplified to four trim levels - Vibe, Rhythm, VTR and VTS. C2 Stop & Start now comes in the... Read more

Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010): At A Glance

In theory it's a new AX. Small, light, simple, practical, economical and fun.

But car makers can't make a car like that any more. Laws don't let them. So underneath its cute little body the C2 has had to become a lot more sophisticated.

You get the flavour by looking at the spec. Power steering. Central locking. Airbags all over the place. And under the skin a rock solid passenger compartment with crumple zones either end. It's a miracle they managed to keep the weight down to 932 kilos. And the economy up to a remarkable 69mpg combined for the diesel version. For low running costs, with £85 a year VED and Group 2 insurance you're going to find that very hard to beat.

But I decided to look at the C2 as a first car for a 17 year old. That means either the bare bones Group 1 insurance, 48mpg 1.1L, at £6,995 as an introductory offer. Or the LX which comes with independently sliding and folding rear seats and other goodies, including a CD player, which add up to an extra £500. So, actually, most buyers are going to fork that extra £500.

Road test base model 1.1L at 2003 Citroen C2 Road Test

What does a Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010) cost?

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Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3666 mm
Width 1659 mm
Height 1451–1461 mm
Wheelbase 2315 mm

Full specifications

Brave of Citroen to put me in the bare bones £6,995 L, though. Novel to have to wind the windows up and down and twiddle the door mirror control stalks instead of pressing buttons. But you're not faced with bare metal poverty spec that was all you used to get in a base model. The finish is quite good. There are vanity mirrors, a speedo rim digital rev counter, a decent enough radio, a height and reach adjustable steering wheel, a switchable passenger airbag, remote central locking, self locking doors, automatic hazards.

The rear window lifts up, hatchback style, for dropping supermarket bags into boot space which is reasonable for the car's length. But the drop-down tailgate is only half a tailgate, leaving a substantial strengthening sill. And on top of that, merely the backrests of the rear seats fold down. Since they don't slide, there really isn't much legroom in the back. Get a spanner and you could howk them out completely, which might suit some people wanting a commodious two seater. The back seats alone are a good reason for coughing up the extra £500 for the LX.

Child seats that fit a Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010) like to drive?

Out on the road, the car goes well enough and actually started to go a lot better as it began to loosen up. Handling felt inert at first but soon became much more fun once we got used to each other, even though the steering is still a tad light. Clutch, gearchange and throttle response are just about as good as they could be. It pulls about 20mph per 1,000rpm in top and will scoot along the motorway in the mid 80s very happily. Obviously it's a bit noisy at 4,000rpm plus, but not wearingly bad.

And here's something you don't expect in a base version. It wasn't on the spec sheet. But on the dash there's a convenient button that allows you to set a speed warning. Exceed the pre-set speed and you get beeped. So no excuses and no need to constantly watch the speed rather than the road when driving through a restricted area.

When the time came to part I actually felt some affection for this cute little car. If I had to, I could live with it and enjoy its company immensely. I can imagine quite a few wealthy parents indulging their 17 year old offspring with a C2, then borrowing it more often than they ever expected.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.1i 49 mpg 14.4 s 138 g/km
1.4 16V SensoDrive Stop & Start 50 mpg 13.0 s 130 g/km
1.4 HDi 66 mpg 13.5 s 113 g/km
1.4i 47 mpg 12.2 s 143 g/km
1.6 16V 41 mpg 8.3 s 163 g/km
1.6 16V SensoDrive 45 mpg 11.7 s 151 g/km
1.6 HDi 64 mpg 9.4 s 119 g/km

Real MPG average for a Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

92%

Real MPG

29–74 mpg

MPGs submitted

129

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

We bought a faulty car in a private sale - do we have consumer protection to get it fixed?

My step-son just purchased a 2008 Citroen C2 from a car dealer for £1700. The dealer said that it was not their car, but an employee's car. The money was paid, via bank transfer, to the employee and not to the dealer. During the test drive the car performed fine, but when driving the car home he found it would hesitate at around 55-60 mph. He returned the car the next day and the dealer said they would get it repaired. They think it's the injectors. It's been a week now and the car hasn't been repaired. The dealer has responded via email and hopes to have the car repaired next week now. I'm not sure that they will ever repair the car. Can we get our money back from the employee, so we can buy a car elsewhere?
Unfortunately this was not a dealer sale because the payment was to the employee, so consumer protection laws do not apply unless the employee was in league with the dealer to sell cars this way and had done the same thing before within the past two months.
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Economical and City car.

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What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 25%
  • 4 star 75%
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  • 2 star
  • 1 star

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