Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010) Review

Citroen C2 (2003 – 2010) At A Glance


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

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

Insurance Groups are between 3–16
On average it achieves 92% of the official MPG figure

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.


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


Real MPG

28–74 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

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Ask Honest John

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

Are there any bad auto gearboxes?

"Are there any bad auto gearboxes? If so, what are they?"
Loads. All Audi/SEAT/Skoda and Volkswagen 7-speed dry clutch DSGs and s-tronics, Ford 6-speed dry clutch Powershifts, all automated manuals including Honda's i-shift, Toyota's MMT, Vauxhall's Easytronic, FIAT's Dualogic and the automated manuals in the Citroen C1, C2, C3, Pluriel, C4 Picasso, Peugeot 107, Peugeot 108, Toyota Aygo, Volkswagen Up, SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo. The best are 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 speed torque converter automatics in Honda, Mazda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Land Rover.
Answered by Honest John

I need a small car with comfortable suspension - any ideas?

"I am looking to buy a petrol Citroen C2 or C3 (1.1 or preferably 1.4). I want soft suspension. Roads in my country of Serbia are full of holes and imperfections and I don't want a car to be "braking my spine" while driving it. On some websites, it says that these cars have soft ride, and on some that they have bouncy ride. "What Car" says that C3's ride is refined, while Parkers say that is it unrefined. My parents have Dacia Sandero 1.4 (2009), and it has soft suspension. So, I know how it feels like (it is very good). What do you think? My question is, do C2 and C3 have softer, harder or basically the same suspension compared to Dacio Sandero? Also, as a bonus question, which one of these cars would you recommend for me? C2 or C3? I will use it mainly for commute (to work). 20km+20km a day, mainly on a highway (the section that goes through a city, so there is a lot of traffic and speeds rarely go above 80km/h there), and a bit of city diving. I will be using aircon a lot during summer. So I should probably go for 1.4 all things considered. I don't want deisels, because of so many problems and expensive faults. I am 28, and this will by my first car."
The Sandero is based on an older model Clio. The C3 is a Peugeot/Citroen design. Both have similar strut type front suspension and twist beam coil rear suspension. How well they ride depends on the spring rates and the profiles of the tyres. So any of these cars on 14 inch wheels with 65 profile tyres will ride better than on 15 inch wheels with 55 profile tyres and a lot better than on 16 inch wheels with 45 profile tyres. We were testing the latest range of Sanderos, Logan MCVs and Dusters in Croatia a couple of weeks ago. The Logans were all on sensible 15 inch wheels with 185/55 R15 tyres; the Sandero Stepway was on 16 inch wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and the Duster was on 215/65 R16 mud and snow tyres. Forget the C2. You wont get decent ride quality out of that due to the short wheelbase.
Answered by Honest John

Why does my Citroen C2 take so long to start?

"My Citroen C2 diesel takes ages to start. It also seems to lack power while driving. Any idea what the fault could be? "
This is a 1.4 diesel well known for injector problems.
Answered by Honest John
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