- Cheap to buy and run
- Good to drive around town
- Poor quality interior
- Not great out of town
- Noisy diesel engines
Funky city car with low running costs
Built between 2003 and 2009, the Citroen C2 was a small hatchback designed to compete with key rivals such as the Ford Ka and the Kia Picanto. The C2 was one of the most stylish packages during its production, offering low-priced motoring to the UK market. Available with a range of engines, the C2 was best suited to city driving, though the hot hatch VTS model offered thrills on a budget. With unique features such as the split rear tailgate, and a paddle gearbox, the C2 is today a left-field used car option for buyers who want something a little bit different from the norm.
Attractive design let down by poor quality materials
The C2 hasn’t been in production for seven years now, but the interior design still feels pretty fresh. Build quality isn’t on a par with more modern rivals, and the boot space isn’t the best, but there’s plenty of kit included if you choose the right model.
The dashboard design of the C2 was one of the most contemporary on offer when the C2 was first introduced. Even today it still looks pretty modern, with well-placed, simple controls adding to the package. Material quality is however pretty poor by modern standards, with hard scratchy plastics adorning the majority of the cabin. It’s pretty solidly built however, so used examples should still hold up well.
Storage space, especially compared to modern rivals, isn’t one of the C2’s strongest points. There’s very little room in the back seats, and the space in the back is only really suitable for children. The 193 litre boot capacity doesn’t look the best on paper either, though back in 2009 it was pretty standard for the class. The split rear tailgate offers greater practicality than a lot of rivals as well, as it makes getting heavy items in and out a doddle.
Equipment levels in the C2 depend on which model you choose to go for. The basic L trim doesn’t come with much, and you’ll have to upgrade to the LX trim to get basics such as front electric windows and a CD player. SX models add air-con into the mix, whilst range-topping VTR models add luxuries such as cruise control and alloy wheels.
All in all the inside of the C2 does everything you’d expect a small car to do. It’s not the most spacious, nor is the interior of great quality, but the layout is simple, and equipment levels are generous with higher spec cars.
Good around town, but struggles at speed
Small hatchbacks are designed to cope well with the rigours of city driving, and the C2 does this pretty well. The steering is light, and the turning circle is tight, which makes weaving in and out of busy traffic less stressful than it might be in a bigger car, whilst parking is also a breeze. Out on the open road the C2 is less impressive, as the vague steering hinders any sort of composure. VTS models are a little more fun thanks to their stiffer chassis and suspension, though they do reduce comfort and refinement.
Suspension and Chassis
As with its handling ability, the C2 is most comfortable in its natural habitat of the city. The firm suspension copes well with speed bumps and slow speed potholes, but at speed it’s less than impressive. Even slightly poor surfaces send shudders up into the cabin, and it’s not a car that you’d want to spend too much time in at speed. Wind and engine noise are kept well under wraps however, so it’s not the worst motorway cruiser in its class.
The transmission in the Citroen C2 is actually one of the most interesting things about the car. The SensoDrive semi-automatic gearbox, complete with racing-car style paddles, was unheard of in a car of this class when it was first introduced. It also happens to work pretty well, even today, whilst stop/start models automatically stop the engine at traffic lights to help with fuel consumption.
A decent range of petrol and diesel engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your C2, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a range of power outputs to suit most drivers needs, with a super efficient diesel, and a hot hatch style petrol being the standout stars of the range.
If it’s power that you want from your C2, you should seriously consider the petrol-powered 1.6 litre VTS model, which packs in 125bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 8.3 seconds. That’s doesn’t look particularly on paper, but it certainly feels nippy when you’re behind the wheel. The 1.6 litre diesel VTS model is also worth a look if you want greater fuel economy, as it’s only a second slower to 62mph.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pretty pleased with the C2, especially with the diesel engines in the range. They’re not the most refined diesels, especially by today’s standards, but the 111/gkm of CO2 emissions that the 1.4 HDi model pumps out is still pretty impressive. It’s not sub-100g/km like today’s city cars, but it’ll only cost £30 each year in road tax. This model is also the best option for money savers, as it can achieve up to an impressive 65mpg. Even the petrol models can achieve over 40mpg though, so you won’t ever have to fork out too much money at the fuel pumps each week.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your C2 you’re going to get a fuel efficient car with enough power to get you around town. The diesel makes the most sense if you want to save money on fuel, whilst the hot VTS models are fun, if you can afford the reduced economy.
Four stars in NCAP safety tests, with decent standard safety kit
Back in 2003 when it was tested, the Citroen C2 was one of the safest cars in its class. It managed to achieve a four star NCAP safety rating, that few competitors could match. By today’s standards it’s not that impressive, especially when you consider that tests have got gradually more stringent year on year. Nevertheless, it’s always good to know that for its age it’s impressive. All models post-2004 come with two airbags and ABS as standard, which will come in handy if you do for any reason find yourself in a spot of bother.
Excellent value for money
The Citroen C2 represents superb value for money in today’s used car market. This obviously varies between model to model, but generally speaking CO2 emissions are low for a car of its class and age, whilst fuel efficiency is impressive no matter which engine you choose to go for. The C2 was one of the cheapest cars from new when it was first released, and with high levels of depreciation since then, it really is a great used car bargain.
Insurance groups for the C2 are generally quite low, though it does depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in the lowest group 3 for the entry-level 1.1i L, and climb up towards group 15 for the 1.6i 16V VTS. Excluding the pacy VTS, you won’t ever be going beyond group 13 for your C2.
Depreciation was a large factor with the Citroen C2, but only if you bought from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, and further depreciation after that, there are some seriously good value inspected used equivalents.
The Citroen C2 might not be as good as some of the more modern city cars on the market, but it’s still one of the best that money can buy if you’re looking for a good value used city car. Models can be had for less than £1000 for high mileage examples, whilst more expensive, newer models offer greater longevity and less signs of wear and tear.
Buying a used Citroen C2 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Citroen C2 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used C2. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Citroen online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Citroen? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Citroen C2, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used C2, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Citroen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.