Used Citroën C2 2003 - 2009 review

Category: Small car

It's nippy and good fun, but the C2's real appeal is its low price and running costs

Citroën C2 (03 - 09)
  • Citroën C2 (03 - 09)
  • Citroën C2 (03 - 09)
Used Citroën C2 2003 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Citroën C2 hatchback like?

Much like the Saxo that went before it, the C2 has become a favourite with young drivers who like their cars, but don't have much to spend.

Not only does it look sharp, it's also quite a lot of fun to drive, even if the steering is a bit dull at higher speeds. The ride isn't bad, either - only larger lumps and bumps will cause the C2 problems.


It's nippy and good fun, but the C2's real appeal is its low price and running costs

  • It's got sharp looks and it's cheap to buy and run - ideal for young drivers
  • It's a tight fit in the back, there's little room in the boot and there are some reliability issues

Most of the C2's limitations lie on the inside. Although there's plenty of room up front, space in the rear is very tight indeed, and the boot is tiny, too. What's more, the quality of the materials used in the cabin falls a long way short of the best in the class.

Still, the C2 has everything that young drivers want, and provides it at a low cost. Most are reasonably well equipped, too.

Ownership cost

What used Citroën C2 hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Citroën C2 hatchback?

No C2 will cost a bomb. Like most Citroens, residual values from new are poor, so used versions are very affordable. You can pick up fairly young examples for bargain prices.

Crucially for the young buyers that seem to love the C2, running costs are very reasonable. Our favourite 1.1 version will return 47.9mpg, and even the sportiest VTR and VTS versions will still return a very respectable 40mpg. The diesel is the clear winner here, though, returning an impressive 68.9mpg.

Insurance costs are a big plus point for our favourite 1.1, being classified in the cheapest group 1. The 1.4 sits in group 3 along with the diesel, while the VTR and VTS are less respectable, sitting in groups 6 and 8 respectively.

Servicing costs are cheap. You'll even pay less to service your C2 than you would to maintain its little brother, the C1.

Our recommendations

Which used Citroën C2 hatchback should I buy?

The entry-level 61bhp 1.1-litre unit is best. It isn't that quick, but it will be good enough for most drivers and running costs are minimal.

The 1.4-litre petrol gives more flexibility, and even delivers the same fuel economy as the 1.1, but costs more to buy and insure, a huge consideration for young drivers.

Avoid the 1.4's Sensodrive semi-automatic gearbox option - changes are too jerky and performance is impaired. There's also a 'Stop & Start' version, which cuts the engine when the car is stationary to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy, but it's rare on the used market.

The range-topping cars have a 1.6-litre engine. In the VTR, it provides 110bhp, and in the VTS, it gives 123bhp. Both are great fun. Diesel fans can choose the 70bhp 1.4 turbodiesel, which gives almost 70mpg.

Trims range from L to SX. L is too basic, so choose Design - it gives you a CD player, electric front windows and remote central locking, but doesn't cost the earth.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Citroën C2 hatchback?