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Citroen C2 1.4i 16v Stop and Start SensoDrive review

Quality interior and cabin refinement

September 2006

picture of car from the front picture of car from the rear picture of car interior picture of car detail

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5 stars

Likes:

  • Quality interior and cabin refinement
  • Rear seat flexibility
  • SensoDrive gearbox is easy to use
  • Split rear tailgate is surprisingly practical

Gripes:

  • Rear head and legroom is modest
  • Rear windows do not open
  • SensoDrive gearbox is not a regular auto - car will roll back on inclines
  • Large front doors sometimes prove too big in cramped car parks

Citroen's C2 sits alongside a number of small cars in an incredibly competitive market. The French firm's Saxo replacement has retained many of the old car's attributes, and added many welcome new ones. In Stop and Start guise fuel economy is top of the agenda, as the petrol engine will shut down when the car is stationary.

There's no question that there's a family likeness between Citroen's C2 and slightly larger C3. However, they possess very different characters. The C3 is the more grown up of the two, while the C2 is the cheeky, about-town car.

Targeted at buyers seeking an enjoyable city car but who have to factor in space and financial issues, the C2 is an obvious choice as a cost-conscious first car or economical runabout for an active, multi-car family. Either way, sticker price and the extra-frugal diesel plus Stop and Start variants do appear to make a lot of financial sense.

Performance isn't sacrificed entirely in the case of the low power petrol and diesel models, but it's fair to say that if you want substantial thrills you'll have to go for the 'warm hatch' VTR model. However, that's not to say that the C2 is a dull car to drive. Far from it; the little Citroen feels nimble around town and stable at motorways speeds.The Stop and Start variant takes the concept of economy motoring one step further. If you don't like the idea of a diesel motor this petrol alternative shuts down when the car is stationary, thus saving valuable fuel. Start up is near-instant when you release the foot brake. Coupled with Citroen's familiar clutchless manual SensoDrive gearbox, this almost automatic driving experience requires a little acclimatisation but can pay dividends at the pumps.

Our verdict on the Citroen C2 1.4i 16v Stop and Start SensoDrive

Citroen's small C2 is a typical town car: nimble, easy to park, comfortable, cheap to run. Factor in the Stop and Start feature and its frugal and less polluting than some rivals. Yes it could be viewed as a novelty, but if stop-start urban driving is the norm for you it could prove a beneficial feature.