Citroen C2 1.6 HDi VTS review

Torquey and frugal diesel engine

January 2008

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


  • Torquey and frugal diesel engine
  • Distinctive and attractive looks
  • High specification
  • Good value for money


  • Some interior fittings feel flimsy
  • Tall body susceptible to crosswinds
  • No five-door option
  • Digital instruments not to all tastes

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. The high output VTS HDi model brings impressive performance with diesel frugality.

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. The VTS might sit at the top of the C2 tree, but it still delivers impressive value for money.

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 VTS which uses a 1.6-litre diesel unit used to pulling far larger cars. In this guise especially, the C2 is a fun car to pilot due to its compact nature and low weight.

The VTS qualifies as a junior hot hatch and buyers seeking such a car should find it very much to their taste. Its exterior is jazzed up with the addition of smart alloy wheels and a bodykit, whilst inside there are smart sports seats and extra equipment. The big mechanical change is the diesel engine, putting it on a par with petrol.

Our verdict on the Citroen C2 1.6 HDi VTS

Using a diesel engine to deliver hot hatch performance is the key to the VTS's appeal. The punchy 1.6-litre unit is fun to exploit, while the keen chassis continues the amusement through the bends. A strong specification and good practicality make for a good all-round package.