Many people make fun of French cars just because they heard about it in the 1960s and have been repeating it ever since. But there are some cars, like the Citroen C2, that truly deserve the negative stigma.

Has anyone seen this car on the road recently? Maybe because there aren’t enough functional ones left? I mean, the Citroen C3 was a slightly unfortunate experiment, and the Citroen C2 is essentially half of the C3. Literally. Half the features, half the doors, half the boot. Only the price isn’t half, so the question arises why not buy a C3 or a C4 directly?

But somehow it fared well. That’s because there was the Citroen C2 VTS, which indeed was a glorious car, with an illustrious career in motorsport, cheap to buy and especially cheap to insure in countries with more criteria than just age and engine size. The Citroen C2 VTS reached over 200 km/h and needed just 8 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h, which meant you could comfortably challenge an E-Class 2.2 diesel with 170 horsepower. Not to mention the Motorsport versions and more specifically the Junior WRC where Sebastian Loeb chased it around in 2002.

All well and good, but most C2s weren’t sport versions. No, most C2s were either 1.1 petrol or 1.4 diesel, and they reached 0-100 km/h in 15 – 17 seconds (even the Range Rover P38 leaves you in the dust), and some even had power steering. Many of them didn’t. Seriously now, leaving aside the exaggeration, the base model had a CD player, power steering, and that’s it. If you added air conditioning, it would increase the 0-100 km/h acceleration time from 15 seconds to 17 seconds, but who cares about 2 seconds in that range. Although those 2 seconds might matter because that’s 2 extra seconds you’re forced to look at that interior.

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Citroen C2 Engines


  • 1.1 MPI TU1 of 60 horsepower – Yes, this is the engine that comes with the no frills package. But at least it’s reliable, or better said, it works even without various components like the catalytic converter or intake manifold. Components that will inevitably fail but won’t affect this engine.
  • 1.4 MPI TU4 of 73 and 88 horsepower – Honestly, the 73 horsepower version is the most balanced engine on the Citroen C2 and came with all the necessary features for a car like this. The engine mounts wear out prematurely, but that’s all the fun on the repair side, and it was also a very popular engine in the Citroen and Peugeot world, so I recommend it.
  • 1.6 MPI TU5 of 125 horsepower – The famous Citroen C2 VTS, but I don’t know anyone who thinks about a Citroen C2 sport in 2024 or any kind of Citroen Sport. Except for the DS3 Racing. The thing is, they’re somewhat collectible now and cost a fortune. Plus, the intake manifold screws fall out while driving.


  • 1.4 HDi DV4 of 68 horsepower – At least if they had given it one more horsepower to make it 69 and give you a reason to buy it. But like this? If you’re buying it anyway, don’t forget to buy the complementary set of injectors and the injector spares for the complementary set of injectors.
  • 1.6 HDi DV6 of 109 horsepower – I don’t understand why they didn’t put the 90 horsepower version, more accessible, you know, and went straight for the 109 horsepower madness. Probably so you go to the repair shop faster to change the turbo filter because if you don’t change the filter, you’ll change the turbo at every two traffic lights. And between two turbo, you’ll also change an injector. I could talk about this engine for days on end.


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Citroen C2 Reliability Issues

  • The rear brakes wear out prematurely in the sense that the brake pads stick to the disc just like gum sticks to sneakers or mold sticks to walls.
  • The Sensodyne semi-automatic gearbox won’t whiten your teeth, but it will whiten your hair instead with all the issues it causes.
  • The power steering is the same, but there you have to investigate between the steering column, the power steering pump, and the other auxiliaries. Good luck!
  • The boot is nonexistent, but you don’t have to be Neil DeGrasse Tyson to realize that. I tried to fit a USB stick inside the boot, but after half an hour I gave up.
  • That interior reminds me of depression. If it were a medication, it would be diazepam. If it were franchise, it would be McDonald’s. If it were food, it would be a hospital menu, put together by a cook after stealing everything good, and you’re left with what would be given to a pig. If it were a TV show character, it would be Toby Flenderson.


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Citroen C2 Verdict

Did I really manage to write 900 words about this automotive failure? Maybe it was popular in other countries, but clearly not here. It was a bad Citroen in a VW country. I’m thinking that today it would have broken the delivery world’s back, but it seems that time has been ruthless with these cars, and today you hardly see them. Which is not necessarily a loss.

What engines do I recommend? For petrol, definitely the 1.4 MPI with 73 horsepower, and for diesel, I don’t recommend any. At most, the 1.4 HDi with 68 horsepower, despite all its problems.