Two's So Trendy

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), March 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Two's So Trendy


Byline: By Peter Keenan

Calling all you bright young things - Citroen's C2 is ready to party. From the company that loves living life on the edge comes a car packed full of new ideas and innovations.

But some of them take a bit of getting used to. Take, for example, the SensoDrive gearbox. Virtually every other response to the car will be determined by how you get on with Citroen's take on changing gear.

SensoDrive offers two choices. Grand Prix-style paddles behind the steering wheel for clutchless manual control - or quite the worst fully automatic system I've ever come across.

Imagine being driven by your mum in a Citroen 2CV and you get the picture of how bad the auto box is.

You'll experience gear changes that take an age, pushing the most patient of drivers into the realms of road rage. The only sensible solution is to switch to the Schumacher option.

The paddle-change operation is happily light years better, if still a little ponderous - you can also push the gear lever forwards and backwards for up and down changes if you prefer.

With control over gear changes retained, the many positives offered by the C2 are revealed.

The 1.6 engine is quite punchy when it's not being controlled by the auto box - it makes a satisfying roar when pushed hard and is quite quick off the mark.

The VTR gives high levels of grip with a hard-working suspension smoothing a passage through the rutted tracks we call main roads. On the downside the car rolls a bit when country lanes are encountered and the steering gives little feedback at higher speeds.

The C2 is pretty cheap to run. Low emissions mean it achieves a 15 per cent company car tax rating - as low as you can go without reverting to a skateboard.

Fuel economy is more than respectable at 44.8mpg with servicing only necessary every 20,000 miles.

The C2 is a three-door only model - Citroen leaving five doors in the realm of the C3 - but there is a choice of engines. …

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