Citroen C2 Stop And Start

French model promises great efficiency

Meet the old hand in this test – Citroen first offered the green technology on its C3 Stop & Start supermini in 2004. Two years later, the system became available on the C2 city car, creating an eco-friendly runaround.

Since then, the model has been given a mid-life facelift. New bumpers, grille and light clusters help freshen its appearance. Mechanically, it is unchanged and, as with the Smart, the stop-start set-up is mated to a semi-auto manual transmission.

The Citroen immediately impresses as its engine barely needs to warm up before its start-stop kicks in. And the 88bhp 1.4-litre stays silent for a long time, firing up again only when you release the brake pedal. As a result, the Stop & Start returned a respectable 33.6mpg on our town centre route – only 3.1mpg less than the smaller and slower Smart achieved.

Elsewhere, though, the C2 is something of a mixed bag. The transmission is clunky and slow, even when the cheap-feeling steering wheel paddles are used. And while the interior is practical and generously equipped, build quality is patchy in places. At least the Citroen drives well, with direct steering and decent grip. The firm ride spoils the experience, although it’s not as uncomfortable as the Smart. A more serious sticking point is the price.

At £11,645, the C2 Stop and Start costs the same as the more frugal and better-equipped 1.4 HDi diesel VTS variant.

Details

WHY: The revised C2 looks better than ever, and now comes with stop-start, as well as an automated manual box.

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