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Citroen Vehicle Terminology

There are so many factors and options to consider when buying a new or used car that sometimes the jargon used can make the whole buying process that bit more difficult.With this in mind we have found a list of the most commonly used terms, broken down into a more digestible format.

  • Chassis - A metal frame that holds all the vital parts of the car together e.g suspension system, wheels and body.
  • Powertrain / Drivetrain - This refers to all the parts that generate a car's power and deliver it to the road. This includes the engine, transmission, wheels etc.
  • Transmission - This refers to the car’s gears. A car's transmission enables the engine to provide a wide range of different speeds. Without it, you'd be limited to just one gear.
  • Wheelbase - This is the distance between the front and rear wheels.
  • Engine Litre Size - You may have seen a car described as a 1.6 litre. This refers to the size of the engine, which relates to the amount of space inside the engine for the fuel - air mix. The more space inside the engine, the more power the car produces. For example, a 1.6 engine is smaller and less powerful than a 1.8 or 2.0 engine. This measurement is also known as engine displacement.
  • Horsepower (HP) - This scientific metric measures an engines power. It was invented by a man called James Watt who calculated that one horse could do 30,000 foot - pounds of work in one minute. He then used this measurement to calculate the power of a steam engine. Car manufacturers have been using this measurement ever since and use it to boast about a car's power. For example, an Aston Martin DB9 boasts 470 hp.
  • Torque – An output of an engine is the rotational force, this is called Torque. It gives an indication of an engine's strength and flexibility. Put simply, it’s another way of measuring an engines power.
  • Car Handling - The handling is the way the car's wheels perform, important when cornering and swerving.
  • Four Wheel Drive – An engine of a Four Wheel Drive is capable of sending power to all four wheels, inside of the usual two wheels.
  • Turbocharger - This helps an engine produce more power by utilising the pressure from the exhaust to blast a more accurate fuel - air mix into the engine.
  • CO2 emissions (g/km) - The CO2 emission figure refers to the level of carbon dioxide released via the car's exhaust. It gives an indication as to how 'environmental friendly' a car is, which affects your car tax calculation, by how much CO2 your car emits. The lower the figure, the cheaper the car is to tax.
  • Start/Stop - Start/Stop technology stops the car's engine whenever it is stationary, then starts up again when the driver wants to move off. It is designed to save fuel which is normally wasted by keeping the engine ticking over unnecessarily (e.g. at traffic lights)
  • Hybrid engine - A hybrid engine has two different power sources, generally a petrol engine is linked to an electric motor. At high speeds the car uses the petrol engine, at low speeds it switches to electric. A hybrid uses less fuel, is greener for the planet and usually offers more power for your money.
  • Metallic paint - Metallic paint is a highly reflective glittering paint. The little metallic particles within the paint reflect and shimmer in the light, giving an attractive, sparkling appearance.
  • Revs per minute (RPM) - This tells you how hard an engine is working in its current gear, often referred to as revs. The greater the number of revs, the harder the engine is working.
  • Cruise Control - Cruise control automatically maintains the car at a certain speed. It is particularly helpful on motorways and A roads when a driver can easily keep to a constant speed.
  • TDI / FSI – Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) and Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) are direct - injection fuel systems. FSI applies to petrol engines and TDI for diesel engines. A direct - injection fuel system offers more power, better fuel economy and lower emissions.
  • Climate Control - This refers to the car's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. It's more complex than just plain air - conditioning because it allows occupants to specify an exact temperature.
  • Sports Suspension - Sports suspension improves the car’s handling by reducing body rolling when cornering and nose diving when braking.
  • Xenon Headlights - Xenon headlamps are brighter and whiter than conventional bulbs. They last longer because they use less energy.