With the government announcing a ban on the sale of new petrol & diesel cars from 2030, it’s no surprise that a number of car manufacturers are taking the opportunity to launch new models across all platforms. The PSA Group began this in 2019 with their Peugeot 208 & e-208 & the Vauxhall Corsa & Corsa-e. The new kid on the block, is the Citroen C4 & e-C4 which also comes in 100% electric, petrol or diesel models. The difference is that it’s a larger, more practical car than the smaller 208 & Corsa.
With the rise of SUV’s, C-Sector cars are not as dominant as they once were. None the less, Citroen see their new C4 as a very important model & it comes to market with new engines & a completely new design.
There are four Euro 6d petrol engines in the UK – PureTech 100 S&S 6-speed manual, PureTech 130 S&S 6-speed manual, PureTech 130 S&S EAT8 Auto, PureTech 155 S&S EAT8 Auto – & two Euro 6d Diesel engines: Blue HDi 110 S&S 6-speed manual & Blue HDi 130 S&S EAT8 Auto. All will be familiar to exciting Citroen & Peugeot customers.
There’s a new body shape, which combines the shape of a hatchback, while subtly adopting certain SUV design forms, notably at the rear quarter which appears more raised thanks to 156mm of ground clearance. The design features a new LED V-shaped front & rear lighting signatures, coupled with some nods to Citroen’s of yesteryear, CX & GS, with the rear, side & boot panels. There’s also SUV-like side cladding & wheel arch extensions mirroring the Citroen SUV range. The rear end features a high-level rear spoiler, a split rear screen & a chunky rear bumper.
The new C4 has short front & rear overhangs, which creates a long wheelbase of 2,670 mm. The car itself measures 4,360 mm long, 1,800 mm wide & 1,525 mm high. Thanks to its elevated stature, it offers a higher “eye-point” than the competition at 1.22 m, increasing visibility while driving & giving front seat passengers an SUV-like feel.
The boot matches the space of a Golf with 380 litres available & a useful split floor & low loading lip. There’s also a ski-hatch on higher spec models.
Inside, the latest C4 owes a lot to the current designs found on board the DS range, so factor in high-tech interiors, with large, comfortable seats & plenty of options. For example, customer’s are able to configure their car to suit their preferences, with 31 exterior colour combinations & six ambiences inside the cabin.
The interior quality is a step-up for Citroen featuring as it does, softly shaped door panels & multiple storage compartments. There is a new chevron grain pattern on the dashboard & the interior colour schemes coordinate the seats with the door panels. And, C4 features the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, first seen in the C5 Aircross.
The wide dashboard features some clever storage areas. For example, above the decent sized glove box is a pull out dashboard tray, which is a Smart Pad Support (CitroënTM) with mobile phone storage. In effect, it’s an iPad holder so that front seat passengers can watch a film or TV programme whilst on the move. A clever as well as a useful addition.
In the centre, at the top of the dashboard, you’ll find a slim, gloss black 10″ touchscreen, with a physical chrome dial & chevron motif. Traditional dual-zone automatic climate control buttons, are located underneath this, so there’s no fiddling with the touchscreen to turn the temperature up or down. There’s also a digital instrument panel & large colour head-up display, which give the driver essential driving information right in front of their eyes.
Buyers have their choice of four trim-levels: Sense, Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus. The entry-level Sense model comes as standard with LED headlights,18″ alloys, rear parking sensors, lane-keep assist, an active safety brake,10″ touchscreen, dual-zone climate control & an electric parking brake. The cheapest petrol Sense, is priced from £20,990
Sense Plus models start from £23,840. Choose this version & this will add a head-up display, a rear parking camera, an interior LED lighting system, two USB sockets & a tablet mount, plus a host of connected services such as live traffic & weather information.
Prices for the Shine range begin at £26,390. This model includes rear privacy glass, front & rear parking sensors, adaptive LED headlights, adaptive cruise control & active blind spot detection.
Range topping Shine Plus adds on a wireless smartphone charging pad, leather & textile upholstery, heated front seats, a premium stereo system with a subwoofer & Citroen’s highway driver assist system, which can automatically adjust the speed a&direction of the vehicle under motorway driving conditions. Prices start from £27,590.
We got an opportunity to drive a C4 left-hooker, a range topping Shine Plus.
The first thing you notice when you climb aboard, is the very DS like interior, which is no bad thing. The seats especially reminded me of those on board the DS3 Crossback, with their quilted almost Bo-Concept like Scandi finish. All of the fixtures & fittings are very well made & feature a little bit of Citroens quirkiness which I really appreciate, as it enables the C4 stand out. It’s no Ford Focus or VW Golf & it’s all the better for it.
For those sat up front, passenger space is decent, but a combination of the car’s sloping roof & the dark anthracite roof lining fitted to our test car, made the rear feel a little claustrophobic. Anyone over six foot tall will feel a little cramped in the back.
We were driving the PureTech 130 S&S EAT8 Auto & it’s a unit we know well from both the Peugeot 508 & C5 Aircross. The auto box offers a relaxing drive, which coupled with Citroens Advanced Comfort, help the C4 glide over pot-holed terrain. In city traffic in & around Coventry, the C4 is refreshingly quiet, whilst on the motorway, , there’s plenty of acceleration where required & the adaptive cruise control meant worry-free driving.
All the car controls are within easy physical reach & the menu options & functions accessed via the touchscreen, are simple to understand. The separate heating controls are an added bonus, so you can keep your eyes on the road ahead.
The infotainment system had been configured for the UK, so we sampled the DAB radio & connected our iPhone to Apple Car Play. The connection was seamless & a couple of hands-free calls were made en route. It’s certainly a nice cabin to be in & with the added tablet holder fitted to our test car, passengers can be entertained as well.
Do I have any reservations ? None about the car itself, I really liked it. But, I can’t help but feel that the C Sector is in decline, as customers opt for SUV shaped models & I’m not sure that the petrol or diesel C4 will do anything to change this. The electric version though, should be a winner.
The latest e-C4 maybe completely new, but it’s unmistakably a Citroen. Not only does it look like a Citroen, it drives like one too, so factor in some quirky French touches, soft suspension & a comfortable cabin. Add in the latest tech & safety features & the new e-C4 ticks an awful lot of boxes. For me, it’s refreshingly different from the usual five-door hatchback fare petrol, diesel or EV. Buy or lease one & you are making a statement, that ordinary’s not for you. And with this electric version, there’s a C4 for everyone.