Comfortable, spacious and ‘on trend’ in terms of car design the new Citroën C4 is quite striking. Three petrol versions and two diesel powered models are available. Pricing for the compact family car starts from €24,740. We’re testing the fully electric version this week, unsurprisingly called the ë-C4.
The C4 has always had a tough time building a large fan base in Ireland in a car sector dominated by the VW Golf, Ford Focus and the Toyota Auris/Corolla. The five-door French offering, no matter how much optional extras were fitted as standard simply never took off. The new C4 will again struggle to deliver big numbers but only because the Citroën dealer network is so small next to the main players. The car itself is impressive and if you like a soft comfortable ride – it’s probably best in class. In fairness no one’s backside is calibrated, but it is a given that Citroën’s memory foam seats are very comfy.
The C4’s exterior has a crossover shape – so its not quite the family hatchback of old. The design looks impressive and features sleek SUV crossover styling with a lower than SUV roof height, elongated body and urban SUV-like ground clearance. Its silhouette is similar to many premium sports coupes and crossovers out there. Our high grade test car rides on 18 inch alloys and looks very sharp. LED lights feature all round. The boot despite the sloping design holds a useful 380 litres. It also has a split level floor and you can fold down the rear seats backs individually.
Inside, the cabin is large for its class and while there are some cheap materials and switch gear to be found, the quality is good overall. The cabin trim is customisable allowing you add a dash of colour if you wish. There are the usual cabins adornments e.g. the centre dash large touch screen display (10 inch-standard) and 5.5 inch digital driver’s display, but one unique feature in our test car we noted is called the ‘Citroën Smart Pad Support’ – an integrated support for attaching a tablet computer for front passenger to utilise and great for viewing movies etc. We also had a good sound system with a subwoofer for better bass. Our Flair grade car also had a heated leather steering wheel, which is very welcome on cold mornings.
Our electric C4 can be spotted by blue highlights and ‘ë’ badging on the front wings and tailgate. It has many shared components and bits and pieces tat are from the Stellantis motor group. This vast conglomerate includes Peugeot, DS and Opel. So the C4’s motor, transmission and battery are shared with lots of others and therefor tried and tested. The electric motor delivers 136hp and it gets its power from a 50kWh rechargeable battery. Its nippy and frugal too as we averaged circa 18kWh/100km driving it as we would a car with an engine. A maximum range of 350km is quoted. At a 100kW rapid charger (using its CCS socket) a 30 minute stay will deliver an 80% charge. Otherwise a full charge should take overnight (7hr:30min) at a 7.4kW home wallbox. Citroën’s Irish website has an easy to use range simulator that lets you get a sense of how economical the electric C4 will be in different conditions.
The C4 comes in four grades: Feel, Feel Pack, Flair and Flair Pack (test car). Manual and automatic gearboxes feature. Our electric C4 is of course automatic with a single forward gear and single reverse gear. The C4 is sturdy and safe. Its standard safety pack includes loads of kit (take a deep breath): Active Safety Brake (video assisted), Speed Limit Information, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Alert 3 with lane departure detection, Forward Collision Warning, Hill Start Assist, Active Blind Spot Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control ‘ACC Stop’, Extended Traffic Sign Recognition, Front, side and extended curtain airbags (rows 1 & 2), Keyless Entry and Start, Citroën ConnectedCAM – built in dashcam, Connected alarm system with inside sensor, Highway Driver Assist (incorporates Adaptive Cruise Control).
On the road all Citroën C4s ride exceptionally well in their class. Progressive hydraulic cushions are things you’ll never see but are part of the suspension that help deliver a softer ride quality. Our car had loads of equipment that would only be options on rivals. Its clear Citroën has thrown the kitchen sink at the C4 in terms of pricing and equipment. Its got my attention as it represents serious value for money compared to rivals in the compact family car class. The Citroën ë-C4 starts from €31,730.