Citroen C4 review

Our Rating: 
3
3.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Citroen C4 is a good choice for long-distance drivers who list comfort and fuel economy as top priorities

For: 
Competitively priced, comfortable, spacious boot
Against: 
Cramped rear seats, handling not very sporty

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The Citroen C4 was redesigned in 2011 and is one of the most comfortable mid-sized family cars you can buy. However, it's not much fun to drive as rivals like the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf. The cabin is practical, although rear seat space is compromised to make for a big boot. Citroen recently added the micro hybrid engined e-HDi diesel engine to the car's line-up. This gets an automatic gearbox as standard and offers combined fuel economy of 74mpg. To rival the 1.2 TSI engine in the Golf and the 1.0 EcoBoost in the Focus, there's a brand new 1.2 e-THP three-cylinder engine. Despite boasting 128bhp – with a 109bhp version on the way – it manages to achieve almost 60mpg, with CO2 emissions of 110g/km.

Our pick: C4 e-THP 130 VTR+

Styling

3.3

The Citroen C4 was last updated in 2011, and with a facelifted Focus and all-new Golf now on the roads, it now looks a little bit outdated. Nevertheless, the interior is still pretty striking and offers something genuinely different to the rest of the class. There's a button-heavy steering wheel, while top-spec Exclusive cars get massage front seats. It's not all good news, though. The rear seats are a little cramped, and the Citroen feels light on luxuries compared to the likes of the technology laden Ford Focus.

Driving

2.9

Soft suspension might offer the last word in comfort, but on a winding road, this car is not much fun to drive. The steering is light and offers very little in the way of feel and precision. At least the car puts in an unrivaled performance on the motorway. It's cabin is almost completely free of wind noise, while the diesel engines run smoothly and quietly. The fastest car you can buy is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, offering a 0-62mph sprint of 8.7 seconds. The range-topping 2.0-litre diesel is a shade slower, but also delivers excellent fuel economy. If it was up to us, we'd go for the new three-cylinder 1.2 e-THP 130 engine, which offers loads of torque, impressive refinement and great fuel economy.

Reliability

3.5

With six airbags as standard, the Citroen C4 is a safe car. In fact, Euro NCAP awarded the C4 a full five stars in its crash safety tests. Citroen's eTouch service also features, which allows you to call – and be located by – emergency services if you break down or have an accident. 

Practicality

3

Although the Citroen C4 gets a 408 litre boot, which is one of the most spacious in its class, the car's design does make it rather awkward to load. The cabin however is very well designed, and offers lots of storage cubbies. If you choose an e-HDI edition, you get an automatic gearbox, and a coolbox in the centre console big enough for a couple of 500ml drinks bottles.

Running Costs

4

Depreciation is savage, so make sure you get a discount when buying new from a dealer. At least running cost are low. The e-HDi engined Citroen C4 is a star performer - returning combined fuel economy of 74mpg. The so-called micro hybrid engine features stop and start technology to save fuel in stationary traffic, plus Citroen EGS automatic gearbox, which swaps gears via steering wheel mounted paddles. It's not very smooth, and requires you to change your driving style to make smooth shifts. The e-THP isn't quite as frugal as the diesel but it's definitely smoother. 

Last updated: 5 May, 2012
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