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In-depth reviews

Citroen C4 review: distinctive family car with hybrid and electric options

Stand-out looks and a focus on comfort make the Citroen C4 an appealing choice, but rivals are more rounded

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£19,690 to £37,410
  • Striking exterior design
  • Good standard kit
  • Comfortable
  • Smaller boot than rivals
  • Not very exciting to drive
  • Clunky infotainment system
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The Citroen C4 is a good family hatchback, but there are better options for those who want to balance practicality and efficiency with a degree of driving fun. Its funky coupe-crossover styling will attract some buyers, but once past the C4’s stylish veneer, it’s clear that it will struggle to compete with the very best in class.

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Citroen has succeeded in ensuring the C4 is a comfortable car to drive, while keen pricing and decent standard kit mean it offers good value for money. Interior quality is average compared with the best, especially when buying one of the higher-end trim levels

About the Citroen C4

The third-generation Citroen C4 arrived in 2020 with dashing good looks and plenty of French flair to help us forget about the two dull-looking family hatchbacks that previously bore the C4 name. The coupe-SUV design of the latest C4 helps it stand out in an increasingly crowded market, while it brings a renewed focus on the comfort and innovative tech that Citroen has become well known for.

The C4 sits on the Stellantis CMP platform, which also underpins the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka, among many others. Citroen has been rather clever in using this platform because it’s flexible enough to provide a variety of petrol, hybrid, and all-electric versions without compromising interior space.

Plenty of rivals are ready and waiting to take on Citroen's family crossover hatch, from the equally striking Toyota CH-R to the quasi-SUV styling of the Mazda CX-30 and Kia XCeed. The Skoda Karoq will serve those with more traditional tastes, as will the standard hatchback designs of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, while those with a bigger budget may look towards the more upmarket Audi Q2

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If the standard C4 isn’t practical enough for some buyers, Citroen recently launched the slightly longer C4 X fastback, which offers more boot space for exactly the same price as the regular car.

Power options for the C4 are pretty straightforward. A single 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine is available in 99bhp or 128bhp forms, with the least potent version coming with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the more powerful 128bhp car can be paired with either the manual or an eight-speed automatic box.

A hybrid version of the 1.2-litre petrol is offered for those interested in maximum fuel economy. It gets a small battery that’s charged with regenerative braking, and should have enough electricity to allow you to travel around 0.5 miles on electricity alone (provided you’re gentle with the accelerator pedal). The hybrid system is mostly there to provide a performance aid to the engine when accelerating, lessening the effort required to get up to speed and reducing your overall fuel consumption. It comes with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Another advantage of the C4 using the CMP platform is that it’s been designed from the outset to support a pure-electric powertrain, and the zero-emissions model is simply called the e-C4. It’s currently available with two battery sizes: a 50kWh battery that allows for a range of up to 220 miles, and a 54kWh pack that boosts the EV’s range to 260 miles. Power outputs vary between the two versions, although they both use a single electric motor to power the front wheels.

Prices for the combustion-engined C4 range start from around £20,000, rising to just under £28,500 for the top-spec hybrid model. The trim line-up starts with the well-equipped You!, which includes 18-inch alloy wheels, auto LED headlights, rear parking sensors, a 10-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlayAndroid Auto and dual-zone climate control. The Plus and Max specifications follow, with the latter adding luxuries such as a head-up display, Alcantara upholstery and heated front seats.

The battery-powered e-C4 range is available in three trim levels: You!, Max, and e-Series. Prices range from just under £32,500 and rise to a whisper under £36,500 for the top-of-the-range version with the largest battery size.

Frequently Asked Questions
The Citroen C4 is a good, comfortable and even eye-catching family hatchback, but not the best option for those prioritising practicality.
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