Citroen C4 review
With eye-catching looks and a focus on comfort, the Citroen C4 is an appealing choice, but skilled rivals offer a more complete package
The Citroen C4 is a good family hatchback, but not the best option for those prioritising practicality, efficiency and 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.
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, however, and is another compromise to bear in mind if you choose to buy.
About the Citroen C4
The third-generation Citroen C4 arrived in 2020 with rakish good looks and plenty of French flair to help us forget about the two dull-looking family hatchbacks that previously bore its 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 that also underpins the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka, among many others. Citroen has been rather clever in using this simpler, cheaper architecture to help cut costs, while ensuring that the C4 benefits from the longest possible wheelbase to maximise interior space.
There are plenty of rivals ready and waiting to take on Citroen's new 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 wish to look towards the more upmarket Audi Q3 Sportback or BMW X2 ranges.
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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 with a single 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine available in 99bhp or 128bhp form. The least-powerful petrol version comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the more potent 128bhp car can paired with either the manual or an eight-speed auto ‘box.
For those with a focus on achieving improved fuel economy, a 1.5-litre diesel unit is offered with either 109bhp or 128bhp outputs. Again, the manual gearbox is offered with the lower-powered car, while the eight-speed auto is combined with the stronger powerplant.
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 a 50kWh battery that allows for a range of up to 220 miles, but it’ll soon be offered with a 54kWh unit as well 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 £22,000, rising to over £29,000 for the top-spec versions. The trim line-up starts with the well-equipped Sense which includes 18-inch alloy wheels, auto LED headlights, rear parking sensors, a 10-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and dual-zone climate control, followed by the Sense Plus, C-Series Edition and Shine Plus specifications which add luxuries such as a head-up display, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
The battery-powered e-C4 range is available in the same four trim levels, with prices ranging from around £32,000 to a whisper under £35,000 for the top-of-the-range version.
For an alternative review of the Citroen C4, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWith eye-catching looks and a focus on comfort, the Citroen C4 is an appealing choice, but skilled rivals offer a more complete package
- 2Engines, performance and driveNot the most dynamic or fun to drive, but the C4 offers excellent levels of comfort
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsWith a choice of petrol, diesel or all-electric powertrains, the C4 offers great flexibility
- 4Interior, design and technologyCitroen has designed a real head turner in the C4, although the infotainment system is a little awkward to use
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe C4 is practical enough for day-to-day family use, but rivals offer bigger boot space
- 6Reliability and safetyThe C4 should prove to be dependable, while standard safety kit is good