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
Citroen has left behind the dull styling of its previous C4 family hatchback and delivered an all-new, third-generation model with rakish good looks and plenty of French flair. The coupe-SUV design of the latest C4 helps it stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace, while it brings a renewed focus on the comfort and innovative tech that Citroen has become well known for.
The C4 sits on the widely-used Stellantis/PSA Group CMP platform which has mostly been employed for smaller cars such as the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa. Citroen has been rather clever in utilising this simpler, cheaper architecture to help cut costs, while making sure 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.
Power options for the C4 are pretty straightforward with a single 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine available in 99bhp, 128bhp or 153bhp form. The least-powerful petrol version comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the most potent 153bhp car is paired with an eight-speed auto ‘box. Opting for the mid-range 128bhp variant gives you a choice of either transmission.
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 utilising the CMP platform is that it’s been designed from the outset to support a pure-electric powertrain, so buyers also have the choice of the e-C4 battery-powered model. With a 50kWh battery and a single electric motor driving the front wheels, the e-C4 produces 134bhp and has a claimed range of 217 miles.
Prices for the combustion-engined C4 range start from just over £21,000, rising to around £28,000 for the top-spec versions. The trim line-up starts with the well-equipped Sense which brings 18-inch alloy wheels, auto LED headlights, rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control, followed by the Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus specifications which add luxuries such as a head-up display, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
The battery-powered e-C4 isn’t available with the entry-level Sense trim, although all versions are priced between £33,000-£35,000, which means every e-C4 qualifies for the government plug-in car grant of £2,500.
Thinking of buying a Citroen? Why not check out our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...
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