With its understated looks, classy cabin and comfortable ride, the C4 is a very grown-up car – perhaps too grown-up to have mass appeal. Citroen sees buyers as being 50 years old and upwards, but not everyone in that age bracket will be happy with a comfort-biased drive. Although it has a claim to be the most practical and refined car in this class, it seems a shame the driving dynamics had to be so compromised
Finally, Citroen’s Ford Focus
rival has arrived in the UK – and Auto Express is first behind the wheel. Has the new C4 got what
it takes to topple the big players?
Although the design has been toned down from the model it replaces, the C4 is smart and understated, thanks to the slashes in its sides and the
neat C3-inspired tail-lights. Inside, the high-quality cabin includes brushed metal inserts and soft-touch materials, while the switches feel solid.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Citroen C4
Our model was fitted with a 118bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine, which is good for a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 120mph. Emissions of 143g/km result in annual road tax of £125, while economy is 45.6mpg.
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Those looking for lower running costs should opt for one of the diesels, with the micro-hybrid e-HDi model returning 67.3mpg. Our test car was very quiet, with the engine barely audible at idle, and it’s as refined on the move.
The C4 is also comfortable,
making it a great long-distance companion. You can even specify options you’d normally find on
a bigger car, such as lane keep assist and a massage function.
That comfort comes at the expense of cornering ability
– something Citroen freely admits. In tight bends, the C4 rolls a lot, while the steering is light and lacks feedback. As such, it’s nowhere near as good to drive
as a Focus or Volkswagen Golf
However, the C4 is a very
practical car with class-leading boot space of 408 litres – which expands to 1,300 litres with the rear bench folded flat – and room for tall adults in the back seats.
The C4 offers incredible
comfort, but falls some way
short of the class leaders when
it comes to handling ability. Those looking for a sharper drive would
be better off opting for a Focus.
Rival: Ford Focus
There’s a new Focus on the way – and it’s set to be a cracker! It’s the complete opposite to the C4, with comfort likely to be slightly compromised in favour of an exciting drive. Factor in an all-new high-quality cabin and an extensive kit list and it promises to be one of the class leaders.