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In-depth reviews

Citroen C4 X review: a reasonably-priced, but rather quirky family car

The Citroen C4 X is an impressively comfortable family car, although a rather forgettable driving experience counts against it

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£32,410 to £37,410
  • Very comfortable
  • Decent standard kit
  • Spacious
  • Dull to drive
  • Sombre cabin
  • Dimwitted stop-start system
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Quick verdict

The quirky-looking Citroen C4 X majors heavily on comfort, while its family car credentials are enhanced by increased boot space compared with its C4 hatchback sibling, and equally competitive pricing.

It’s by no means a fun car to drive, but the C4 X’s simplicity and ease of use will appeal to some buyers, although they’ll have to first reconcile the slightly odd-shaped bodystyle of the French saloon, a rather sombre cabin design and some cheap-feeling materials – an issue which isn’t solved by opting for a more expensive specification. Still, the C4 X includes plenty of useful onboard tech and a choice of either efficient petrol or all-electric powertrains – just promise yourself you won’t be disappointed by its lack of dynamism, and the Citroen C4 X still has a lot to offer.

 

Key specs

Fuel type

Petrol, Mild-hybrid, Electric

Body style

Four-door saloon

Powertrain

1.2-litre, 4cyl, petrol, front-wheel drive

1.2-litre, 4cyl, petrol plus electric motor, front-wheel drive

50kWh battery, 1x e-motor, front-wheel drive

54kWh battery, 1x e-motor,  front-wheel drive

Safety

4-Star EuroNCAP (2021)

Warranty

3yrs/60,000 miles

Citroen C4 X: price, specs and rivals

The third-generation Citroen C4 hatchback was introduced in 2020 with a striking coupe-SUV style that was intended to grab attention in a crowded family car market. The C4 X followed two years later; virtually identical at first glance except for its saloon opening rear and larger boot capacity.

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Booted versions of successful hatchbacks - such as the Ford Focus, Renault Megane and Mazda 3 - have never been big sellers in the UK, so the X needed to trade on its sleek, quasi-SUV styling and typically high levels of comfort to tempt customers away from more conventional models.

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Key rivals with equally sloping roof lines include the Peugeot 408 and the Renault Arkana, although both of these contenders start at a higher price point. Other stylish options include the Cupra Formentor, Hyundai Kona and Toyota C-HR, but again, you will have to pay more than the C4 X to get behind the wheel of these alternatives.

You can order a Citroen C4 X with a 1.2-litre petrol engine in 99bhp, 128bhp or 134bhp forms, with the latter employing a 48V hybrid system for improved efficiency. Three different transmissions are available: the lower-powered version is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox, followed by an eight-speed automatic ‘box for the mid-range model, and a six-speed dual-clutch system for the most powerful variant.

If you’re not struck by the prospect of a fossil-fuelled family car, then you can go for the all-electric e-C4 X. The entry 50kWh version produces 134bhp via its single electric motor, with Citroen claiming it will achieve a maximum range (from a single charge) of up to 222 miles on a mixture of roads. Upgrading to the 54kWh battery version with a more powerful 154bhp electric motor means you’ll shave a smidgen off the base car’s 10.0-second 0-62mph sprint time, while the overall range is extended by around 40 miles.

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Citroen offers You!, Plus and Max trims for petrol versions, while the all-electric model range differs slightly with You!, Max and e-series specifications. Plus trim is arguably the sweet spot in the range, featuring 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, and the My Citroen Plus infotainment system, which includes a 10-inch touchscreen with integrated sat-nav, traffic and speed camera notifications, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a head-up display. Unless you're prioritising niceties such as heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, it might be worth avoiding the near-£2,000 step up to Max trim.

Engines, performance and drive

Hardly the sharpest car in the class, but the Citroen C4 X is at least comfortable and easy to drive

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

C4 X 1.2 PureTech 100

99bhp

11.6 seconds

114 mph

C4 X 1.2 PureTech 130

128bhp

10.3 seconds

124mph

C4 X 1.2 Hybrid 136

134bhp

8.1 seconds

128mph

e-C4 X 115kW 54kWh

154bhp

9.3 seconds

93mph

The Citroen C4 X is a family car very much oriented towards comfort, rather than driving fun. If you approach it with this in mind, then it stacks up pretty well, although it can frustrate at times; the petrol model can be a little sluggish to pull away at junctions or roundabouts, while any attempt to drive with a little more vigour down you favourite B-road just exposes the quirky French saloon’s lack of dynamism. 

There are three drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport, but the last is a real misnomer. Sport mode does little else apart from holding the revs for longer before changing up, and Eco makes the accelerator pedal less responsive to your inputs, our advice would be to stick with Normal unless you desperately need to conserve fuel.

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Citroen’s Advanced Comfort Suspension system uses double hydraulic stops at the front, and it works well to soak up any bumps in the road. Overall, the car is really easy to drive, although bringing it to a smooth stop can be tricky because the slow-witted stop-start system isn’t the best and throws in a few unexpected jolts and jerks. However, refinement is a definite plus point, with just a gentle hum of road noise being the most obvious sound that enters the cabin.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

Although the C4 X range includes petrol, mild-hybrid, and all-electric powertrains, you still won’t find a model that offers much in the way of stellar performance. The battery-powered models provide some of the best performance in the C4 X range, with the 134bhp e-C4 X managing 0-62mph in 10.0 seconds flat, while upgrading to the 154bhp version reduces the benchmark sprint time to 9.3 seconds. Both have a top speed of 93mph.

The pace slackens a little if you choose either of the least powerful fossil-fuel options; the 99bhp 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine heaves its way from 0-62mph in a lethargic 11.6 seconds, although the 128bhp variant offers slightly more urgency in its acceleration with a 10.3-second dash.

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The mild-hybrid 134bhp is presently the swiftest C4 X, seeing off the 0-62mph sprint in 8.1 seconds and romping on to a maximum of 128mph.

MPG, CO2 and running costs

The Citroen C4 X shouldn’t cost much to run thanks to good fuel economy, affordable insurance, and respectable resale values

Model 

MPG

CO2

Insurance group

C4 X 1.2 PureTech 100

54.6mpg

123g/km

15

C4 X 1.2 PureTech 130

50.7mpg

132g/km

20

C4 X 1.2 Hybrid 136

62.1mpg

106g/km

N/A

Citroen offers the C4 X with petrol, mild-hybrid, or all-electric power, so there should be a model to suit your needs. The combustion-engined cars are a lot cheaper to buy, and offer respectable running costs, with the 99bhp 1.2-litre PureTech petrol version delivering up to 54.6mpg on the WLTP combined cycle, and CO2 emissions of 120-136g/km. A step up in PureTech power to 128bhp means you’ll be down a few mpg, with emissions rising to 132g/km.

If maximum fuel efficiency and low emissions are your main concerns, consider the 1.2 136 Hybrid model. It gets the best fuel economy in the C4 X range, with a WLTP figure of 62.1mpg and low emissions of 106g/km, making it a more affordable choice to run for company car drivers.

Electric range, battery life and charge time

Model 

Battery size

Range

Insurance group

e-C4 X 100kW 50kWh

46.2kWh (useable)

222 miles

22E

e-C4 X 115kW 54kWh

47.7kWh (useable)

260 miles

23E

Making the switch to an electric model, while costing more upfront, should result in cheaper day-to-day running – particularly if you charge mostly at home on off-peak electricity rates. Most e-C4 versions use a 50kWh battery, although a 54kWh variant is offered with the top-spec e-series. The former has a 222-mile range, while the latter is good for up to 260 miles. Topping up either battery from 20 to 80 per cent - using a 100kW rapid charger - should take around 30 minutes. A 7.4kWh wallbox home charger will take around 7.5 hours to refill a completely flat battery in either version.

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During our own test of the 50kWh version (with an outside temperature of around five degrees Celsius) we averaged 4.0mi/kWh, although this did take in a route that was more favourable towards economical driving. Considering all this, a real-world range of 200 miles should be achievable.

The battery pack is covered by a separate warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. The pack will be replaced if it drops below 70 per cent of its original capacity during this period.

Insurance groups

There’s no getting away from the fact that car insurance has become increasingly expensive over the past few years. Fortunately, the petrol versions of C4 X are particularly affordable to insure. The 1.2 PureTech 100 version drops into a low group 15 rating, making it one of the class' more affordable cars to insure. The more powerful 1.2 PureTech 130 is slightly more expensive to insure, starting in group 20, while the electric e-C4 X starts in group 22. 

While pricier than the petrol versions, the electric e-C4 X is among the more affordable electric cars to insure, particularly compared with the popular MG4, which starts in group 27.

Depreciation

Our expert data suggests that the C4 X should retain around 43-45 per cent of its original value over three years and 36,000 miles, although the base 99bhp You! Version is expected to hold onto nearer 51 per cent over the same period.

Interior, design and technology

The C4 X is a niche-looking vehicle, but it’s good to see that traditional dials and switches remain inside

If you think the C4 X and its C4 hatchback sibling look similar, then you’d be pretty much right; from the B-pillar forwards, the X is actually identical, although it includes an extra 240mm of metalwork behind the rear axle, allowing for a decent boost in overall boot capacity. Style-wise, the C4 hatch includes a two-tier rear screen with a complex tail-light arrangement, compared with the saloon’s much cleaner rear end. Viewed in profile, the C4 X’s design works well, although its fastback shape remains a niche proposition.

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Quality inside is generally good, although Citroen’s monochrome approach to the C4 X’s interior makes the cabin feel a little gloomy. Moving up from the entry-level You! to the mid-range Plus trim adds the My Citroen Drive Plus infotainment system, which features integrated sat-nav with access to real-time traffic and speed camera data – we’ve sampled the setup during our C4 X long-term loan and would recommend it, particularly if you regularly undertake longer journeys. The Plus specification includes a rear-view camera, while top-spec Max cars include upgraded Alcantara upholstery, an improved audio system (with eight speakers instead of the standard six) and additional USB charging ports.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The C4 X features a 10-inch screen as standard, although Citroen has elected to go with physical buttons for the air-conditioning controls, rather than having to navigate a sub-menu within the infotainment system. This is a good thing, and means it’s far less fiddly to operate while on the move.

The large touchscreen looks smart enough, positioned over the central air vents on the dash. The system’s overall functionality is impressive, and it includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity – both of which work well on the big display.

The screen could be more responsive to inputs, though, and the menus aren’t as easy to understand and navigate as we’d like, while the system is also slower to load than some rivals. All versions, with the exception of the entry-level You! specification, include a head-up display as standard.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

The saloon boot style restricts access for taller items, but the benefit of the rear extension is greater capacity overall
 

Dimensions

Length

4,600mm

Width

1,834mm

Height

1,525mm

Number of seats

5

Boot space 

510 litres

The C4 X sacrifices the regular C4’s hatchback rear opening for a saloon-style boot, although the overall luggage capacity for the X is bigger. Citroen’s Advanced Comfort Suspension setup is offered as standard, using hydraulic stops to help smooth out bumps in the road, while the focus on comfort and convenience is evident elsewhere; all entry-level cars include a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, heated power-folding door mirrors, automatic headlights and wipers, and rear parking sensors. A central front armrest and two cup holders also feature, with split-folding rear seats adding to the C4 X’s overall practicality. 

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Upgrade to Max trim, and you’ll benefit from Citroen’s Advanced Comfort seats trimmed in Alcantara. The heated front seats and steering wheel improve comfort levels, while the rear-view camera makes it much easier to park.

Size

The C4 X is 4,600mm long, an increase of 240mm over the C4 hatchback. The overall width is 1,834mm (excluding mirrors), while the saloon stands 1,525mm tall. Its chunky styling makes it look bigger than it actually is, particularly in profile, but it doesn’t feel unwieldy on the road.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Room upfront for the driver and passenger is fine, while those travelling in the rear will find the C4 X provides excellent legroom. Headroom can feel a little tighter due to its rakish roofline, although this only really impacts taller occupants.

Boot

With a boot capacity of 510 litres in either petrol, mild-hybrid, or electric forms, the C4 X should have enough storage for most needs, while if you fold the rear seats you’ll unlock 1,360 litres. The X model holds a 130-litre boot space advantage over the regular C4 hatchback, whether you opt for the combustion or all-electric version.

Towing

The C4 X has a decent enough towing capability, with a maximum braked trailer weight limit of 1,200kg.

Reliability and safety

The excellent Driver Power score means the C4 X should be easy to own; its safety score is disappointing, though

Key standard safety features

Euro NCAP safety ratings

  • Four out of five stars (2021) 
  • Adult occupant protection - 80%
  • Child occupant protection - 83%
  • Vulnerable road user protection - 57%
  • Safety assist - 63%

Industry safety experts Euro NCAP awarded the Citroen C4 model a four-star rating (out of a possible five) back in 2021. The score also applies to the C4 X, with good individual marks of 80 per cent for adult occupant safety and 83 per cent for child passengers. 

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The C4 didn’t fare so well in the protection of Vulnerable Road Users, or in how well its Safety Assist systems performed; the former was marked down because the base of the windscreen and pillars posed an injury risk, while the latter’s emergency braking system wasn’t able to detect pedestrians in all of the test scenarios. Despite the downgraded score, it’s still fair to say that the C4 X is a safe car in which to travel.

On a more positive note, the Citroen C4 hatchback was voted into first place in the 2023 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. The C4 X is essentially the same car as the standard C4 model, save for its rear saloon boot opening and larger luggage capacity, so individual ratings such as its top spot ranking for ride smoothness, second place for front-seat comfort, and fourth place in the reliability category will be good news for buyers.

The standard active safety kit is good and includes Citroen’s Active Safety Brake system, Lane-Keeping Assist, a Driver Attention Alert with lane departure detection, and a Forward Collision Warning. Cruise control with a speed limiter and rear parking sensors are also featured on entry-level versions, while Blind Spot Detection, adaptive cruise control, and the enhanced active safety braking system that comes as park of the Safety Pack Plus suit of safety systems are included on Max versions and above.

Warranty

Citroen offers a three-year warranty, with unlimited mileage in the first two years, and a 60k limit in the final year. You can extend the cover if you wish, as long as your car is less than ten years old and has covered less than 100,000 miles.

Servicing

The C4 X has servicing intervals of every 12 months or 16,000 miles, while you can take out a servicing plan which enables you to spread the cost of scheduled maintenance over monthly instalments.

The electric e-C4 X can go for longer periods between trips to the dealer (up to 24 months), but you’ll still need to schedule a visit every 16,000 miles. Servicing plans for EVs are cheaper than the petrol or hybrid equivalents, which is just as well, given that there isn’t an engine that needs an expensive oil change.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    100kW Sense 50kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £31,185

Most Economical

  • Name
    115kW Max 54kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £35,295

Fastest

  • Name
    115kW Max 54kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £35,295
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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