In-depth reviews

Citroen C4 hatchback (2010-2018) review - Engines, performance and drive

A soft ride doesn't make up for the C4's uninspired handling, but the engines are reasonable

You might think that soft suspension would offer the last word in comfort, and it does to an extent, but the Citroen C4 is too soft for its own good. The suspension is so well cushioned that it struggles to react quickly enough when driving over bigger bumps or expansion joints on the motorway. 

The chassis wasn’t really updated as part of the C4’s 2015 facelift, so the technology underneath dates to 2010 when the second-generation model was first released – and it shows on the road.

There’s plenty of roll in corners, while big bumps knock the chassis off line. Even at a more settled cruise on the motorway the damping doesn’t control the movement of the wheel or the body as well as its rivals, which has an adverse effect on comfort. The car’s refinement is also undermined by significant wind noise around the door mirrors.

Over rough surfaces at higher speeds the steering kicks back quite violently, so unless you’re gripping it tightly it’ll wriggle in your hands as bumps deflect the C4’s wheels away from your path.

Engines

The C4’s petrol options are two versions of the 1.2 PureTech three-cylinder engine, so are smooth, quiet and efficient. They’re not massively powerful though, but that’s probably a good thing in a chassis that feels out of its depth on UK roads.

Kicking off the line-up is the 109bhp PureTech 110 which, attached to a five-speed manual gearbox, does 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds and a top speed of 114mph.

The 129bhp PureTech 130 Stop & Start is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed sequential auto, but performance is similar for both – 10.8 seconds and 124mph for the manual, and 10.9 seconds and 122mph for the auto. Avoid the automatic gearbox though, as it returns jerky gear changes.

Diesel buyers can choose from two four-cylinder 1.6 BlueHDi units. The 98bhp 1.6 BlueHDi 100 comes with a five-speed gearbox, can do 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds and has a top speed of 111mph.

The 118bhp 1.6 BlueHDi 120 S&S comes with either six-speed manual or sequential-auto transmission – the manual offering 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds and 122mph, but the auto taking 11.1 seconds.

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