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In-depth reviews

Citroen C4 hatchback (2010-2018) review - Interior, design and technology

The ageing C4 is up against some tough competitors, but it just about styles things out...

The Citroen C4 went on sale in 2011, but was lightly revised in 2015 with a mid-life nip and tuck. Nevertheless, alongside such excellent contemporary rivals as the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Honda Civic, the C4 is showing its age, as it doesn’t feature the unusual and unique design features of the C4 Picasso people carriers or C4 Cactus crossover.

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The famous double-chevron emblem is nicely integrated into the grille, with two bars that span the full width of the inlet, but the overall look is fairly bland. Although the headlamps have been fitted with daytime running lights as part of the facelift, the main clusters date the C4 as a previous-generation Citroen product.

There are a pair of cut-outs lower down and at either edge of the rear bumper that mimic the shape of the tail-lights, while a silver insert and small contrasting roof spoiler at the top of the bootlid are the only other notable design details.

The 2015 update brought the button-free touchscreen infotainment system from the new Peugeot 308, but only to Flair models. Handily, the manual air-conditioning controls remain, as the 308's controls are fiddly to access via the touchscreen. 

Given the centre console is so wide, the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system looks small, while the large digital ventilation controls that sit underneath take up a lot of space. The layout leaves a large expanse of hard black plastic in front of the passenger, and compared with models like the C4 Cactus, with its design-focused dashboard, the standard C4 is shown up by its Citroen stablemates, as well as its rivals here. The latest steering wheel is less cluttered too, with only the most necessary buttons such as cruise control and stereo volume finding their place.

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Top-spec Flair cars get tinted rear windows, chrome door mirrors and front fog lights, while all apart from the basic Touch models get alloy wheels. The 2015 facelift saw the C4 get a new ‘light signature’, with LED running lights at the front and 3D-effect tail-lamps first seen when the brand’s range incorporated the DS3 Cabrio. However, the most important change was the addition of the seven-inch touchscreen, but even these tweaks haven’t done much to hide the Citroen’s age. Get behind the wheel and it’s obvious through how the C4 rides and handles.

On the downside, the rear seats are a little cramped, and the Citroen feels light on luxuries compared to the likes of the technology laden Ford Focus. And although the material fit, finish and overall feel of the quality is all acceptable, it doesn’t feel anything like as ‘rock-solid’ as the VW Golf’s interior. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The infotainment spec of the Citroen C4 is decent enough, but not exceptional. The entry-level Touch model comes with an RDS MP3/CD player with six speakers, while the Feel upgrades the radio to DAB digital and also introduces Bluetooth for hands-free calling and media streaming.

The range-topping Flair gets the seven-inch touchscreen to control the system thrown in, but you can also have it as an option costing around £460 on the Feel. Citroen’s eMyWay sat-nav is £900 extra on the Feel, but costs around £590 on the Flair as the touchscreen is already included. It also adds Citroen’s MirrorScreen function, which incorporates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, mirroring your smartphone’s screen on the seven-inch display.

You can also get sat-nav on the Flair as part of a £900 Convenience Pack, which also adds front parking sensors (a rear camera is included already), key-less go, blind spot monitoring and folding mirrors with memory function.

Of course none of these extras are going to add much value to the C4, so you'll be looking at similar prices for used models with different specs.

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