Citroen has never been one to follow the crowd, and with its focus on style and comfort has been able to establish its own niche over the years – proving especially popular with models like the C3 Aircross.
And next up in its modernisation programme is the new C4. Once a mainstream family hatchback (rivalling the likes of the Vauxhall Astra), it’s now been given some pumped up SUV appeal, and at the same time replaces the brand’s funky C4 Cactus model. With its increased ride height, big wheels and chunky cladding, it’s certainly bolder than ever, and another key draw is the range of powertrains, with buyers able to choose from petrol, diesel and also a new EV – the e-C4.
It’s also equipped with a clean and modern interior, while an advanced suspension system aims to continue down the path for optimum comfort, but does it succeed?
As we’ve mentioned, the latest C4 is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines as well as an EV, though here we’re going to focus on the standard models.
A turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine kicks the range off, and is available with a manual or automatic gearbox. With 129bhp and 230Nm of torque it’s no hot hatch, but is adequately punchy at getting up to speed, while largely being quiet as well. It enables the C4 to reach 60mph in under nine seconds and head on to a 130mph top speed. Citroen also claims it will return up to 52.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 122g/km.
Buyers also have the option of a 128bhp 1.5-litre diesel, which is the one to go for if you do a lot of miles. While pricier to buy, it will be better on fuel, with Citroen claiming a 62.4mpg economy figure.
Less powerful and more affordable engines are also set to join the range later in 2021.
Ride and handling
The initial impression of the C4 is just how incredibly comfortable it is, with the firm introducing new ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’ to the suspension that allow for an impressive amount of bumps and lumps in the road to be absorbed. In this class at least, it leads the way for comfort.
While being far from sporty, though, it’s not a one-trick pony either, offering minimal body roll through the corners and a generally relaxed and very safe-feeling driving experience.
Though the electric e-C4’s quiet powertrain unsurprisingly makes it feel more refined, the petrol model we tested still impressed in this respect.
Interior and equipment
It’s safe to say the comfort doesn’t end at the driving experience, though, as the new C4’s minimalist and clean cabin is executed brilliantly. It’s refreshing to see climate buttons returning as physical buttons – moving away from the previous layout that saw them included on the touchscreen.
While the driving position won’t suit all drivers – the pedals are just a bit too close to the driver – it’s generally an impressive cabin, especially on higher-spec models that gain the brilliant ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats.
In terms of trim levels, there are four to choose from – Sense, Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus, with entry-level kit still including 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, automatic climate control and a large 10-inch touchscreen system.
Upgrading to Sense Plus brings a reversing camera, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and satellite navigation. Up next is the Shine, which adds keyless entry, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring, while the flagship Shine Plus adds luxuries like leather upholstery, electric and heated front seats and an upgraded sound system.
Prices for the new C4 start from £23,005, and given the crossover-like looks, practical cabin and range of standard equipment, it represents good value for money – and will become even more affordable when less powerful engines join the range at a later date.
Prices do climb considerably as you go up the trim levels, with the top-spec models costing £28,000, even before optional extras have been added.
To those that criticise cars for being too similar these days, the Citroen C4 exists to prove this is definitely not the case. It really is a breath of fresh air in the crossover and hatchback segments, with its bold design, pleasing interior and impressive levels of comfort.
The choice of powertrains – including the electric e-C4 – adds further to the appeal, though all models excel in being a relaxing and practical family car.Enquire on a new Citroen C4