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Citroën e-C4 | Review

The Citroen C4 is a car that’s hard to define, it’s the size of a family hatchback like a VW Golf but the pumped up wheel arches and elevated seating position are more like an SUV. The roofline is like a coupe plus you can have it as a petrol diesel or as a fully electric ë-C4.

Special mention : Citroen’s keyless entry should be an industry standard, it’s brilliant. Great design, quality interior, rear wing (unintentionally) blocks overly bright LED’s from cars behind. Using the ‘Granny plug’ it charges quickly if you’re in a bind.

Needs work : HUD can block your view depending on how you sit. You’re better off sticking to Eco mode, Normal seems to drain the battery much more quickly.

BHP 134 BHPElectric / Auto
0-100 km/h in 9.0 secondsRoad Tax €120
Price: €24,740
Boot space 380 / 1,250 litres
Range 325 km

The C4 technically replaces two cars in Citroen’s lineup, the slightly wacky C4 Cactus and the C4 hatchback. This latest iteration has quite a distinctive look, the front end is fairly similar to other new Citroen products and it’s got a distinctive v-shaped led headlight design. Every C4 gets LEDs as standard and you can pay a bit extra to get a flash of color trim on the sides but if you go for an ec4 then the styling is absolutely identical to the fuel powered version. The only thing that really differentiates them are a few extra e badges on the outside. It is quite interesting to look at and the C4 is up against the Audi Q3 Sportback or the BMW X2 but the C4 is much cheaper than both of those. So it’s more likely you’ll be looking at this or a Ford Focus, a Golf or maybe even a more traditionally shaped family suv like the Mazda CX-30 or Skoda Karoq. As a fully electric car it’s up against the likes of the Kia e-Nero and VW ID3. 

In this broad spectrum of competitors how does the C4s interior stack up? Well this is definitely one of the best Citroen interiors yet there’s really good build quality. There’s a nice mix of materials but it might not have the kind of wacky design that you find in the C3 Aircross. This logical & functional layout is good and feels a bit more grown up than it does in that car. Comparing it to a Q3 Sportback or a BMW X2, those cars do feel more plush inside. But they’re much more expensive, it’s only really the Mazda CX-30 that feels a step up inside.

The C4 is impressive, you get a 10” touchscreen which is mounted nice and high up on the dashboard. It’s not quite as user-friendly as rival systems that use the rotary dial controller which means it’s easier to use them on the move but the fact that this screen’s so high up means it’s within easy reach and you don’t have to take your eyes too far from the road to operate it. Plus you get Apple Carplay and Android Auto as standard. Best of all you’ve got physical controls for the air conditioning which is brilliant because while you’re driving it’s much simpler to make an adjustment with the buttons and dials than it is if these controls were hidden within a fiddly touch screen menu.

The driving position is good but you’re actually lower than you are in basically every other SUV so you shouldn’t be buying this thinking that you’re going to get a really lofty, high off the ground driving position. You’re a little bit higher than you are in an X2 and a Golf or a Focus but compared to other SUVs you really aren’t that high.

The driving position is comfortable, there’s lots of adjustment. In terms of ergonomics and comfort, the seats are comfortable, you get adjustable lumbar support as standard. It’s just a shame there isn’t a little bit more side support for when you’re cornering.  When you go to look in the rear view mirror you’ve got a rear spoiler on the back which splits the rear windscreen in two. On one hand this actually helps block out blinding and badly adjusted lights from the cars behind you, which may not have been an intentional design but is actually quite useful. The actual viewable area out of the back is limited anyway due to the tapering roofline. 

There’s loads of storage options up front as well, under the central armrest you’ve got a cubby, another cubby in front of that with two cup holders and you’ve also got a tray which acts as a hidden compartment if you want to put valuables in it when you leave the car. Then there’s wireless phone charging above that and along with a decent sized glovebox, you’ve also on every C4 apart from the entry level model got a storage tray for a tablet and a mount that slides out where you can place the tablet to it to keep your passengers entertained on long journeys. If you have an iPad Air 2 or a Galaxy Tablet, you’ll need to pay extra to get a bigger case for those to fit on the mount. 

In the back you’ve got loads of room for your feet under the seat in front, you can fit three passengers across the bench which might be a squeeze. In terms of rear seat space for passengers there’s not really much clever bits to point out in the back here either there’s a couple of usb ports there’s also some isofix mounts, you can pull the middle seat down which provides cup holders and reveals a ski hatch.

You can fit around five carry-on sized suitcases below the parcel shelf, in an X2 you can fit seven and even in a Focus you can fit six. There are a couple of tiny storage compartments either side of the main loading area and also there’s hardly any loading lip at the front. Another good thing is that every C4 gets a height adjustable boot floor which is handy. This means that in an ë-C4 you get exactly the same capacity as you do in the fuel-powered C4. there’s no reduction to try and fit the battery in.

The handling overall in the ë-C4 is very good, due to the batteries the centre of gravity is quite low which makes it a bit more dynamic than it’s Petrol and Diesel siblings. It’s relatively short-footed, the steering is accurate and nimble yet this is a car has been engineered more towards comfort rather than sportiness. If you’re looking for something agile and really entertaining, a lot of the traditional hatchbacks that the C4 is up against will offer a little bit more for you in that department but it certainly has its strengths on the road and it’s also impressively quiet in the cabin.

This electric ë-C4 comes with a 50 kilowatt hour battery and a claimed range of 325km depending on your use. It has two driving modes, Eco and Normal. We’d advise sticking to Eco as you get the most mileage out of it and there really isn’t that much difference in driving style. In Normal mode you’ll wonder where the Kilometres keep disappearing to.  Eco mode does however advise that your comfort (see heating/cooling) will be affected. 

It is worth knowing the C4 scores four out of five stars in the euro NCAP crash test. If you’re looking at the C4 as an alternative to traditional hatchbacks and SUVs, then the competition is incredibly strong and yes the C4 has its strengths but it’s difficult for this car to really stand out. If you’re specifically looking for a coupe SUV you really want that swooping roof line and that’s where the C4 really does look like a great value option because compared to its rivals it’s very well priced, it’s comfortable, it’s refined and it’s got a great interior. The new Citroen e-C4 is a great entry point into all-electric family transport at €24,740. Couple that with the e-C4’s affordable pricing structure compared with competitors, and this electric version of Citroen’s new family hatchback is the pick of the range.