Citroen is a make of car that’s always been known for its design flair, although there have been some mis-steps along the way. This isn’t the case with the C4, which certainly looks the part. Does it deliver in all the other departments too? Find out in our review.
Now in its third version, Citroen have gone for a very distinctive SUV/coupe crossover in style, and very stylish it is too. Unlike many of its rivals, it has sharp lines combined with a nicely rounded profile. It looks like a smaller car than it really is, even though it’s actually larger than both the Ford Focus and the VW Golf.
There’s the distinctive twin chevrons on the front of the car and above them a wrap-around windscreen adding to its aerodynamic looks. With a headlight cluster that also heads round the corner it all adds up to a car that’s very easy on the eye.
It all adds up to a car that’s very easy on the eye.
What’s it like to drive?
Comfort has always been another of Citroen’s big selling points - sometimes at the expense of handling. That’s why the car has hydraulic dampers that are designed to soak up the things that go ‘bump’ in the road – and they are very successful at doing this.
The trade-off is the roll that can occur when you take a corner even at a quite moderate speed. And this, combined with fairly light and imprecise steering, means that it’s not the most exciting car to drive. So, it’s not likely to appeal if you want some sportiness from your SUV. If it’s utility you’re looking for, that’s a different story.
Comfort has always been another of Citroen’s big selling points.
Over the years, Citroen cars have had variable levels of quality when it comes to interiors. So it comes as a nice surprise that they’ve pulled quite a few of the stops out – if not all – when it comes to the C4.
Generally, there’s the use of pretty high-quality materials including soft-touch plastics along with thickened glass and extra sound insulation to keep road, wind and engine noise to a minimum.
The driving position is good with excellent all-round visibility and the comfortable seats offer a high level of adjustability. Top of the range models even have a massage function that can be a very useful addition on long journeys.
The instrument panel is clear and well laid-out - you can even choose from different background colours according to your taste. Many drivers will also appreciate that the air conditioning and climate control have physical buttons that are much easier to use than the touchscreen. This is 10 inches and sits in the middle of the dashboard. It is intuitive to use and looks good, especially when coupled with the compatible Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The rear seats are roomy enough for 2 but may be a bit of a squash for 3.
While it’s nowhere near class leading, there should be plenty room enough for most people’s needs in the boot – and certainly enough to bring home the bacon and the rest of the week’s big shop.
The car’s touring abilities mean it’s likely to be taking plenty of people on holiday and there’s ample room for luggage too. The variable height boot floor adds an extra level of flexibility and when the rear seats are folded down the space is undoubtedly generous.
Citroen have also provided plenty of cubby holes and other storage spaces to prevent all those essential odds and ends from getting under your feet.
Running costs and reliability
As with all cars, the fuel consumption that you can expect from a C4 depends on whether you go petrol or diesel. In both cases it’s not too great. For petrol engines you’re looking at the upper 30s mpg and around 50 mpg for the diesels.
Something that is very useful is the excellent stop-start system that contributes to reducing both emissions and fuel consumption.
Insurance is pretty reasonable though, and certainly no more expensive than any of the car’s main competitors.
What cinch loves
If you like style more than substance, then the Citroen C4 could be just the car that you’re after. It looks great and promises you a quiet, comfortable ride – just don’t go expecting very sporty performance or handling from this particular SUV.
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Not everyone will go for the Citroen C4. It does have more than enough to recommend it for drivers looking for comfort and distinctive styling. It’s not the most economical car on the road, or the best to drive, but it does have that certain Citroen ‘je ne sais quoi’.
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