In-depth reviews

Citroen C4 hatchback review

"The Citroen C4 is a comfortable family hatchback with modern, fashionable styling"

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Price
£20,020 - £27,270

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Generously equipped
  • Electric version available

Cons

  • Vague handling
  • Average boot size
  • No mild-hybrid tech

The Citroen C4 family hatchback has been reinvented, swapping its forgettable looks and dowdy image for fashionable SUV styling that incorporates a dramatic sloping roofline and some intricate detailing. In a class that includes heavy hitters like the Ford Focus, SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf, the new C4 needed to stand out and it does.

Under its dramatic bodywork, the C4 shares underpinnings with the Peugeot 2008 and Citroen C3 Aircross but this time they’ve been stretched to give the C4 family car dimensions. The car is also available as a petrol, diesel and electric model for the first time ever, with the zero-emissions version badged the Citroen e-C4. We’ve reviewed it separately.

The petrol models use a 1.2-litre turbo engine with 99bhp, 128bhp or 153bhp and will make up the majority of sales, blending decent performance with fuel economy of well over 40mpg. With a higher price tag, the 1.5-litre diesel is only likely to appeal to high-mileage drivers, thanks to its even better efficiency. Both a manual and eight-speed automatic gearbox is available, and every C4 is front-wheel drive.

With a 50kWh battery, the electric e-C4 can manage up to 217 miles between charges, while its single electric motor can get it from 0-62mph in nine seconds. It also comes with 100kW DC charging, meaning it can be topped up from flat to 80% in around half an hour using a suitable public charging post. 

Set off in the petrol C4, and it's clear Citroen's focus on comfort has been a success. While many hatchbacks aim to please enthusiastic drivers with their sporty handling, the C4 is intended to be the most relaxing car in its class. Clever suspension helps absorb bumps and poor road surfaces, and works better here than in the bigger C5 Aircross SUV, while the car also handles reasonably well. 

Inside, many potential owners will be pleased to hear there are now physical dials for the climate control, instead of having to use the touchscreen. The dashboard is also reasonably attractive, but doesn't quite match the best in class for quality. However, there's lots of storage space and some novel features like a slide-out tablet mount for the front passenger. 

Equipment levels are pretty generous too, with even the entry-level Sense getting 18-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and a 10-inch touchscreen. Sense Plus adds a head-up display, an alarm and a reversing camera, while the range-topping Shine Plus is fitted with luxuries like leather upholstery, heated seats and an upgraded sound system.

By bringing the Citroen C4 out of relative anonymity and playing to the popularity of SUV styling, Citroen has made the car more desirable. Its innovative suspension makes it one of the most comfortable cars in its class and there's impressive equipment for the price too.

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Sense 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,020

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Sense 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,020

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Sense 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,020

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