First Drive Review: Citroën C4

Independent review by Chris Russon

4-minute read

Orange Citroen C4 Exterior Front Driving

First Drive: Citroën C4

Explore the key features of the Citroën C4 in our expert first drive review

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Citroën's latest C4 is a hatchback-cum-SUV that offers sharp styling and plenty of tech to ensure it stands out from the crowd.


  • Distinctive design
  • Comfortable ride
  • All-electric powertrain option
  • Well-built cabin
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Citroën has a new C4 mid-sized SUV, and it’s going to be available with petrol, diesel, and pure electric powertrains.

In line with parent group PSA’s policy of giving drivers an open playing field, the French carmaker is following its sister companies Peugeot and Vauxhall in offering a full set of propulsion options.

It makes the new C4 a clever choice in the middle market – and like its predecessors, the latest version has plenty of chic about its style.

Looking low slung with coupé-like lines and a long front, it sets out a new chapter in Citroën design that not only makes the C4 distinctive, but also practical.

The C4's affordable pricing sees it as a good alternative to the likes of the smaller Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf hatchbacks or the Kia XCeed and Toyota C-HR SUVs.

I've tried out high specification Shine Plus grade versions of the petrol and all-electric ë-C4 models, and each has plenty of strong points.

Driving Experience

The petrol C4 was powered by a 1.2-litre PureTech engine developing 128bhp, and in top grade trim, is available only with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The top grade electric ë-C4 is slightly more expensive and has a 100kW motor which puts out the equivalent of 134bhp.

Both have plenty of life and their performance is very similar – as is every aspect of the two versions - which is a refreshing take, especially when it comes to electric vehicle design.

For the petrol car, 0 to 62mph takes around 9.4 seconds, and it tops out at 130mph, while the electric C4 is slightly quicker at 9.0 seconds with a maximum of 93mph.

On the economy front the automatic C4 is rated at 50.3mpg at best with emissions of 120g/km and on our drive we managed to average 45.5mpg.

The 11-gallon tank gave us a ‘real world’ range of some 500 miles which is twice that of the ë-C4's 217-mile range on a full charge.

From a fast charger, the ë-C4 can be recharged to 80 percent capacity in just half an hour, although a full charge from a domestic supply is going to be closer to a day. A home charger will be much faster, but whatever method is used to recharge, the savings of going electric are obvious in everyday use.

Those who cover greater mileage and don’t want the fuss or delay of recharging can stick with conventional power for the time being, and that’s the beauty of Citroën’s marketing approach with the new C4.

Design and Practicality

What it brings that the others lack is a touch of French flair, and that can be found inside and out.
Chris Russon

Visually, the cars are identical, even down to the siting of the charging port, which is in the same place on the back nearside wing as the fuel filler.

The same is true inside with a clutter-free approach to the dashboard and a minimal amount of controls, although there are software changes to the instrumentation on the ë-C4 to give information about its electric status.

Boot space on both models is the same at 380 litres extending to a maximum of 1,250 litres, with the only compromise for the ë-C4 being the recharging cables which can be stowed below the boot floor.

A handy feature is a slide-away phone and tablet holder concealed in the facia in front of the passenger above the glovebox.

One slight area of concern was the rearview visibility through the tailgate window. This can be impeded by the boot spoiler and harks back to a rear design Citroën used on the last but one generation C4 more than ten years ago.

Equipment and Technology

All versions have Citroën’s comfort-oriented suspension and seat cushion setup, which is a boon on potholed roads, while the cars we tried came with head up display information screens for the driver as well as a 10-inch widescreen display panel in the centre of the dash.


The latest C4 marks a turning point for Citroën and has all that it takes to compete in the modern world of motoring. Whatever the power option you choose, this is a car with all bases covered. Its range of technology, comfortable ride, and good levels of practicality are all features that stood out, making the C4 an attractive proposition in the small-SUV segment.