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29 Jan 2022

Kildare motoring: New French fancy from Citroen combines hatchback and SUV features

Motoring review: The new Citroën C4 takes a fresh approach to the family car

Kildare motoring: New French fancy from Citroen combines hatchback and SUV features

The new Citroën C4

If the amazing all-new Citroën C4 is a sign of things to come from the iconic French manufacturer, then rival manufacturers better sit up and take note. The new C4 possesses an elegant, yet distinctive style, blissful comfort, SUV ruggedness, and multiple drivetrain options.

While the previous generations of the Citroën C4 were very clearly classified as hatchbacks, the new C4 could be described as a hatchback and an SUV all in one. Designing a family car that stands out from the crowd is something that Citroën has been good at in the past, and the new C4 follows that tradition to the letter.

Broad Family Appeal

Citroën is hoping that the new C4 will appeal to family car drivers who might be considering a medium-sized SUV. As a result, it combines the brand’s slender LED daytime-running lights with chunky wheel arches and side cladding, while a sloping rear roofline completes the coupé-like SUV look. Additionally, the rear spoiler enhances the vitality of the body shape.

Citroën claims that the new C4 is highly aerodynamic, which should help it achieve good fuel consumption figures, as well as contribute to low wind noise levels when travelling on motorways. The New C4 offers a choice of 31 colour combinations consisting of seven exterior colours options and five exterior colour packs. There are also six different interior choices and a host of alloy wheel options available to ensure optimal customisation.

Outstanding Space & Comfort

Offering best-in-class height (1,525mm) and ground clearance (156mm), the C4 also offers best in class driver eye height (1,220mm) for improved visibility and ease of access. Thanks to its long wheelbase (2,670mm) the C4 also offers best in class rear knee room (198mm) to ensure comfort for all occupants. As with all Citroën vehicles, the Citroën Advanced Comfort programme features suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions, Advanced Comfort seats and for the first time, Citroën Smart Pad Support, which includes a retractable media support and tablet holder on the dashboard enabling the passenger to make the most of the time while travelling.

Four USB connections are also available as standard to support charging for additional devices.

The modern and roomy cabin in the new C4 inspires confidence at first glance. The clean, contemporary dashboard, softly shaped door panels and soft, supple materials provide a welcoming ambience for all occupants, while the C4’s standard boot capacity of 380-litres can be expanded to 1,250-litres by folding the rear seatbacks for the transportation of bulky items.

Power & Grade Options

The new C4 is paired with a wide variety of engine and power options. Petrol variants consist of a PureTech 100 S&S with a 6-speed manual gearbox, a PureTech 130 S&S with a choice of 6-speed manual or EAT8 (8-speed Electronic Automatic Transmission) and a PureTech 155 S&S EAT8. Diesel engines available are a BlueHDi 110 S&S 6-speed manual and BlueHDi 130 S&S EAT8. The Ë-C4 (fully-electric) possesses a 50KWh lithium-ion battery pack and 100kw electric motor to offer 260 Nm torque and 0-100km/h in 9.7secs with sport mode engaged. There are four grades available in the new C4; Feel, Feel Pack, Flair and Flair Pack.

Test Car

My test car was a Citroën C4 Flair PureTech 130 S&S EAT8, and looked striking in its Obsidian Black metallic paintwork with contrasting chrome detailing around the window line and front grille. The PureTech 130 engine (with 131bhp and 230Nm of torque) is a terrific engine, and despite its modest 1.2-litre capacity, it is punchy enough to propel the car from 0-100km/h in just 9.4-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 208km/h (where permitted).

With the six-speed manual transmission fitted, the 0-100km/h time drops to just 8.9-seconds, while the top speed remains unchanged.

The engine is smooth and quiet at low speeds, and revs strongly when you want to drive quickly. A WLTP combined fuel consumption figure as low as 5.6l/100km (50.3mpg) is achievable on a combined driving cycle, while an annual road tax disc will cost just €200.

The EAT8 transmission is smooth in its operation, and the centre console-mounted gear selector is super-easy to get used to. Citroën has honed the suspension in the new C4 for comfort rather than sporty handling, and this means that the car feels dynamic in corners, and has neat and accurate handling on a multitude of road surfaces.

Overall body control is outstanding, so the car always feels planted and stable at speed, and this is a commendable feat of engineering excellence from Citroën.

Verdict & Pricing

It is difficult not to admire Citroën for trying something different by creating this interesting hatchback/SUV crossover that stands out in a crowd for all the right reasons.

The new C4 is distinctive inside and out, comes very well equipped, and it is bestowed with the best ride quality available at its price point in the Irish car market.

Pricing for the all-new Citroën C4 starts at just €24,740 with my test car specification priced at €31,690.

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