Open gallery Close by Richard Lane 4 June 2021 Follow @@_rlane_ Share
How we test cars
After a short hiatus, the Citroën C4 is back. The third modern mid-sized family hatchback with that particular model identity, this car is claimed to pick up on the long tradition of innovation in the hatchback segment by the French marque.
So is it really that innovative? You’ll need a pretty long memory to recall a genuinely groundbreaking Citroën family hatchback. It’s 50 years since the critically acclaimed GS won European Car of the Year in 1971, a gong that Citroën has won only twice since. The BX, ZX and Xsara that came later had plenty of fans throughout the following decades, but it’s definitely the aura of the GS that Citroën is now referencing with a new C4 that puts comfort and efficiency first.
C4’s various rhomboid details are the first styling nods to the 1971 Citroën GS; and this long sloping bootlid, with the spoiler on its trailing edge, is the second. Aerodynamic, too. We liked it.Richard LaneDeputy road test editor
This is a car that has been inspired by its customers, says Citroën. An amalgam of typical hatchback and compact SUV design, it’s claimed to have a bold, high-rising but tapering outline; a roomy, versatile and relaxing interior; and plenty of options for individual customer configurability. It sounds very much like a smart, affordable, alternative family car perfectly fine-tuned for our current market tastes.
As such, you can buy this car as an all-electric ë-C4 (with up to 217 miles of range) or with a petrol or diesel engine, as with several of the C4’s Stellantis group relatives. But from its outward appearance to its interior, and even its suspension specification, this car sets out to go its own way and offers things that rivals don’t.
Advertisement Back to top
Read on to find out exactly how far that may take it in a family hatchback market bursting at the seams with box-fresh models.
Related Citroen C4 reviews
Citroen C4 Puretech 155 Shine Plus EAT8 first drive
The C4 line-up at a glance
The C4 comes with a choice of four trim levels and six engines (if you count the battery-electric ë-C4 among the latter), with automatic transmission either standard fit or optional on four out of the six.
Entry-level Sense models get digital instruments and a 10.0in infotainment system with smartphone mirroring. From there on up, there are Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus versions.
Verdict Model tested: Rating:
GoodIt proves that alternative needn’t mean weird; it can be real-worldWell priced and pretty well equippedBadGreater passenger accommodation would better complete the pragmatic positioningRide isn’t comfortable enough to justify other dynamic compromises
Model tested: C4 Puretech 130 Shine Plus Auto Price: £26,605 Price as tested: £27,200 Engine: 3 cyls in line, 1199cc, turbocharged, petrol Transmission: 8-speed automatic Driveline layout: Front-engine, front-wheel drive Model tested C4 Puretech 130 Shine Plus Auto Price £26,605 Price as tested £27,200 View all specs and rivals Engine 3 cyls in line, 1199cc, turbocharged, petrol Transmission 8-speed automatic Driveline layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive Power 129bhp at 5500rpm Torque 169lb ft at 1750-2500rpm 0-62mph 10.2sec Top speed 124mph Kerb weight (DIN) 1278kg Fuel economy 50.2mpg CO2 131g/km Rivals Volkswagen Golf Ford Focus Mazda 3 Power 129bhp at 5500rpm Torque 169lb ft at 1750-2500rpm 0-62mph 10.2sec Top speed 124mph Kerb weight (DIN) 1278kg Fuel economy 50.2mpg CO2 131g/km Rivals Volkswagen Golf Ford Focus Mazda 3