THE new Citroen C4 is a ‘come and look at me motor’, a most experience vehicle machine if you are a buyer in the mid-size family sector, writes John Knox.
One couldn’t get over the feeling of strength and all round solid build quality the C4 gave off. It will do battle in the market place against such hardy performers at the Ford Focus, VW Golf, Toyota Auris, Kia cee’d and so on, so it had better be able to perform and satisfy.
The C4 can, no doubt about that. Here is a car with individuality and flair that has serious backed-up appeal in the form of generous room in both the cabin and boot; a lengthy list of safe and practical equipment; it measures up in terms of the ‘green’ agenda and it delivers a sound drive.
After that it is down to things like your personal choice in terms of the car you want and that can serve your needs, and, of course, the serious matter of money. But if you are wondering does the C4 measure up, the simple answer is…..yes, it does.
Citroen suggest that the C4 is designed to be an environmentally respectful car in that the latest technology helps make it environmentally friendly. It is available with Citroen’s new micro-hybrid e-HDi powertrains which feature the latest generation Stop/Start system that helps deliver C02 emissions as low as 109g/km.
The use of 15% ‘green’ materials like re-cycled polyamide components also add to its environmental credentials. Prices start at 18,900 Euro (ex-works) for the 1.6-litre petrol version.
Sharp and accurate
My drive was in the C4 1.6-litre HDi, of which there is a choice between a 90 and 110bhp units. Driven was the 90bhp version, which was mated to a sharp and accurate 5-speed manual ’box.
The PSA group have a well earned reputation in the area of diesel technology, and this advanced unit is a worthy representation from the stable. It is easy and smart on take off. There is good mid-range torque to offer ‘pep’ when overtaking and the C4 simply gobbles up motorway.
The car is well set on the road, and even when attacking tight and testing corners on secondary roads, it holds the line firmly with no discernible body movement. Build and balance are two of the most appealing features of the C4.
The rounded body shape leads to generous interior space, and the boot which offers 408-litres of space is the biggest in the class. All the controls are within easy reach of the driver, or is it made so by adjustable seat height and steering (reach and rake)? Not sure, but it works anyway.
The controls give off a soft during night driving, which makes them readable at a mere glance.
The full size spare wheel is accommodated in a special unit under the carpeted floor in the boot, which is another plus. This doesn’t at all compromise the space carrying capacity of the C4.
I am not into these ‘get you home wheels’ or fast repair kits. Every new car should come with a proper spare wheel. Well done Citroen!
In terms of safety and equipment, the C4 is up there with the best of them and has earned a 5-star Euro Ncap rating, including a 97% in the ‘safety assist’ category, the highest score for any vehicle of this type.
The safety enhancing technology package includes ABS with EBD (electronic brake distribution), EBA (emergency braking assistance) and ESP (electronic stability programme).
Six airbags standard
Six airbags come as standard across the range, while top line features like the new blind-spot monitoring system (this alerts the driver to the presence of vehicles in the car’s blind spot), a cornering light function for improved visibility in bends, cruise control and speed-limiter with five programmable road speed memory settings plus the new Citroen e-Touch Assistance System help give the C4 an edge on most of the opposition.
The C4 is a very accomplished piece of machinery. It won’t blow your mind in terms of looks, but there is a lot of car hidden under the skin.
Citroen C4 1.6 HDi 5-door hatchback 21,790 Euro (ex-works).
Transmission: 5-speed manual gearbox.
C02 emissions: 110g/km.
Annual road tax: 104 Euro.