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Citroen C4 Review

7 / 10
6 February 2024
Citroen C4 driving

If the Golf, Focus and Astra feel a bit ordinary, why not mix up your neighbourhood with the funky Citroen C4?

Citroen has turned the C4 into a coupe-SUV-type thing, but it hasn’t forgotten to make it comfortable. What’s more, the C4 tends to be pretty good value against its nearest rivals.

What we like:
  • Interesting design
  • Electric e-C4 version available
  • Practical and comfortable
What we don't like:
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Uninvolving to drive
  • Small digital dials

Should I buy a Citroen C4?

The first Citroen C4 was a smoothly styled, eye-catching thing that earned its stripes in the World Rally Championship. The less said about the second-generation C4, the better. And, while the latest Citroen C4 won’t be tearing up the gravel on rally stages any time soon, it’ll certainly turn heads.

It’s in the same space as the Volkswagen Golf, Kia Ceed, Ford Focus and Skoda Scala, but doesn’t look like the typical family hatchbacks we’ve come to know. With more buyers plumping for slick SUVs over humble hatches, Citroen has pumped up the C4 with a higher ride height and rugged body cladding – which protects the car’s bodywork a bit more subtly than the bubble-wrapped C4 Cactus.

Sitting slightly higher up means you’re shielded from the worst potholes. In fact, Citroen has made sure you’re not going to be launched about over bumps. The seats are like designer armchairs with more padding than your mattress and the suspension has been designed to float over potholes like you’re on a funky French cloud.

Interior and technology

Inside, the C4 has a sleek, modern design, with a large touchscreen taking pride of place on top of the dashboard. While it’s a little busy, the screen gives you access to all the car’s major functions and settings, and you can connect your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Unlike many contemporary Citroen models, the C4 has proper dials and buttons for the climate control – or you can adjust it through the screen. The buttons make changing the direction or temperature of the heating easy while you’re driving.

Used buyers will spot plenty of different trim levels for sale, because Citroen has renamed its trim levels several times throughout the C4’s life. But there’s usually an entry-level model, a mid-range one and a top-spec version, with all being pretty well equipped. We’ll explain fully on the Interior page of this review.


The C4 is a bit longer and taller than the Volkswagen Golf, but any gains in practicality are largely cancelled out by the swept-back shape. Still, few people have ever complained about the available space in a Golf, and the C4 is largely competitive.

Cutouts in the rear headlining means there’s enough headroom in the back seats, and legroom is pretty decent too. One thing to note is that legroom is good due to the front seats not offering a huge amount of adjustment, so tall drivers might need to check they can get a comfortable driving position before buying one.

The 380-litre boot exactly matches the Golf. It’s not the biggest in the class but it’ll be plenty for the majority of daily uses – it’ll swallow an average weekly shop, a pushchair or a couple of large suitcases with ease.

Engines and performance

Underneath the C4 is the same platform that underpins a number of cars, including the Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 2008 and DS 3. The numerous shared parts should be good for reliability – and it also means the Citroen comes with a spread of good engines.

A proven 1.2-litre turbo petrol is fitted in many C4s, with power outputs of 100hp, 130hp and 155hp. The vast majority of petrol C4s come in 130hp flavour, which is the one we’d recommend. It’s nippy off the line and returns up to 54mpg, making it ideal if you travel on a mix of different roads.

Long-distance drivers might want to hunt out a C4 with the BlueHDi diesel engine. It’s powerful enough but isn’t as quick as the petrol, although the flipside is that a diesel C4 with a manual gearbox returns up to 69mpg. That’s a few mpg better than an equivalent diesel Golf.

Just like the C4’s platform-sharing cousins, it also offers a fully electric version. Most e-C4s come with a 50kWh battery and a 136hp electric motor, for brisk acceleration and a 225-mile range. You might also see newer e-C4s with an upgraded 54kWh battery and more powerful motor – cars with this option can travel up to 260 miles between charges.

Driving and comfort

Throughout its history, Citroen has aimed to make its cars as comfortable as possible. That’s still true in the C4, which unashamedly delivers a relaxed, cosseting driving experience with no hint of sportiness. It leans a bit in corners and the clutch and steering are both quite vague, leaving you with the impression that it would prefer you to drive a bit more smoothly.

When you’re not in a hurry, the C4 is impressively comfortable for an affordable family hatchback. Citroen’s suspension tech gives extra damping over big bumps, which stops most of the impact making it through to the cabin. Sink into the soft seats after a hard day’s work and the C4 will feel like the perfect tonic.

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