Citroën C4 – compact extravagance – Test drives

Premium With the new C4, Citroën is back in the compact class and will attract customers with French extravagance and also as an all-electric alternative. You can even brag about a new world record.

I intend to save you a comprehensive history lesson about Citroën but completely without flashbacks, we still can not do. Take, for example, the compact class or the Golf class as it is often called and think back to the year 1970.

In Wolfsburg, there are still heated discussions about whether the VW Type 1 (the Bubble) is still competitive and thus worth investing in further. Fortunately, the right decision was finally reached and four years later the first generation of Golf was presented. Not a second too soon it would turn out.

In 1970, Citroën introduced its GS, a worthy challenger in the compact class with front and rear disc brakes, hydropneumatic suspension as in the Citroën DS and speedometers in the iconic magnifying glass design. So we are talking basic equipment, of course. Three years later came the alternative for all francophile daredevils: GS Birotor with wankel motor!

The French were the avant-garde masters of the time and although the technical special position from the past has given way to platform sharing and a proper portion of mainstream, the new C4 is nevertheless a brave product.

The user interface has not made any quantum leaps, for which we bow and thank. Everything is intuitive and qualitative with fine materials when you pay a little extra.

Now that C4 Cactus is going to the grave the last conventional compact-Citran disappears. The newcomer C4 is not a pure SUV or compact sled with combi ambitions.

The French alternative to the Golf, Ceed, Octavia and Focus is instead a 1.50 meter high crossover coupe with increased ground clearance for increased (if only suggested) adventure and an early sloping roofline for that extra portion of coupe flair.

It undeniably looks good, even without the horsepower boast that so many other SUV coupes engage in. The proportions speak for themselves and that the design is an important selling point is noticeable not least when choosing rims. The standard is 18 inches, anything smaller than that would have been laughable.

Compared to the more down-to-earth Golf Class competition, you sit seven to ten centimeters higher over the asphalt. So a feeling of suv and since the hood does not disappear directly from the field of view but runs almost horizontally all the way to the narrow headlights in front, there is that cozy feeling after a couple of meters driven.

Our car was equipped with most things from the optional list, such as a panoramic glass roof.

Our test C4 belongs to the nicer crowd test cars that are equipped from top to toe with everything that the optional list allows. Here we find quilted leather that drapes the comfortable but slightly short chairs, panoramic glass ceilings and everywhere material that exudes quality.

It feels luxurious and tasteful, but you hardly get it for the base price, which is expected to end up just under a quarter of a million. However, LED headlights, DAB radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two-zone climate control and much more are included.

In addition to the stylish French charm, the interior is also characterized by a lot of smart ideas. Double glove compartments are obviously not enough, but the C4 has also been given a fold-out holder for toads and lots of storage compartments and storage areas.

However, thankfully, the handling is not too futuristic: even if the gear selector for the automatic gearbox (optional) has shrunk to a fashionable stump, at least the air conditioning system is still operated by old-fashioned buttons and knobs.

The digital instrument panel behind the wheel is home to probably the world’s smallest tachometer.

Strange what one can rejoice over, right? However, not everything is peace and joy in the new C4. The view to the rear is most similar to a firing slot in any anti-skid guard and is further impaired by the rear seat head restraint which cannot be folded completely and the wing in the lower part of the rear window.

Thankfully, the basic model already has rear parking sensors that make life a little easier. With front sensors and a 360-degree camera, safety in public parking spaces increases significantly (optional, but included in the Shine top equipment).

Another smart detail is that the turn signal reminder for all those drivers who forget to turn off their turn signal increases the sound after a while to nerve-killing levels and frees the environment from unnecessary warning signals.

Speaking of details. This is where we come to the above – mentioned world record and it applies to nothing less than the title of the car with the world’s smallest tachometer. Namely, it is just a microscopic round in the digital instrument panel with even more microscopic numbers. It shows quite clearly what Citroën thinks about the future of the internal combustion engine.

In the back seat you should not be too long, the coupe-like roofline steals a lot of headroom.

Is the driveline range’s only petrol so far really something to have?

The three-cylinder power source leaves a maximum of 131 hp and climbs up the speed steps with power, but sounds a bit tormented at low revs. In an emergency, you can keep a fairly high speed, but are hardly attracted to it.

For those looking for more action, two more petrol engines and a diesel will arrive in early March. The petrol-powered top model leaves 155 hp, two remaining alternatives are in the 100 hp class.

Perhaps the 131 hp intermediate milk petrol engine is the most suitable choice for the C4. The driveline harmonizes best with the chassis, which according to official sources enables the most comfortable suspension comfort in the class. It is possible to take in a little because the C4 pays attention to holes and cross grooves in the ground much more than, for example, a VW Golf with adaptive dampers.

The new C4 looks tough in the best forest dust design, with its screen wideners and 18-inch wheels. Metallic lacquer as the test car’s caramel brown color costs extra.

Citroën ë-C4 can be quickly charged with up to 100 kW, an 80% charge then takes 30 minutes.

On country roads with perfectly okay asphalt pavement on the other hand, the C4 performs excellently and swallows most things at the same time as a certain feeling of driving pleasure appears. Not sporty ambitious, but rather relaxed and free from gravity, which suits the light but emotion-free steering.

A Citroën C4, on the other hand, is not a car you buy to chew hairpin curves for breakfast, but rather a comfortable road sled.

Not entirely unexpectedly, the all-electric variant ë-C4, which pays attention to its driveline concept with a number of blue details, manages the whims of the roadway better than the fossil variant. Just over 500 kg extra weight in the floor in the form of the battery pack of 50 kWh turns out to have positive effects on the suspension comfort, but on the other hand dampens the cornering ability a bit.

The luggage compartment holds 380 liters.

The range of the electric car is set to 350 km according to the WLTP cycle, which is perfectly okay for the class, especially since the ë-C4 masters fast charging with up to 100 kW. An 80% charge thus takes no more than 30 minutes, at home with a three-phase wallbox you can expect charging times of less than five hours.

There are three different driving programs with three different power outlets.

You get the full power of 100 kW in Sport mode, Normal mode settles for 80 kW and the Ecoläget that is most suitable for city traffic leaves 60 kW. The acceleration times vary greatly depending on the selected program, which provides opportunities to play with the driving program selector. Quickly in Sport mode to re-drive the truck, then release the throttle and select Eco mode to increase the range.

It can also be affected by the unroll and recovery function, but unfortunately only in two steps at the touch of a button. Paddles behind the wheel would then have been the smarter solution.

Just like the fossil alternatives The electric car ë-C4 is also well equipped right from the start with, among other things, lane keeping, emergency braking and attention assistance. With all the boxes in the option list ticked, we count no less than 20 assistance systems in the newcomer, including the adaptive distance and cruise control and the lane keeping system.

Of course, the newcomer C4 is not quite as progressive as GS was 50 years ago, but the distinctive car has what it takes to tackle the tough compact segment.

It is not only the unique design and / or the fancy interior that attracts, but also that the C4 advocates a very own driving feeling that lacks competition. The same also applies to the electric car ë-C4, which thanks to the environmental bonus does not become much more expensive than the petrol variant with manual transmission.

Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by

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