01 June 2010

New Citroen C4: first look

New Citroen C4: cool tech showcased in Citroen’s updated hatch. No word on Transformer capabilities though.

Citroen C4

As our innovative headline suggests, this is the new Citroen C4 – the Focus and Astra rival which will hit our shores next year.

First impressions? Hmmm. Very nice, but it’s not quite the minty, zesty slap to the face of the DS3 or C3 Picasso, is it?

The front looks lightly menacing: Citroen describes it as ‘purposeful’. We’re not really sure of any other car front ends that aren’t serving the purpose of being, well, front ends. Perhaps there are renegade Volkswagen Golfs roaming the streets with cheeseboards and kitchen plumbing attached to the wheels.

Round the back, things turn decidedly Astra-esque. Which is fine if you’re an Astra, not quite so fine if you’re a funky French hatch. It’s certainly no minger, but Citroen’s on such a hot design streak at the moment that we might have expected something a bit more outre here.

The C4 should be practical, though. In good news for short people, there’s a new low-loading boot sill. This deeper boot is also the biggest in its class with 408 litres, while the whole car is only marginally bigger than its predecessor (5cm longer, 2cm wider and 3cm taller).

If you’re of an earth-saving bent, you’ll likely be tempted by the new micro-hybrid e-HDI engine available in the new C4 featuring Stop & Start which helps deliver 109g/km of CO2, and just 99g/km on future models.

Loads of fiddly bits inside help you customise the C4, such as polyphonic sound alerts, the colour of the instrument display, and something to adjust “the intensity of the air-conditioning system”. We are entirely unfamiliar with said device, and can’t wait to try it out.

Citroen is also showcasing some new tech for the C4 in the form of a blind-spot monitoring system, cornerning lights, cruise control and a speed-limiter with road speed memory settings. No word on technology which turns the C4 into a 20ft high rollerblading robot with laser beams and guns, but we live in hope.

It will debut at this year’s Paris motor show and go on sale next year. What d’y’all think?

Vijay Pattni

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