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Citroen C4 Overall verdict
The Citroen C4 is a good-looking hatch that keeps up the good vibes with some nice gimmicks and new technology. Handles well – just needs a more gutsy flagship. Maybe a 4x4 with 300bhp like the WRC rally car? We can but pray.
Somewhere out there is one person – just one – who’s still trying to find the button that transforms his C4 into a robot
What is it?
Citroen was brave with the last C4, and buyers didn't really appreciate it. So it's played it safe this time around. If you want exciting, buy the DS4.
The C4 gives a nice, damped ride and body roll is excellent through fast corners, but the VTR with its stiffened suspension can feel too hard at times and bumps in the road can jar the cabin. The steering is sharp, but its too light and doesn't have enough feel.
Comfort is well up on the C4's agenda with excellent damping and a great all-round view of your surroundings. The VTR is too stiff for little performance reward though - if it were quicker we might be more inclined to forgive it. The diesels make it an excellent long-distance car; quiet at speed and good economy.
There's a 1.4 and two 1.6-litre petrol engines with 95bhp and 120bhp. They all get the job done, although the 1.4-litre can feel slightly underpowered when pushed hard. Diesels include a 92 and 110bhp 1.6 and a 150bhp two-litre. They have lots of torque but ultimately lose out to Ford's excellent TDCi, being noisier and feeling less powerful right across the rev range.
On the inside
Rear seat passengers will bemoan that roofline. Just beware that you might not fit a decent-sized pram in the back because the tail tapers quite strongly. The fact it's not a box makes it look nice, but isn't as practical.
Citroen doesn't have the greatest reputation for strong interiors but the C4 changes all that. It uses strong, sturdy materials that wouldn't look out of place in a prestige car while the panel gaps throughout the cabin are tight, meaning it shouldn't rattle soon after purchase like Citroens of old used to.
Cheap insurance on most models is a boon, but residuals aren't the finest. Buy the larger diesel and get 56.5mpg and the best engine by far.