Citroen e-C4 X review: segment-straddling EV embraces space and comfort Reviews 2023 | Top Gear
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Citroen e-C4 X review: segment-straddling EV embraces space and comfort

£36,140 when new
Published: 22 Mar 2023

Hmm, this looks familiar.

You’re likely thinking of the e-C4, Citroen’s high-riding five-door family hatch of the same mould. It’s only when you put the two side by side that the differences reveal themselves, with the extra letter on the badge signifying the e-C4 X’s slightly different rear end.

Citroen is pitching the e-C4 X as a ‘fastback’ – read saloon – but one that, like the e-C4 (with which it shares same CMP platform and wheelbase), has the ride height, practicality and robust styling (note the black cladding) of an SUV.

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The front and side profile are largely identical to the e-C4, with the only real distinguishing features (boot shape aside) being the rear curved LED lights and the flick on the bootlid, contributing to a drag coefficient of 0.29.

Hardly transformative. The 'e' means it's electric, right?

Spot on, Sherlock. Citroen is loud and proud about the fact the e-C4 is the brand’s first purely-electric car to be launched in the UK. It’s available with just the one powertrain, a 100kW (134bhp) electric motor paired to a 50kWh battery pack for up to 222 miles of range. 

Find yourself a 100kW rapid charger, and an 0-80 per cent charge takes 30 minutes. A full charge from a 7kW wallbox takes approximately 7.5 hours.

What's its USP?

Comfort is the keyword here. It's what sets Citroens apart these days and the e-C4 X is no exception. There’s little that upsets it, with potholes and speed bumps ironed out calmly and effortlessly.

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Spot the theme: Advanced Comfort Seats have an extra 15mm layer of special memory foam for better support for your bum cheeks, and the Advanced Comfort Suspension setup pairs two hydraulic cushions to the shocks and springs instead of mechanical stops. The aim being a softer ride, of course.

It all works rather well: you could comfortably cruise for miles in this thing with your bladder giving out long before the onset of cramp. That’s of course if you don’t run out of range beforehand: a full charge showed us 205 miles, while we averaged 4.0mi/kWh over a 70-mile round trip.

Noted. And does it combine comfort with speed?

Not really, no. Citroen reckons on 0-62mph in a leisurely 9.5 seconds (and even that's when in Sport mode) up to a top speed of 93mph. Why Citroen's bothered with a Sport mode isn't clear: you might use it occasionally, but 99 per cent of the time you'll either just leave it in Normal or switch to Eco when you need to save a bit of range.

This is where the e-C4 X is at its happiest, because its light steering, smooth acceleration, slightly spongy brakes and floaty ride offer no encouragement to drive it with enthusiasm. And that's fine: this is a car built for taking the stress out of everyday life, with the well-insulated cabin and minimal road/wind noise adding to the sense of harmony. Shame there’s no paddles to adjust the regen, but still.

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Could you swing a cat inside it?

Hopefully you're speaking metaphorically. But yes, at 4.6 metres long there’s no shortage of legroom in the front or rear, while the seats are reclined 27 degrees further backwards in the X compared to the e-C4 to maximise headroom. Not that you'd notice.

At the rear you get a 510-litre boot (the e-C4's is 310-litres) and there’s additional storage under the floor to store dirty charging cables. Though it's a single-piece floor, so getting at the cables is tricky if you've stowed anything heavy back there.

Top spec models also get a ski hatch for easy access to the rear and for loading longer objects. There's an additional 33 litres of compartment space throughout the cabin for storing random bits ’n’ bobs, and a slightly gimmicky retractable tablet holder built directly into the dashboard. Niche.

Ah yes, what’s the tech like?

The e-C4 X gets Citroen’s latest infotainment interface, MyCitroen Drive Plus, complete with 10-inch high definition central widescreen. While it certainly looks the part, the OS itself is frustrating to use.  Although at least it makes full use of the screen, unlike the e-C4, which has the climate control temperatures permanently displayed down the side. Though we’re told that's being altered on the smaller car too. Phew.

Speaking of which, underneath the screen Citroen has pleasingly retained the climate control panel, complete with dedicated buttons and knobs for the air conditioning and heated seats, while you also get physical buttons on the steering wheel.

However, the 5.5-inch instrument cluster is rather basic-looking with its digital speedometer and one-mode only design, but the head-up display (standard on mid spec models upwards) is as good as any we’ve tried. Worth mentioning here that you also get up to four USB sockets (plus a wireless charger if optioned) – two in the lower centre console and two in the rear centre console for backseat passengers. Happy days.

How much does it cost?

Prices start from £31,995 for the entry-level Sense trim, £33,995 for mid-spec Shine, and £34,495 for the range-topping Shine Plus trim – which in base-spec at least is like-for-like with the regular e-C4. On monthlies you’re looking at £329, £369 or £399 on a four-year lease allowing for 6,000 miles a year, through Citroen’s own finance scheme.

As standard, Sense models get 18-inch alloys, keyless entry and start, as well as a 10-inch touchscreen equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Shine trim adds the head-up display, a reversing camera, auto intelligent beam headlights, a heated steering wheel and improved safety tech. Finally, Shine Plus highlights include Alcantara heated seats, rear central folding armrest with cupholders, the all-important ski hatch and adaptive cruise control.

Should I buy one?

The Citroen e-C4 X is easy to drive, comfortable, quiet, and in terms of looks offers something a little different to its rivals. A group which includes the likes of the similarly sized MG4 and (now ancient) Nissan Leaf, plus related small crossovers within the Stellantis umbrella like the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka Electric. Same platform and powertrain, don't forget.

Citroen deserves some credit for making the starting price identical to the X-less e-C4, though it's still not the cheapest option in any of the segments it straddles. Nor does it offer the most range. Still, if you’re on board with the looks and just want to be comfortable above all else, you could easily make the case for this over Stellantis's other CMP fodder.

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