Citroen e-C4 Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Saturday 30th September


What is it like to drive?

We’ve only driven the smaller batteried/lesser powered variant to date, so that’s the one we’ll focus on here. On start up it predictably defaults to Normal driving mode, and there’s little incentive to try Eco or Sport. You might knock it into the latter occasionally – this is the only mode that gets the full 136/154bhp – for slip roads and pulling onto busy roundabouts, but Normal is fine most of the time. Acceleration tails off notably after 60mph or so, but the e-C4 has enough grunt to see off most challenges, even if it isn’t as fast as many of its competitors.  

The powertrain is smoothly calibrated, making the e-C4 easy and predictable to drive. Of course there’s regenerative braking: even in ‘B’ mode it’s still gentle, and the actual brake pedal is progressive enough for smooth stops.  

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It’s not a sporty car, this, but you can drive it smoothly and briskly down a B-road provided you’re smooth with your inputs. The steering is a bit too light and lacking in feedback, but it’s direct and helps the car track straight and true on the motorway. You don’t have to keep making little corrections and the e-C4 doesn’t rock from side-to-side. 


Hugely. Properly soft and squidgy, like a good French car ought to be. The e-C4 takes the sting out of potholes, speedbumps and surface changes and generally just floats along in a brilliantly relaxed fashion. It’s a cruiser that encourages and rewards you for leaving a few minutes earlier than you might normally, taking a deep breath and just going with the flow. The front seats help (they’re flat, wide and well padded. Not much lateral support, but who cares), as does the general lack of wind and road noise.


The e-C4 is pretty efficient. We averaged over 4mi/kWh in our time with the car, which is more than we’ve seen from a Nissan Leaf or VW ID.3. But even so, it’s still not quite efficient enough to comfortably travel for more than 200 miles on a single charge. Versus the e-C4’s claimed 221-mile range, with a light foot and without using Sport mode, you’ll probably see around 170 miles in mixed driving. More if you live in a town or city and rarely leave it, less if it’s cold or you spend ages sat at 70mph on the motorway. 

The range readout isn’t particularly confidence inspiring: it has a tendency to jump around, gaining or losing a few miles at a time depending on how you’re driving at that exact moment rather than looking at your journey/driving style as a whole. In a Hyundai Kona Electric, for example, you can be confident whatever it says on the dash is how far you can travel before plugging-in. With the e-C4 and many other EVs, it feels less certain. 

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Yup – if you like the look and feel of the e-C4 but don’t fancy going all-electric just yet, Citroen also sells the regular C4 (and now the C4 X, which it didn’t at launch) with the choice of two conventional three-cylinder petrols and a four-cylinder diesel engine. Click on these blue words to read the review.

Variants We Have Tested

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