Review – Citroen C4 PureTech 130 (2022)
The Citroën C4 began in 2004 as a mid-range hatchback, succeeding the popular Xsara. There were in fact two versions of the C4. On the one hand, there was the five-door hatchback, with a playful design but otherwise practicality geared toward the general public. There was also the three-door hatchback, with a spectacular and coupe-like rear end, intended primarily for the sporty driver.
In 2010, the second generation entered the market, but it came only as a five-door hatchback with fairly ordinary styling. In sales, it didn’t do badly either, but brand enthusiasts in particular would have preferred a bit more of the Citroën-typical quirkiness. The second generation Citroën C4 was sold in Europe until 2018.
With a clean slate
The third generation was a while in coming, as that current model entered the market in 2020. One therefore started with a clean slate. The Citroën C4 is nice and quirky again, but no longer a hatchback. Instead, it is somewhat crossover-like. It stands a little higher on the wheels, has a slightly higher body and yet also a “sporty” sloping roofline. With a little imagination, you can even recognize some stylistic features of the classic Citroën GS(A).
In addition to bringing back that quirkiness, comfort was also high on the development priority list. That starts with the (optional) Advanced Comfort Seats, which totally live up to their name. They offer a very pleasant seating position, on which we also sat through a long trip without any problems. One area of improvement might be the lateral support, but the C4 is not really a car for smooth cornering anyway. For extra comfort, the armrest on the door and center console, both of which are at just the right height, provide the necessary support.
Space in the back
There is also plenty of room in the back seat. At 1.80 m in length, you can sit just fine “behind yourself,” and despite the sloping roofline, there’s also plenty of headroom. However, there is not very much margin. Furthermore, it also gets a bit cramped if you want to sit in the back with three adults, but three kids will do just fine. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 380 liters, or even 1,250 with the rear seats flat.
Cruising with the Citroën C4
Delightful cruising is what the Citroën C4 loves best. The suspension manages to smooth out even most short or larger bumps neatly, courtesy of Citroën’s proprietary Progressive Hydraulic Cushions suspension system. You could almost argue that it has American suspension. Still, it does not sway annoyingly on longer bumps, nor does the car lean heavily in curves.
The fact that the Citroën C4 prefers to cruise for a while rather than attack corners in a sporty manner is also evident in the character of the powertrain. We drive the PureTech 130 with eight-speed automatic transmission. The power of 96 kW (130 hp) is certainly sufficient in the Netherlands, but you notice that the car prefers to accelerate rather than sprint. There is also some delay in the response to the gas pedal. For example, if you want to quickly merge onto a busy traffic circle, it is a little annoying, but otherwise it is fine.
Driving modes Eco and Sport
For a Citroën C4 with an automatic transmission, there are also different driving modes. In addition to the “standard” driving mode, there is also a choice of Eco and Sport. In Eco mode, the powertrain is tuned for extra economy. In practice, it mostly feels like some of the horsepower has suddenly disappeared. Sport mode has the opposite effect: the engine then reacts extra lively to the gas pedal. The somewhat delayed response to throttle inputs unfortunately remains even in Sport mode. That in itself is not a bad thing because, as mentioned, the Citroën C4 is not meant for sportiness. For that, you can turn to “sister brand” Peugeot these days.
Practical consumption Citroën C4 PureTech 130
On paper, the Citroën C4 PureTech 130 has an average consumption of 5.4 l/100 km (1 in 18.5). Those are the official WLTP figures for a route with a mix of highway, off-road and city. With mostly highway miles, we came up with an average consumption of 4.9 l/100 km (1 in 20.4). Then we didn’t even necessarily take it easy on the highway (partly abroad). So really very neat.
Prices and engines Citroën C4
The Citroën C4 is available from 32,100 euros. For that amount, you get the PureTech 100 gasoline engine, with, as the name suggests, an output of 73 kW (100 hp) and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The more powerful PureTech 130 is available from 33,600 euros, or from 35,100 euros with eight-speed automatic transmission. Dieselen can also, starting at 39,190 euros for the BlueHDi 130, which is always equipped with eight-speed automatic transmission.
There is also an all-electric version of the Citroën C4, the ë-C4. It is available from 40,240 euros (excluding any subsidies) and has a power output of 100 kW (136 hp) and a range of 357 km (WLTP).
Equipment and appliances Citroën C4
In terms of equipment levels, there is a choice of the Feel (starting at 32,100 euros), Feel Pack (starting at 35,00 euros) and Shine (starting at 36,350 euros). The PureTech 100 only comes as a Feel, the Feel is not available as a diesel and otherwise all trim levels can be combined with all drive variants.
A few highlights from the standard equipment include 18-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, the comfortable Progressive Hydraulic Cushions suspension system, leather-upholstered steering wheel and gear knob, automatic air conditioning with carbon filter, a 10-inch central touchscreen for infotainment control (incl. Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay) and, of course, a whole host of safety and assistance systems.
The test car in the photos is equipped as the top model Shine, including a number of options such as red paint and upholstery and the panoramic sliding/tilting roof. The full list of trims, equipment and prices for the Citroën C4 can be found at www.citroen.nl.
New: the Citroën C4 X
Soon the Citroën C4 range will be extended by a new X variant. This could be seen as a sedan version with a sporty roofline, although just like the regular C4 it remains a slightly higher model. The biggest advantage over the regular C4 is the extra luggage space, although the quieter designed rear will also appeal to some customers. Furthermore, the new C4 X will only be available in the Netherlands as an all-electric ë-C4 X. You can read more about the new Citroën ë-C4 X here.
The Citroën C4 is a delightful cruiser. It offers the comfort that the brand is known for and ensures that even after a long highway drive, you still get out of the car feeling rested. It also offers plenty of room in the back, both in the back seat and in terms of luggage space. A pleasant surprise is the low practical consumption, although this is of course strongly related to how you use the car.