Citroen C4 1.2 PureTech EAT8 Shine Review: Worthy of consideration
With its raised profile and black cladding all round, the Citroen C4 might seem to be intended as a successor to the funky C4 Cactus Crossover. However, given that the ‘C4’ moniker actually belongs to a series of family hatchbacks, I can understand how its chunky looks might be a source of confusion for some. No matter how you categorise it, raised family hatchback or crossover, the C4 is a competitive and (no doubt) unique alternative choice across both these classes.
On the outside, the C4 carries on the design language found across the different offerings from the French marque. Its unique V-shaped LED headlamp layout, together with the chrome strips that run across its front that incorporates the 2-chevroned Citroen logo is quite pleasing to the eye. Some might say it gives the car a rather fresh look, and gives a certain flair that remains exciting no matter how many times you glance at it. Its silhouette is more coupe than hatchback-like but thankfully doesn’t result in any scrimping of rear headroom owing to its tall stature.
It sure feels like Citroen has put their know-how in making MPVs to good use in the C4 – its front, and more importantly rear feels spacious especially for a car in this segment. Up front, a squarish steering wheel greets you as you enter what is a rather sensibly designed cockpit. Despite having a 10.9 inch touchscreen infotainment display on hand, the more common touch points like its AC climate control, volume toggle and Media ‘On’/ ‘Off’ switches remain as rotary knobs instead of being buried deep in a menu on its system. Whilst its display isn’t the sharpest or speediest out there, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility coming as standard, one can’t quite complain about its practicality and functionality for everyday use.
The C4’s cabin is littered with cubby holes and storage bins for one’s everyday family needs. As a treat for the front passenger, a pull-out shelf that reveals itself as an iPad holder provides an alternative entertainment option for those longer journeys. If you discount the hard, dark plastics, with its ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats, the C4’s cabin is a pleasantly comfortable place to be in.
Speaking of comfort, the C4’s ride certainly calls to mind Citroen’s proclamation in the 1950s of its 2CV’s ability to transport a basket of eggs across a bumpy field without breaking a single one. Although body roll is significant through the corners, on the roll, its suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions does an excellent job in providing a soft, plush ride. Its 1.2-litre engine isn’t much to shout about, but being turbocharged, it provides enough torque to feel zippy around town. We wouldn’t call it fast, but paired with an 8-speed transmission, and with 230 Nm of torque available from just 1750 rpm, it could easily be mistaken for a larger 1.6-litre engine if you didn’t have its spec sheet on hand.
On the whole, if you are looking for a compact family hatchback or crossover, the C4 will tick all boxes and provide unmatched ride comfort within these segments. Not being a common choice doesn’t always necessarily make it a less competent one.
Credits: Words by Joel Foo; Photos by Horizon Drivers' Club