New Citroen C4

powers in for all

Citroen e-C4, 2020, front
Citroen e-C4, 2020, side
Citroen e-C4, 2020, rear
Citroen e-C4, 2020, LED headlamp
Citroen e-C4, 2020, interior
Citroen e-C4, 2020, instrument panel
Citroen e-C4, 2020, display screen
Citroen e-C4, 2020, charging point
Citroen e-C4, 2020, boot
Citroen C4, 2020, front
Citroen C4, 2020, side
Citroen C4, 2020, rear
Citroen C4, 2020, interior
Citroen C4, 2020, instrument panel
Citroen C4, 2020, display screen
Citroen C4, 2020, wireless charger pad
Citroen C4, 2020, tray
Citroen C4, 2020, rear seats
Citroen C4, 2020, boot

CITROEN has a new C4 medium sized hatch and it's going to be available with petrol, diesel and pure electric powertrains.

In line with parent group PSA's policy of giving drivers an open playing field, the French car maker is following its sister companies Peugeot and Vauxhall in offering a full set of propulsion options.

It makes the new C4 a clever choice in the middle market - and like its predecessors the latest version has plenty of chic about its style.

Looking low slung with coupe-like lines and a long front it sets out a new chapter in Citroen design that not only makes the C4 distinctive but also practical.

Prices start from £20,990 for a petrol version, £22,740 for a diesel and £32,180 for the electric - before the £3,500 Government grant for zero emission vehicles.

That's competitive in today's market and sees the new C4 as a good alternative to the likes of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

What it brings that the others lack is a touch of French flair and that can be found inside and out.

We have just tried out high specification Shine Plus grade versions of the petrol and electric models and each has plenty of strong points.

The petrol C4 was powered by a 1.2-litre PureTech engine developing 130ps and in top grade trim is available only with an eight speed automatic transmission which sees it priced from £26,590.

The top grade electric e-C4 comes in at £34,330 and has a 100kW motor which puts out the equivalent of 136ps.

Both have plenty of life and their performance is very similar - as is every aspect of the two versions which is a refreshing take especially when it comes to electric vehicle design.

For the petrol car 0 to 60 takes 9.4 seconds and it tops out at 130mph while the electric C4 is slightly quicker at nine seconds with a maximum of 93mph.

On the economy front the automatic C4 is rated at 50.3mpg at best with emissions of 120g/km and on our drive we managed to average 45.5 to the gallon.

With an 11 gallon tank that gave us a ‘real world' range of some 500 miles - twice that of the e-C4 which can manage 217 miles on a full charge but at a significantly lower cost.

From a fast charger the e-C4 can be recharged to 80 per cent capacity in just half an hour although a full charge from a domestic supply is going to be closer to a day. A home charger will be much faster but whatever method is used to recharge the savings of going electric are obvious in everyday use.

Those who cover greater mileage and don't want the fuss or delay of recharging can stick with conventional power for the time being. - and that's the beauty of Citroen's marketing approach with the new C4.

Visually the cars are identical, even down to the siting of the charging port which is in the same place on the back nearside wing as the fuel filler.

The same is true inside with a clutter-free approach to the dashboard and a minimal amount of controls although there are software changes to the instrumentation on the e-C4 to give information about its electric status.

All versions have Citroen's comfort-oriented suspension and seat cushion set up which is a boon on potholed roads while the cars we tried came with head up display information screens for the driver as well as a 10-inch widescreen display panel in the centre of the dash.

Boot space on both models is the same at 380 litres extending to a maximum of 1,250 litres with the only compromise for the e-C4 being the recharging cables which can be stowed below the boot floor.

A handy feature is a slide-away phone and tablet holder concealed in the facia in front of the passenger above the glovebox.

One slight area of concern was the rearview visibility through the tailgate window which can be impeded by the boot spoiler and harks back to a rear design Citroen used on the last but one generation C4 more than ten years ago.

That apart, the latest C4 marks a turning point for Citroen and has all that it takes to compete in the modern world of motoring.

Whatever the power option this is a car with all bases covered.

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