New Citroen C4

caters for all

comers

Citroen C4, 2021, front, static
Citroen C4, 2021, side
Citroen C4, 2021, rear
Citroen e-C4, 2021, front
Citroen C4, 2021, interior
Citroen C4, dash detail
Citroen C4, 2021, display screen
Citroen C4, rear seats
Citroen C4, 2021, boot

IF you're looking for a stylish family car to ensure envious glances from your neighbours it's hard to beat one with French design flair.

And the latest C4 model from Citroen comes with oodles of je ne sais quoi guaranteed to get it and you noticed.

Classed as a hatchback but with stylish coupe-like lines and more than a nod to the practicality of an SUV the C4 has a broad appeal to a wide market.

And in a move to improve its desirability even more the car is available with a choice of petrol, diesel and full electric versions.

All three are identical in appearance, inside and out - other than the "e" badge on the front wings and some blue splashes in the trim of the electric models - so the choice comes down to the individual needs of the buyer and their budget.

Even the electric charging point flap is in exactly the same place as the petrol/diesel flap and because the batteries for the electric model are under passenger section of the car there's no loss of luggage space, all cars getting 380 litres rising to 1,250 litres with the rear seatbacks lowered.

Certainly the designers of the latest car - the first C4 was launched back in 2004 - have pulled out all the stops to ensure it offers a strong challenge to its main competitors which include the likes of the VW Golf and Ford Focus.

And the end result is one of those rare cars that looks good from any angle.

From the eye-catching lines of the "face" with its dramatic lighting features to the heavily raked roof with its rear window spoiler. It's hard not to like the classy appeal of the new C4.

Sit inside one of the top spec Shine plus models and there's a distinctly upmarket feel to it with leather seats with nice contrasting detailing, a head -up display, a 10-inch centre screen for satellite navigation and onboard features, heated seats and even a heated steering wheel.

Like a number of manufacturers Citroen has chosen to abandon the traditional gear shift on automatic models, replacing it with a small chrome knurled rocker switch. Close by is a switch to toggle between three driving modes; eco, normal and sport.

Trying one of the 1.2-litre, petrol versions with its 130 bhp engine - 100bhp and 155 bhp versions are also available and 110bhp and 130 bhp diesels - followed by an electric one it's immediately obvious how much work has been put in to ensure smooth, comfortable family motoring thanks in part to Citroen's Progressive Hydraulic Cushions.

These softens up the ride by adding a cushioning affect rather than a hard stop at the end of the suspension units to give additional comfort but not to the detriment of the handling.

And if that wasn't enough all the seats on the C4 get additional padding to ensure long journeys don't take their toll.

Acceleration through the eight-speed auto box is crisp with 62 miles per hour reached from standstill in a respectable 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. The electric version is quicker, however, at 9 seconds but the top speed is down, at 93mph.

What is impressive is how quiet and refined the cabin is on the petrol version even after driving the electric one, especially as it uses a three-cylinder engine.

In terms of economy you can expect to get around 50 miles per gallon while the range on a full charge on the electric C4 will take you around 200 miles.

Handling is probably what you would expect from a car geared towards comfort. There is some roll but the C4 is not designed to be a hot hatch and any movement is all kept well under control.

All models, no matter what's under the bonnet, get 18-inch alloys as standard.

When it comes to reversing the C4 makes it easy thanks to a reversing camera with 360 degree view, although rear visibility through the driving mirror is a little impeded by the rear spoiler.

That apart the new C4 is a car that's going to appeal to motorists looking for style with economy at sensible money, with prices starting from just £21,000 for the entry level Sense petrol model.

Prices for electric models start from £33,395, before the £3,500 government grant.

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