Citroen C4 Shine

Plus Pure Tech 130

Citroen C4, front static
Citroen C4, 2021, side
Citroen C4, 2021, rear
Citroen C4, 2021, interior
Citroen C4, 2021, tablet holder tray
Citroen C4, rear seats
Citroen C4, 2021, boot

I PITY any Citroen salesman trying to sell the company's new C4 model by giving potential customers a short test drive.

Admittedly would-be buyers would be able to appreciate the attractive front end, the curvy coupe-like body lines, the high stance and the rugged rear.

But to experience the best quality of all - its comfort - you have to live with one for a few days.

Only then do you begin to take on board just how smooth and comfortable the ride is in this car.

And it's not there by accident.

Citroen has always had a reputation for its expertise in doing things differently when it comes to suspension and the new C4 is no different.

In this car it's all down to the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions.

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

But it doesn't stop there. To complete the comfort package all the seats on the C4 get additional padding to ensure you don't get stiff and uncomfortable on long journeys and feel you need to take a break.

I sampled a C4 for a few hours earlier in the year and liked the car. But it was only after driving one for many days that I really began to appreciate just how comfortable it is.

Even Britain's multi-potholed highways don't detract from it, with the C4 simply and effectively cushioning the impact. The softer suspension inevitably means some roll on corners but nothing that's not easily controllable.

Good soundproofing and a super smooth engine all add to the appeal of this five-seater family car which just purrs along cocooning you from the outside world.

In some ways the smoothness of the engine is all the more surprising as it's only a three cylinder but under light acceleration it remains surprisingly quiet.

Only when under pressure can you hear the distinct note of a three pot unit.

In the case of the model driven here the petrol engine was a 133bhp, 1.2-litre.

Mated to a seamless eight-speed automatic gearbox it gives crisp acceleration which always seems livelier than its 0-62mph official time of 9.4 seconds.

There's a choice of three driving modes, eco, comfort and sport and paddles behind the steering wheel allow you to change gear manually, which is particularly useful when it sport mode.

Not everyone will immediately appreciate the light steering but it does grow on you and it certainly makes the car easy to manoeuvre and park.

The top spec Shine plus models has an upmarket feel to it with heated leather seats with nice contrasting detailing and a 10-inch centre screen for satellite navigation and onboard features.

And one unusual feature is the hidden slide out draw in the dashboard immediately in front of the passenger to accommodate an iPad as well as a retractable bracket to mount it on for in-car use.

The traditional gear shift has been replaced by a small chrome knurled rocker switch and thereā€˜s an electric parking brake

Other impressive features include a reversing camera - which gives both a view of what's behind you and a birds-eye view from above - and a double decker boot system allowing you more flexibility with parcels and luggage.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C4 Shine Plus Pure Tech 130

Price: £26,610

Mechanical: 129bhp, 1,199cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via eight speed automatic gearbox.

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 9.4 secs

Combined MPG: 44.7-50.3

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 130g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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