By Mike Torpey on 2022-09-12 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Citroen C4 1.2
PureTech 130 Sense
THE C4 may be one of French brand Citroen's most cutting-edge models but believe it or not the name has actually been around since 1928.
And in that 94-year stretch the popular compact car has surpassed a sales figure of a whopping 12.5 million.
You don't shift that number of motors without learning some lessons on the way, and the C4 along with its sister electric variant the E-C4 has evolved into one of the most desirable small cars on the market.
Our model was from the lower end of the trim grade scale yet was nonetheless extensively kitted out with plenty of standard equipment.
The C4 is a stylish-looking car anyway with its racy, dynamic lines and the gloss black trim surrounding the 10-inch touchscreen at the heart of the dash only adds to the effect.
While safety and efficiency are high on the priority list the latest C4, aided by a few styling tweaks for 2022, places a healthy emphasis on passenger comfort.
At the forefront is something called the Citroen Advanced Comfort programme, based around "progressive hydraulic cushions" to provide a flying carpet effect - even over uneven surfaces.
Then there's another innovation in the shape of Advanced Comfort seats in an attractive mid-grey colour with visible padding, softness and support plus high density foam to avoid any sagging over time.
The combination of it all is a cabin that's not only modern - sculpted fabric with panelled white stitching - but spacious too.
Legroom is surprisingly generous in the back, where a centre rear passenger can sit comfortably flat, even when the front seats are slid fully back.
Stowage space is well considered with a pair of cupholders behind the six-speed manual gearshift, bottle holders in each front door bin, two rubberised trays up front, a flip-up central container and magazine flaps in the front seat backs.
And if you need more luggage space than the 380-litre boot with its split level floor can accommodate then the rear seats split and fold 60/40 and completely flat.
You also get a low sill for easier loading and there are also pockets at each side of the carrying area - all family-friendly and sensible.
Other practical compartments include a sliding drawer on the dashboard ideal for storing a tablet and cup holders in the rear armrest.
Both petrol and diesel engines are up for grabs with power outputs between 100 and 155bhp as well as the 100 per cent electric powertrain and our tested model was the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol unit developing 129bhp.
Light and spirited, this unit was everything you would need in a car of this type while at the same time returning impressive fuel economy.
Our own return, recorded over 290 miles of mixed urban and motorway driving, was 44.7 miles per gallon, which compares favourably with the official Combined figure of 47.3mpg.
Citroen's sales pitch of a magic carpet ride wasn't far off the mark and the cabin remained well insulated against exterior wind and road noise throughout.
In fact the only feature we didn't appreciate was the split vision caused by the bar across the rear windscreen.
The C4 is comes well specified through the model range, which starts at £20,020 and features up to 20 driving assistance systems plus half a dozen connectivity technologies developed to boost safety and improve comfort.
Citroen C4 1.2 PureTech 130 Sense Plus
Mechanical:129bhp, 1,199cc, 3-cyl turbo petrol engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission
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