Citroen C4: Amongst distinguished company

  • We start six months with the Citroen hatch
  • How will it fare against the Astra and Golf?
  • Top-of-the-range diesel model on test

The Citroen C4 is going to have its work cut out on the Parkers fleet.

In the past year we've had the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus on our long-term list. As medium hatchbacks go, that’s a who’s who of top choices for car buyers.

The latest C4 is part of the manufacturer’s offensive on its rivals. Citroen has introduced cars like the new look C3, as well as more premium models such as the DS5, to take on the more popular competitors.

Sensibly we’ve gone with the diesel model, the most common choice. We've decided to opt for the top-of-the-range 2.0-litre version, with 150bhp and a six-speed manual gearbox. Maximum pulling power of 340Nm is just as important as outright power and it should mean it has plenty of low-down pull, making overtaking easy. This should help make my daily commute a little more bearable.

With this engine the C4 should be able to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 8.2 seconds, assuming there's no traffic around. Its top speed is 129mph, if I fancied getting in a bit of trouble with the law. The fact that Citroen claims it will average 56.6mpg will hopefully mean that I won't have to visit the petrol station too often, although I’m sure we’ll see just how accurate their figures are pretty soon.

To see what the C4 can really offer, we’ve also gone for the top Exclusive trim – note the ‘e’ at the end of that word, Vauxhall. This model starts at £21,645, and is the most expensive in the range. However, just like ‘Oliver’ I wanted ‘more’ so I’ve picked a couple of luxury additions to the equipment list.

Our car comes with the Vision pack at £800, which includes blind-spot detection, Xenon dual function headlights with washer jets and pearlescent paint for £500. Also on the ticked options list is MyWay sat nav and a Denon stereo system, costing £1,190, and a spare wheel for £50. All this brings our car, when new, to the princely sum of £24,235.

Being a year old, and with almost 11,000 miles on the clock, an identical used example should cost around £15,500 from a franchised dealer. Buy it privately and you should be able to get one for £14,550.

Check back regularly to see how we get on with our new Citroen C4.

Current mileage: 10,948

Average mpg: N/A