Citroen C4: Performance points

  • Strong diesel engine offers excellent in-gear acceleration
  • 147bhp 2.0-litre diesel Citroen can do 0-62mph in 8.3s
  • Decent gearbox, but ride is still a bit of an issue for me

Something about the C4 that has impressed, from the very start of my time with the car, is its performance.

This model comes with the top-of-the-range diesel engine. The 2.0-litre unit produces 147bhp and that allows the C4 to complete the benchmark zero to 62mph sprint in just 8.3 seconds. Pulling power is a reasonable 340Nm.

The combination of these two figures means the C4 is excellent on long journeys. It gets up to motorway speeds quickly, and once there will cruise along quite happily.

The more impressive factor is the in-gear acceleration. Find yourself needing to overtake a slower car and you often don’t need to drop down a gear, like you might have to in a car with a smaller engine.

Something that French car companies haven’t always been renowned for are their gearboxes – that goes for you too, Peugeot and Renault. The Citroen doesn’t have the precise action that we admired so much in the Mazda3, but it doesn’t feel overly notchy or have an action that resembles stirring porridge in a bowl.

The C4's handling is competent enough, but that’s about it. The steering is well weighted, and firms up as the car gets up to speed. There’s not much feedback through the wheel though, and the car lacks the engagement of rivals like the Ford Focus.

Unfortunately, I do have some issues with the ride. The car seems to have been given a suspension setup that's designed to deliver a comfortable ride. The French firm has achieved its goal too. The car soaks up any bumps very well, again making it great for long distance journeys.

However, in attempting to deliver a high standard of ride comfort the C4 has ended up a little too soft. Get it on any flat road and there still seems to be movement. The car is either rocking from side-to-side, or if you go over any undulating surfaces it wallows up and down quite a bit. There’s also more body roll in the corners than I would like.

While these things annoy me a little, it’s a relatively small price to pay for a decent degree of comfort. In the four months I’ve been running the Citroen I haven’t had any problems with a sore back or anything else, despite a daily commute of 150 miles.

The C4 may lack the engagement of some of its key rivals, but the engine is good and, while the ride may be a bit unsettled, it is pretty comfortable.

This all makes the Citroen C4 a decent alternative to the big hitters in this sector of the market.

Current mileage: 15,728

Average mpg: 43.4