4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Distinctive hatchback majors on comfort

Citroën C4 Hatchback (21 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
Enlarge 66 photos

At a glance

New price £21,260 - £28,550
Used price £14,125 - £20,845
Used monthly cost From £353 per month
Fuel Economy 44.0 - 69.1 mpg
Road tax cost £155
Insurance group 13 - 22 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Ride comfort and general quietness
  • Eager and efficient engines
  • Spacious, minimalist interior

CONS

  • Go elsewhere if you want sportiness
  • No hybrid models available
  • Divisive styling won't universally appeal

Citroën C4 Hatchback rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

Good things come to those who wait, they say, which should bode well for the third-generation Citroen C4. It has, after all, been a long time coming.

In essence it replaces two cars: the very conservative and not fondly remembered previous-generation Citroen C4, as well as the far more interesting C4 Cactus. Consequently, it has to look quirky enough to attract Cactus owners, but not so weird as to put off those who prefer their cars to be more vanilla. Whether the new C4 could be considered mainstream is open to debate, but it's the only model of this size that Citroen offers in any bodystyle.

While it has styling that stands out from the crowd, which should please Citroen fans, the French brand is hoping that the C4 will also appeal to family car drivers who might be considering a medium-sized SUV – primarily because its range doesn't contain such a model. As a result, it combines Citroen's slender LED daytime-running lights with chunky wheelarches and side cladding, finished off with a coupe-like roofline. It's a concoction of styles that works well if you have a taste for the unconventional.

Rivals? Well, you could choose from a wealth of compact family hatchbacks or SUVs, but nothing is really close in concept to the Citroen. Of the hatchback contingent, you could be less daring and plump for a Ford Focus, Kia Ceed, SEAT Leon or Volkswagen Golf

Extending the net to SUVs, you might find the C4 on the same shopping list as the Kia XCeed, Toyota C-HR or Volkswagen T-Roc.

Styling is unconventional

How the C4 looks is definitely a talking point. It's a sleek, tapered design with lots of Citroen's current and heritage design cues melded together. The firm says it's highly aerodynamic, which should help it achieve good fuel consumption figures as well as contribute to the car's overall low wind noise levels at speed.

It gets the interesting variation on Citroen's split-level lighting arrangement up front, with dark plastic bodywork trims that echo the company's SUVs. At the back are more split-level lights, together with a rear windscreen bisected by a rear spoiler, a nod to a similar feature on the older C4 Coupe.

Overal it has a dramatic profile, with interesting crease lines pressed into the bodywork. Plus, it's higher off the ground than a typical hatchback, which results in a slightly elevated driving position.

Difficult to pigeonhole, rather like Citroens of old, and all the more interesting for it.

What's under the skin?

It's an unconventional effort inside, with an all-digital instrument set-up and minimised set of controls that's limited to a row of buttons underneath the central infotainment screen, but it's also sombre with its acres of black plastics and a lack of stylised details that made the C4 Cactus feel special even though it was relatively inexpenive.

One notable change is the return of physical buttons for the air-condition controls and multimedia system, plus most of the car's functions can be operated by voice control, which works very effectively.

As for engines, there are five options to choose from (not including the all-electric e-C4 reviewed separately) – the excellent three-cylinder PureTech petrols in 100, 130 and 155hp forms, and the four-cylinder BlueHDi diesel rated at 110 and 130hp. Petrol-engined C4s are expected to account for over 80% of sales

All manual models have six-speed transmissions, while the optional automatic is an eight-speeder known as the EAT8. Hybrids don't form part of the offering.

The suspension system gets Citroen's Progressive Hydraulic Cushions as part of the firm's Advanced Comfort system, with a view to offering the best ride comfort and refinement in comparable cars. As part of this, the C4 also gets seats that incorporate firm springing with memory foam to give more comfort and compliance, and extensive soundproofing.

What models are available?

The C4 model range is easy to understand, and is available in a range of 31 exterior colour combinations, once you take into account the various bodywork highlighting options.

There are four trim levels to choose from – Sense, Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus, all of which fall under Citroen's new fair pricing initiative. LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.0-inch infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane-Keep Assist and dual-zone climate control are all as standard on all models, so even if you go for the entry-level Sense version it won't feel basic.

Sense Plus adds a head-up display, sat-nav and a reversing camera, while the plusher Shine models gain safety equipment including traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and blind spot assist. Top-of-the range Shine Plus adds a premium stereo, leather seats with electric adjustment and heating, four USB sockets and wireless smartphone charging.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Citroen C4 including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Citroën C4 Hatchback rivals

Other Citroën C4 models: