Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Available with three petrols, two diesels
  • Manuals and automatics available
  • PureTech 130 hits the sweet spot

What engine options are there?

It is unusual for a car to be available with a wide range of from the get-go, but that’s what Citroen’s done with the C4, including the all-electric e-C4, covered in a separate review. It comes with a choice of three petrol engines and two diesels. These are spun from two basic power units, the excellent 1.2-litre PureTech petrol and the efficient 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel.

Petrol engines

Engine Power and torque
0-62mph time
Top speed
PureTech 100 manual 100hp, 200Nm 10.1secs 114mph
PureTech 130 manual 131hp, 230Nm 8.9secs 130mph
PureTech 130 EAT8 automatic 131hp, 230Nm 9.4secs 130mph
PureTech 155 EAT8 automatic 155hp, 250Nm 8.1 secs 121mph

View full specs

The PureTech 130 is an excellent engine and despite its modest engine capacity, it’s punchy enough to result in a really entertaining drive. It’s smooth and quiet at low speeds and revs really strongly when you want to drive quickly. 

At 8.9 seconds for the 0-62mph acceleration benchmark, the manual is half a second quicker than the automatic, but it’s not all about performance – especially in a car that’s not designed to be a hot hatch.

Where the automatic version is smooth and suffers little gearbox dithering where it decides whether to change down or stay in the existing ratio, the manual version isn’t as satifying. Chief culprit is – as is often the case with Citroens – a shift action that feels baggy and rubbery, as though the gearlever had already endured a hard life as a minicab.

Citroen C4 (2021) handling

Diesel engine

Engine Power and torque
0-62mph time
Top speed
BlueHDi 110 manual 110hp, 250Nm 11.1secs 119mph
BlueHDi 130 EAT8 automatic 131hp, 300Nm 9.5secs 128mph

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The diesel version is definitely the one to have if you’re a long-distance driver. It ticks over at less than 2,000rpm at the legal limit and even in when fully loaded, it has little problem dealing with steep motorway inclines. It’s an easygoing power unit that just gets on and delivers all the power needed, without too much fuss.

However, it’s not anywhere near as smooth as the petrol, and especially at low revs, the diesel clatter just feels intrusive in a car otherwise so smooth and refined. There’s no arguing with the economy and range it delivers – but somehow it feels slightly misplaced here.

Handling

  • There’s some bodyroll in corners
  • Light steering makes this an easy drive
  • Tidy handling, despite soft suspension

This is nice and easy because it’s clear that Citroen has honed this car for comfort rather than sporty handling. However, despite its soft suspension that benefits from the Citroen Advanced Comfort programme (which brings you Progressive Hydraulic Cushions for its suspension and Advance Comfort seats), it feels light on its feet in corners and has tidy and accurate handling.

There’s a degree of bodyroll that you’d expect from a car that rides so softly, but it’s nowhere near as roly-poly as Citroens of old, and the overall body control is excellent, so it always feels planted and stable at speed. Whereas the C5 Aircross SUV can lurch and wallow in bends, the C4 rolls a little and tracks the corner smoothly – an excellent effort.

But for those who like a sporty-feeling car, with super-quick steering that keenly turns into bends like a go-kart, this is not for you.

Citroen C4 (2021) handling, view from rear