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Citroën e-C4 X long-term test

2022 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by Tom Webster Published: 13 January 2023 Updated: 23 March 2023

In various dimensions the Citroen e-C4 X is bigger and yet less practical than C4 it’s based on. Taller, and with larger luggage capacity, it seems like an ideal upgrade for family use, but the hatchback boot is swapped for saloon security and cleaner lines. Just what is going on here?!

Report 1: Welcome

Citroen e-C4 Xdriving

I had quite a few nitro-fuel powered models growing up – a fly-by wire aeroplane that flew in circles while you span on the spot, a helicopter that disappeared in high winds on its maiden voyage, and of course a succession of remote-control cars.

To a ten-year-old petrolhead these were the biggest source of unfulfilled exhilaration possible. A car with a real engine! That I can drive myself! Except of course, for every minute of joy came another 99 of abject faffery.

Neither YouTube nor Google existed then and so I had about as much chance of learning the dark art of tuning a nitro motor as I did solving a Rubik’s Cube. That’s before you address the issues of storing nitro fuel, and once running, the noise and the unwanted attention it attracted.

Now I have a son of similar age, I converted us to Lipo-battery remote-control cars with about as much hesitation as you see at the start line of a 100 metre Olympic final. They’re just better – almost zero set-up time, silent in operation, and clean enough to be stored on a bookshelf inside the house. Electricity is the future of miniature propulsion.

How is this relevant to the Citroen e-C4 X?

You think this enthusiasm for rechargeable propulsion would scale up from 1/10th to full-sized daily transportation too, but so far, I’ve been pretty wary of electric vehicles. It doesn’t help that we don’t have a wallbox charger at home, but I just like engines too much.

So, this Citroen e-C4 X has a bit of an uphill battle on its hands in terms of convincing me. In terms of size, it’s more compact than the C5 X long termer it replaces but has a bigger boot. I liked that car a lot, but its large footprint and small luggage capacity were my principal complaints. So the EV is off to a flying start.

I also really liked the old C4 Cactus in all its incarnations, and this car traces its roots and ethos back to that one. A bit weird, but ultimately focussed on making me and my family as comfortable as possible, is the overarching theme in this product line.

What version is this?

We can dive into the full spec in a later update but for now you need to know that this is a Shine Plus model with a 50kWh battery. That’s about half the capacity of a larger, more powerful EV, but still comes with the promise of 220 miles of range when full.

Of course, this depends hugely on how and where you drive (as it does with an ICE car, in fairness) with fast motorway journeys sapping the power at a much quicker rate than pottering around town. Still, 100kW charging means you only need 30 minutes to fill the battery back up to 80%.

Trouble is, there are caveats here too – you only get that charging rate in ideal circumstances, such as being hooked up to a 100kW DC charger on a warm day with no other EVs around. And even then, you won’t get 100kW for the duration of the charge, because it’s slower at the start and end.

How fast has the Citroen e-C4 X been charging?

I’ve been getting rates in the 20 and 30kWs during the depths of winter, and although it’s improving now the weather’s turning, I’ve still only seen speeds around 50-60kW.

This is painting a negative picture because regular rapid public charging is unlikely to be the norm for most EV owners who have wallboxes at home – and I can charge seamlessly from any percentage to full during the hours I’m at work, on the 22kW sockets at the office.

It’s been a bit of a learning curve, but we’ve adapted to it quickly, and my early impressions are that the benefits of electric power far outweigh the negatives. It’s quiet, smooth, with plenty of torque to make easy progress. Those are the basic requirements ticked, for a start.

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