The C4 is an incredible mid-sized, five-door family hatchback. There’s a whole host of engines and fuel types to choose from, including a fully electric version and a trim level to suit even the fussiest of buyers.
The goodOutstanding comfort and value
The badSteering is a little light
Citroen C4 & e-C4 – First Drive (2021)
Citroen has added to the appeal of its new latest generation C4 family hatchback thanks to the extra choice of an all-electric version that joins the more traditional petrol and diesel variants.
Boasting a raised ride height and with the likes of the Nissan Leaf and VW ID.3 in its sights, Citroen hopes the new electric C4 will impress potential buyers with its dynamic hatchback design, wealth of on-board technology, practical dimensions and driving range of up to 217 miles between charges.
Driving the five-door e-C4 is a 50kWh battery working with a 136hp electric motor and the vehicle can sprint to 62mph from a standstill in 9.0 seconds, maxing out at 93mph. Charging takes 7 hours and 30 minutes from a 7kW home wallbox, but an 80 per cent charge can be achieved in just 30 minutes if using a rapid charger.
Although there are strong similarities, technology-wise at least, with stablemates the Peugeot e-2008 and the DS3 Crossback E-TENSE, the Citroen e-C4 certainly has plenty of character of its own.
It costs from £30,395, is available in three trim levels and boasts modern, stylish, robust good looks when viewed from any angle. Design cues include the new v-shaped light signature with LED headlights plus chrome chevrons spanning the width of the car. There is a sloping rear window, distinctive rear light clusters, rear spoiler and smart 18-inch alloys to complete the look.
We tested the range-topping Shine Plus e-C4 model priced at £32,545 which included the Government’s plug in car grant of £3,000, although a few optional extras saw the final cost creep up to £33,090. It is more expensive than the ICE models that start from £21,005, but the running costs will be far lower especially with the zero-carbon emissions figure bringing many tax incentives.
Step inside and the interior is beautifully upmarket and packed with all the latest technology you could possibly wish for. There is a 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, audio streaming and Bluetooth, a TomTom sat nav system, head-up display, wireless smartphone charging, a DAB digital radio with six speakers, a heated steering wheel, a reversing camera, plus electrically-adjustable leather and textile seats that can be heated.
The driver benefits from good all-round visibility thanks to the slightly elevated seating position and all the controls, dials and readouts are simple to operate on the fly. The touchscreen features sharp graphics and the menus are user-friendly with a separate panel to operate the climate control system.
When it comes to performance, the e-C4 certainly lives up to all the big build up. It starts up in complete silence and the pull-away power is instant. There is a Brake gear that can be selected that increases the energy regenerated through braking which means single pedal driving is almost possible in stop/start city centre driving.
Then out on the open road, there is ample acceleration through the single speed automatic transmission. The road holding is assured and body sway is kept to an absolute minimum.
The driver can switch between various modes called Eco, Normal and Power that alter the car’s characteristics between performance and more economical driving. And a special mention to the excellent suspension system that does an excellent job of maximising comfort levels for all occupants.
In fact, comfort is an area Citroen prides itself on in recent years and the latest C4 is a perfect example of that with the brand’s innovative suspension system featuring Progressive Hydraulic Cushions which help smooth out the roughest surfaces.
My only minor gripe was the fairly light steering – this is ideal in busier city centre settings where lots of manoeuvring is needed, but a little more weight would be preferable when firing through the faster B roads and country lanes.
For added peace of mind, the battery on the Citroen e-C4 comes with a warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles for 70 per cent of charge capacity.
In addition to the EV, customers can choose between four petrol and two diesel-powered C4 models along with four trim levels called Sense, Sense Plus, Shine and Shine Plus (entry-level Sense trim is not available on the e-C4).
We had a run out in the C4 PureTech three-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol model with eight-speed automatic transmission. This car could complete the 0-62mph dash in 9.4 seconds and topped out at 130mph while delivering a combined 44.7-50.3mpg with carbon emissions of 131g/km.
Priced at £26,605 (£27,355 with options), this model also impressed out on the road. Drive it back-to-back with the e-C4 and it seems quite noisy by comparison. But, in reality, the petrol engine is beautifully refined. The acceleration through the gears is smooth and responsive and once again, the car was happy powering along lanes, clocking up motorway miles or pottering through the crowded villages along the way. Steering wheel-mounted paddles offer added driver engagement.
When it comes to practicality, all C4 models have a boot that can swallow 380 litres of kit – a limit that increases to 1,250 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. And there are lots of handy storage spaces throughout the car too, including a large glovebox, a practically-sized central cubby area, door bins, pockets in the seat backs, cup holders and some useful trays. There is a clever retractable system that pops out the dashboard designed to hold a tablet computer, which is a first for Citroen and available as a £100 optional extra.
And as one would expect, the French car maker has packed the vehicle with a comprehensive list of safety features and driver assist aids, including active safety brake, active lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, blind spot monitoring, highway driver assist, driver attention alert, collision risk alert and post collision safety brake, traffic sign recognition, plus lots more besides.
The new Citroen C4 is the first C-segment car from parent company Stellantis to be offered with petrol, diesel or 100 per cent electric powertrains so customers have the maximum choice without any compromise on performance, design or practicality.
Citroen C4 Picasso BlueHDi 120 S&S 6-speed manual Feel
Citroen has always had a bold approach to car design and never shied away from some unusual styles over the years, but the latest C4 Picasso people carrier is the perfect combination all that imagination and know-how.
Boasting fabulous styling, great economy and some futuristic design cues, it proves that practical and versatile vehicles do not have to look like a box on wheels.
Instead the C4 Picasso features flowing lines complemented by smart 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, 3D-effect rear lights, plenty of chrome trim, tinted rear windows and a massive panoramic windscreen with electric sliding blind that allows light to flood the cabin.
The test car, in mid-range Feel trim, included some optional extras such as a bi-tone black roof, xenon headlights, metallic paint and some additional interior kit such as a reversing camera and driver assist pack, and these bumped up the asking price from £22,750 to £25,470.
But even without the extras, the interior of the C4 Picasso is generously equipped with plenty of techno treats to be discovered, including an infotainment touchscreen, sat nav, a six speaker sound system with DAB digital radio, dual zone air conditioning, a multi-function premium leather steering wheel, Bluetooth and all the smartphone connectivity functions we have come to expect in cars these days.
Obviously flexibility and practicality are vital qualities when developing an MPV and the C4 Picasso has it just right with three full-size rear seats with individual controls to slide, tilt and recline. The legroom in the back is plentiful and the high roofline means there is ample headroom for all occupants – even those of the taller variety.
Storage options have been well thought out and the boot has a 630-litre capacity that can be increased to 1,851 litres with the rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there is a ventilated and illuminated glovebox, a central storage cubby with lighting, front door pockets, front seat back pockets, storage drawers under the driver and front passenger seats, rear underfloor storage and a fixed centre storage box with sliding lid.
The test car was powered by a 1.5-litre 118bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It could reach 62mpg from a standing start in 11.3 seconds and had a top speed of 117mph. According to official figures it delivers combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg with carbon emissions of 100g/km.
One of the first things you notice when you get behind the steering wheel is just how bright and spacious the interior of the vehicle is with quite a futuristic layout. All the controls, dials and readouts are easily accessible but there is a clutter-free layout with an upmarket soft-touch dashboard.
And when it comes to performance and handling the C4 Picasso certainly lives up to all the hype. In busy, congested city centre traffic the high-seated driving position, along with the larger-than-life windows offer excellent all-round visibility and the parking sensors help make light work when squeezing into narrow spaces. In addition, the car is nice and agile with power assisted steering to help manoeuvrability.
Then out on the faster roads and motorways, acceleration through the gears is both smooth and responsive with a constant stream of power on tap. You can expect a little body roll if bends are taken too briskly and there is a little engine and road surface noise, but the interior is generally well-insulated against outside noise.
Comfort levels are high for all occupants and with a comprehensive array of first class safety features, the C4 Picasso is certainly the complete package for anyone seeking a stylish people carrier that is generously equipped, drives well, is practical and won’t break the bank.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso – first drive
Citroen’s latest people carrier is likely to see rival manufacturers scuttling back to the drawing board – it’s that good.
Designers have a seemingly impossible task when creating a seven-seater and most models fall rather short on the flair and design stakes, but that’s not the case with Citroen’s stunning new Grand C4 Picasso.
It is priced from £19,200 to £27,855 and looks amazing from all angles with a richly-equipped interior that is deceptively spacious for all occupants.
Citroen UK’s Communications Director, James Parfett, explained the criteria for the new generation model.
He said: “It had to be spacious with room for seven, the surroundings had to be comfortable and practicality was fundamental. It needed to boast low running costs so it would represent real value for money.
“Safety was paramount, style and design was important and technology was a desirable factor.”
That’s quite a hit list then, but Citroen seems to have ticked all the boxes.
There are four trim levels to select from – VTR, VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+ – along with a range of efficient engines and transmissions to suit all needs.
And like many models these days, the latest Grand C4 Picasso has shed the pounds and is now 110kgs lighter than the outgoing model.
This results in increased fuel efficiency and carbon emissions that have been reduced by an average of 30g.
The eye-catching Grand C4 Picasso certainly looks stylish from any approach with its distinctive badging, pronounced roofline, rounded nose, stylish light clusters with 3D-effect rear lamps, integrated roofbar and smart alloys.
The interior is bright, spacious and inviting with light flooding the cabin through the panoramic windscreen and numerous windows – a glass roof is an optional extra.
The car is uncluttered and modern in its design with an array of technical wizardry. There are two large colour display screens and the vehicle’s many functions such as temperature, car’s settings, sat nav, audio, multi-media and Bluetooth are always just two taps away.
Versatility, flexibility and ease of use are key features on any class-leading people carrier and that’s certainly the case on the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. There are three rows of seats – the second row consists of three individual adult seats with sliding bases and tilting backs. The third row of seats can be folded flat to the boot floor or raised in a matter of seconds with one hand tied behind tour back.
There’s a number of storage compartments throughout the cabin and with the rear seats folded flat, the boot’s load capacity is 632 litres. This is increased to 2,181 litres with the second row also folded flat.
Comfort levels are good for all occupants although there is limited space in the third row and these seats will only really be suitable for children.
Citroen believes that 90 per cent of the Grand C4 Picasso’s sales will be diesel and that the e-HDi 115 diesel model with six-speed manual transmission will be the biggest seller.
So, that’s the vehicle we put through its paces. It was the Exclusive grade priced £23,255 (£24,700 with options fitted) and can reach from 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds with a top speed of 117mph.
According to Citroen figures it is exceptionally frugal with combined fuel efficiency of 70.6mpg and carbon emissions of 105g/km.
From the moment you take your seat behind the multi-function leather steering wheel it’s impossible not to be impressed with the stylish surroundings, build quality and excellent comfort levels.
All-round visibility is first-rate and there is a separate smaller mirror so you can keep a watchful eye on passengers in the back.
The handling was flawless and the acceleration through the automatic transmission was both smooth and responsive.
We didn’t quite match the official economy figures, possibly because our test route meant we spent a lot of time in built-up traffic which would have had a detrimental effect on the final reading.
Another plus factor worthy of note is how beautifully quiet the vehicle is. Even when pushed hard, there is very little engine, wind or road surface noise to be heard – which is surprising for such a large car.
Safety specifications are very comprehensive and the Grand C4 Picasso has been awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests.
All in all, the latest arrival from Citroen is an excellent all-rounder and it would seem that the Grand C4 Picasso is certainly the seven-seater to beat.
Citroen C4 Picasso (2013)
The family market is an incredibly important sector and manufacturers really have to pull out all the stops to attract new buyers.
High on the wish list is versatility, practicality, economy, appearance and of course, safety.
Thankfully, Citroen’s latest C4 Picasso model meets all those demands and throws in a few extras along the way.
Although the third generation model is 4cms shorter and 4cms lower, Citroen has somehow managed to increase the space for occupants on the inside and back seat passengers are now treated to class-leading legroom.
There’s certainly no mistaking this is a vehicle aimed firmly at the family buyer and with three individual rear seats that can be adjusted and large rear windows to look out of, it caters for all passengers, little or large.
The C4 Picasso comes with a choice of engines – two petrol and three diesels, with an additional diesel version being added in November and there is a choice of four trim levels which are all richly equipped with state-of-the-art technology and creature comforts.
These are VTR, VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+ and there are a number of optional packs available too where numerous luxurious touches can be added such as massaging seats, park assist and a lane departure warning system that tightens the seatbelt if you wander off course.
Citroen has also taken on board the demand for information on the go these days and buyers can subscribe to Citroen’s Multicity Connect which links up to the internet. This option is priced at £299 and is just one of the tempting add-ons available.
As a brand, Citroen has never shied away from making design statements and this latest model is another fine example of that theory.
Eye-catching features depending on the model selected, include LED daytime running lights, smooth streamlining with a sculpted front end, a clam-shell tailgate opening and incredible 3D rear light clusters that fade in ever-decreasing circles.
And once you take your seat inside the vehicle, it’s impossible not to be wowed by the level of technology at your disposal.
The focal point is two colour display screens controlled via touch pads, which form the central control hub of the car.
And there are techno treats galore to be discovered.
I tested the highly impressive Exclusive e-HDi 115 Airdream model with six-speed manual transmission, priced at £22,075 with £520 optional extras and it oozed class throughout.
The first factor to impress apart from the car’s looks and technology is just how quiet the cabin remains even at higher speeds where road or engine noise seems almost non-existent.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine delivered plenty of oomph and there was a constant supply of power on tap as it moved smoothly through the six-speed manual transmission.
A massive panoramic windscreen offers brilliant visibility and the slide-adjustable sun visors are a really nice touch.
Families don’t travel lightly and the C4 Picasso boasts a generously-sized boot with split-folding rear seats to increase storage capacity if required.
There are additional under-floor storage options plus numerous smaller compartments scattered throughout the cabin.
Citroen has reduced the weight of the latest C4 Picasso and that means improved economy.
In fact, the test car can achieve 70.6mpg with carbon emissions of 105g/km.
It’s not exactly the fastest kid on the block, but can sprint from 0-62mph in a very respectable 11.8 seconds and has a top speed of 117mph.
The car comes complete with a comprehensive range of safety features and has been awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings.
To date, three million models have been sold since its introduction back in 1999 and Citroen Europe has already taken 10,000 pre-orders of the new car which speaks volumes for the C4 Picasso’s all-round appeal.
Citroen C4 1.6 Hdi 90hp VTR+ (manual)
If you’re looking for a stylish, reliable, well-equipped, comfortable and affordable car then look no further than Citroen’s new C4 range.
Bursting with quality features and delivering excellent fuel economy figures, the C4 is available with an engine size and fuel type to suit all requirements and then there are three trim levels to select from too.
From the second you lay eyes on this mid-sized, five-door hatchback, you cannot fail to notice its sleek lines and muscular build quality. The elegant front end boasts a neat grille and snazzy light clusters, whereas from the rear, the C4 has a very muscular appearance complimented by tinted rear and tailgate windows and a glossy spoiler.
And that style and quality continues throughout the cabin, which offers business class levels of comfort with all dials and controls perfectly positioned for ease of use and clarity.
There are three main circular dials delivering information on revs, speed and fuel levels and these are neatly set off in neon blue lighting, which can easily be adjusted to suit the driver’s tastes.
Elsewhere the list of quality features seems almost endless. The mid-range VTR+ priced at just over £18.2k has air con with pollen filter, height and reach adjustable multi-functional steering wheel, an excellent sound system with six speakers and surround sound. There are even three memory settings for the cruise control function which can be very useful to combat the ever-growing number of average speed checks on our roads today.
Comfort levels are exceptional and no journey would be too long in the C4. The dashboard is non-reflective which is a bonus and has a rather spongy feel to it, and there are splashes of silver trim neatly positioned around the cabin.
Despite being just 90bhp, the 1.6-litre diesel-driven engine delivered excellent power and acceleration as it moved rapidly and smoothly through the five-speed manual transmission.
The ride was exceptionally smooth as all bumps and dips were absorbed by the suspension and all-round visibility is very good.
Another factor that was impressive was how quiet the cabin was, even at higher speeds on bumpy roads and there’s plenty of room for all the family to travel in comfort.
I was lucky enough to test drive the petrol version of 1.6 C4 with the slightly higher 120bhp and I have to say the diesel wins hands down. It seemed to always have that little bit extra to offer when it came to power and handling over the petrol model.
Storage levels are class-leading in the new C4 with a very generously-sized boot that can easily be enlarged thanks to 60:40 split folding rear seats. Elsewhere, the glove box is illuminated and there are a couple of other useful storage compartments. (The top-of-the-range Exclusiv model boasts a cooler box that can hold four one-litre bottles – very useful on long, hot journeys).
As one would expect, the C4 has been awarded the maximum five stars in the NCAP safety tests and it has a very comprehensive list of features, including anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, emergency braking assistance and intelligent traction control, hill start assist, numerous airbags throughout and plenty more besides.
Citroen claims the C4 is loaded with their technology and to be perfectly honest it’s a very accurate assessment – rival manufacturers will have to go a long way to match it.
Citroen C4 Picasso 2.0 Exclusive 5-seat
It’s been widely acknowledged amongst vehicle manufacturers that motorists like a bright, light and spacious cabin to drive round in.
So, enter the C4 Picasso which almost equates to driving along in a greenhouse… but in the best possible sense.
With a massive panoramic glass windscreen, this five-seater compact multi-purpose vehicle boasts incredible comfort levels for all occupants and the spec and trim quality inside doesn’t disappoint either.
There is a distinct clutter-free feel inside the cabin with all controls, dials and read-outs perfectly positioned for ease of use.
Many operations are controlled via paddles on the steering wheel and all the driver information is grouped neatly together on a digital screen positioned in the centre of the dashboard.
In addition, all these settings and colours can be personalised to suit each individual’s taste.
The drive itself was not disappointing either, with the 2.0-litre engine delivering a powerful and responsive ride.
My only gripe was the automatic transmission which lacked a certain smoothness – I found I was pressing the accelerator desperately at times for it to change up through the gears, but to no avail – maybe it just needed a little fine tuning.
The C4 boasts striking good looks and, like many Citroens over the years, is guaranteed to stand out in any busy car park.
And as one might expect from Citroen, the C4 is crammed with first class safety features including anti-lock brakes, tyre pressure monitors, hill start assist and rear parking sensors to name just a few.
All in all, a great all-rounder that appeals on so many fronts, but you just can’t get away from that massive screen – the biggest in its class – that opens up the vehicle to so much natural sunlight. You could probably even grow some lovely tomatoes in there if pushed!