C4 1.6 e-HDi micro-hybrid VTR+ with EGS
knows exactly what real
customers really want in a car
and the new family-sized C4 5-door
hatchback delivers a customer-
focused driving solution...
TODAY, ALL REAL-LIFE CUSTOMERS want to pay less in the way of running costs
and taxes. They want more versatile vehicles able to carry passengers as well
as loads; they want more specification and generally a higher level of build
quality; and they want smart looking cars on their driveways.
aim with the new C4 more of an evolution of the outgoing version
is to meet those demands, and generally speaking they have done that. Of course
the price is going to be higher because of the increase in VAT in 2011 so prices
begin at £15,595 and range up to £21,495.
There are three petrol engines built in conjunction with BMW/MINI (1.4 and 1.6-litre
units with power outputs of 95, 120 and 155bhp) and four HDi PSA Peugeot-Citroen
turbodiesels (90, 110, 150bhp), and an e-HDi micro-hybrid 110bhp version.
on the engine chosen, transmission options are five- and six-speed manual and
conventional automatic or six-speed EGS automated clutchless manual gearboxes.
high quality of
new C4s interior finish
apparent and makes
for a satisfying
There are three trim and equipment levels, again depending on the choice of
engine: VTR, VTR+ (the likely best-seller) and Exclusive.
The new C4 has balanced proportions giving a clear impression of roominess,
on-road presence and conservative good looks. The flowing lines, purposeful
front end and a rear spoiler suggest optimised aerodynamics. Chrome detailing
combines with distinctive headlight styling, a longer wheelbase and sculpted
alloy wheels for a sophisticated kerbside appeal.
Fractionally larger than its forerunner, new C4's external dimensions are a
length of 4,329mm, width of 1,780mm and height of 1,494mm. The wheelbase of
2,608mm provides generous accommodation for all five occupants and a class-leading
boot volume of up to 408 litres (1,183 litres with the rear seats folded down).
The high quality of new C4's interior finish is immediately apparent from the
tactile soft-touch material on the top of the one-piece, moulded soft-feel dashboard
and the generous amounts of chrome around the dials and vents. It gives a satisfying
on-board experience as well as long-term durability.
The new C4's driver-focused cockpit delivers a feeling of on-road comfort and
refinement. The layout of the controls initially looks a touch 'busy', but they
are soon worked out.
Key aspects of the cabin can be tailored to individual requirements with, for
instance, users able to set the intensity of the automatic air-conditioning
to one of three different settings; adjust the colour of the instrument display
and select their own 'polyphonic' sound alerts. For more levels of comfort,
new C4 can be specified with massage front seats the first time
this has been offered in this sector of the market.
C4 also offers a range of convenient technologies, a number of which are unique
to the segment. There is a new blind-spot monitoring system, a cornering light
function, cruise control and speed-limiter with favourite speed settings plus
CitroŽn's innovative eTouch Emergency & Assistance System.
includes front and rear
parking space gap
and a tyre pressure
Selected models feature a new raised centre console another first
for the class which houses a cooled and illuminated storage area
that can take four half-litre bottles.
Other available equipment includes a Connecting Box that provides Bluetooth
and a USB socket, front and rear parking sensors, parking space 'gap' measurement,
Xenon dual-function directional headlamps and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
With CO2 emissions from 109g/km, the new C4 is one of the most ecologically-conscious
models in the segment and all diesel models qualify for free VED road tax in
the first year. A Gear Efficiency Indicator standard specification
on all manual models signals the optimum moment to change gear
and encourages economical driving.
Most significant news from the media presentation was the introduction of CitroŽn's
innovative micro-hybrid e-HDi drivetrain with the HDi 110 turbodiesel engine
and EGS automated clutchless transmission which delivers CO2 emissions as low
A combination of several environmentally-considerate technologies
including a second generation Stop & Start system with regenerative braking
e-HDi helps to improve fuel efficiency by up to 15% in city driving
conditions, with CO2 emissions reduced by around 5g/km. And, as already mentioned,
the low CO2 figure means no road tax in the first year of registration and then
just £30 a year thereafter. For company car drivers, the tax burden is only
Officially, the e-HDi model will return 64.2mpg in the Combined Cycle and on
the hilly Cotswold roads my test car obliged with a very impressive 57.5mpg.
More good news: the Stop & Start system worked really well taking your
foot off the brake causes the engine to immediately fire back into life without
For the high mileage user this should be their model of choice. It is nice and
easy to live with, day-in and day-out. With the most popular VTR+ specification
this version costs £19,695 just £800 more than the volume-selling non-micro-hybrid
1.6-litre 110 HDi version.
retail buyers who cover less distances, the most popular model will be the 1.6
VTi 120bhp petrol version with VTR+ specification costing £17,595. Its fuel
economy is officially 45.8mpg but in real-life on the same Cotswold test route
(same load, same speeds) the figure was 37.6mpg.
will return 64.2mpg
in the Combined Cycle
and on the
hilly Cotswold roads
my test car obliged
with a very impressive
Relatively good, but 20mpg less than the micro-hybrid turbodiesel and not a
lot quicker in outright performance.
However this petrol version does cost £2,100 less to buy but the road tax is
more costly (at £125) and benefit-in-kind company car tax is 4% more. Get the
calculator out to see which the best buy between the two is: eco-minded retail
buyers or high-mileage business users will go the diesel route; lower mileage
retail customers will stick with the petrol models.
With the new C4, Citroen promised to deliver features and functions that customers
really want. And, yes it is very comfortable, yes it is very roomy, yes it is
well built, and yes it is well equipped. Plus the handling is improved (although
it's not dynamic, which isn't that important). The suspension performs best
with the 16-inch alloy wheels fitted to VTR+ versions over the 17-inch items
standard on Exclusive variants.
Against? The EGS clutchless transmission is an acquired taste and not as smooth
or as slick as conventional full auto systems, 17-inch wheels do not cope well
with UK road surfaces, and supple ride control is suited to comfort rather than
That noted, you do get a high specification, improved build quality and five-star
safety rating. The new C4's also very roomy, very comfortable, eco friendly
with low running costs and it does deliver on most of Citroen's aims and promises.
More importantly, it meets the demands of real customers in today's market.
Citroen C4 1.6 e-HDi micro-hybrid VTR+ with EGS | £19,695
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 11.2 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 110bhp | Torque: 199lb ft | CO2 109g/km