I bought this car (now referred to as the Lemon) from a Citroen dealer, who shall be nameless. I was the second owner of this 2005 55-registered car with 24,000 miles.
The Lemon was plagued with problems that the dealer would not accept were evident - cruise control, speed limiter, brakes, a smell of petrol and a rough engine.
Finally, seven weeks later, the dealer reversed the deal, gave me my old car and money back and took back the Lemon.
What a lucky escape.
I have now had this car for 2000 miles and remain extremely impressed.
Previous reviews I've read of this car suggest that it is competent in every area without really topping the class in any. For me the key areas are all excellent, the engine in particular is first class. French diesels have long been regarded as some as the best and this one clearly shows why: it's refined throughout the rev range, pulling smoothly from around 1500rpm all the way beyond 4000rpm. Build quality also steps up considerably from previous efforts.
The suspension set-up is another strong area, relaxing at slower speeds and controlled when pushing on a little; a fine balance has been struck. The interior is leagues beyond previous Citroens in recent memory, inovative and imaginative - so missing in many other cars around.
On the whole the C4 really does impress; the French strengths of comfort and relaxation are added to the huge range of creature comforts far to long to list (although somewhat lacking cup holders) making this one of the finest cars in the class - huge value for money, driving competance, build quality and imagination, well worth my money.
I've had my C4 for almost six months now and it's been a delight.
I've travelled about 7,500 miles in comfort and, according to the trip computer, at 32mph using 49.2 mpg.
Nothing has rattled, failed, broken or fallen off, so any concerns over reliability are unfounded. The tyres are lasting better than I first thought.
We have a Ford Focus, and that gets left on drive as it's less roomy, less comfortable and uses more fuel. The auto A/C is very good and the supposedly un-ergonomic dash and steering wheels controls are actually very good - and make those of the Renault Scénic I hired on holiday look a real disaster.
The auto-headlights are good and quite responsive, but the auto-wipers are too sensitive in my view.
We are condsidering downsizing from our 2000 Honda Accord 1.8i SE to a smaller family car. On paper this one ticked most of the boxes (5* NCAP; fuel economy; boot space) but was a big disappointment.
The engine felt sluggish even though I am used to a 7 year old car. The car held the road well around sharp corners, but the acceleration generally was lacking in power. Overall this made it a dull drive. The steering was heavy and the braking too abrupt. I expected more from a brand new car.
The interior had far too much bland grey plastic, and on fiddling with a few of the buttons they felt like they would not survive the demands of a growing family. Interior cubby holes were too small, and the back seat was very cramped compared to my Honda even though the C4 is only about 5cm narrower.
As for the sound system - we brought along one of our favourite CDs (Bruce Dickinson's Tyranny of Souls since you ask) and the sound quality was poor - way too tinny - yet another disappointment.
Honda deservedly has an excellent reputation both for its engines and its build quality. Driving the C4 made us realise how far behind their competitors are!
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