Citroën C4 X review

Category: Family car

The C4 X has a lovely interior, a good-sized boot and comes at a competitive price

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  • Citroën C4 X infotainment touchscreen
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  • Citroën C4 X interior glove box
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Introduction

What Car? says...

It’s not often you see a saloon version of a family hatchback these days. What used to be a popular offering from car makers is now a rarity – and that makes the Citroën C4 X a rather unusual model.

You see, the C4 X is a slightly stretched version of the Citroën C4 hatchback. And while that car, with its added ground clearance and chunky wheel arch trims, is already tricky to define, this family-sized saloon doesn’t have any direct rivals in terms of size or shape.

There’s a whiff of what Volvo used to do when it gave its saloons and estates the Cross Country treatment to create cars with added ruggedness but not quite the height of a fully-fledged SUV.

You might prefer how the C4 X’s longer boot balances out the proportions over the hatchback, but how much more practical is it? Well, it's 240mm longer than the regular C4, which does translate into more boot space.

Is that enough of a reason to buy a Citroën C4 X though? Well, to help you decide, this review will tell you how we rate it against similarly priced family cars and small SUVs including the Mazda CX-30, Renault Arkana and Skoda Kamiq.

Overview

There are no nasty surprises with the Citroën C4 X - it's very much like the C4 hatchback but with a larger boot. That means it shares the lovely interior quality and generally comfortable ride, while proving good value too, offering a lot more interior space than a similarly priced VW Polo.

  • Comfortable ride
  • Smart, high-quality interior
  • Large boot
  • Some scattered switchgear
  • Tight rear head room
  • So-so performance
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Our Pick

OurPicksRRP £25,165
Citroen C4-x 1.2 PureTech [130] Plus 5dr EAT8 review
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

At the time of writing, the Citroën C4 X's engine range in the UK consists of a 1.2-litre petrol engine available in two outputs: 99bhp and 128bhp. They're called the PureTech and the PureTech 130.

We’ve yet to try the 99bhp version, but its 0-62mph time of 11.6 seconds suggests it’s likely to be best suited to those driving at lower speeds, such as around town. It’s the only version with a (six-speed) manual gearbox. 

If you regularly carry passengers, you'll want the 128bhp, which comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and cuts the 0-62mph time to 10.3 seconds.

That's hardly exciting but there’s enough mid-range muscle to get you up to 70mph easily enough. The PureTech 130 pulls harder from low revs than a Mazda CX-30 e-Skyactiv G petrol and would be our pick.

A third engine, with mild-hybrid tech, is arriving soon, and there's also an all-electric version – you can read about that in our Citroën ë-C4 X review.

Citroën tends to tune its cars to provide a soft and comfortable ride, and the C4 X is no exception. Every version comes with 18in wheels and the same Comfort suspension setup that cushions you well over bigger ruts and speed bumps.

It’s definitely one to consider if comfort is at the top of your priority list, remaining relatively calm over minor imperfections, especially around town.

Citroën C4 X image
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While it has a tendency to give a slight thud through sharp-edged imperfections, it’s not as hefty as what you’d experience in a Renault Arkana.

The softer suspension means the C4 X tends to lean through corners. That’s not to say it can’t handle a flowing country road, but with moderate levels of grip and light steering, you reach the limits quite quickly. 

The PureTech 130 engine is fairly smooth and only becomes vocal when worked hard, while wind and road noise are well suppressed on the motorway. The auto gearbox is smooth once you’re on the move, but the slightly grabby brakes and clunky stop-start system means progress in traffic becomes quite jerky.

Driving overview

Strengths Comfortable ride; impressive refinement

Weaknesses Lots of lean through bends; brakes are not very smooth

Red Citroën C4 X rear right driving

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

You sit lower in the Citroën C4 X than in most small SUVs but it still offers a higher driving position than in family hatchbacks.

The seats provide plenty of padding and the driver’s one gets adjustable lumbar support as standard across the range, so it’s great for long motorway trips. Side support is a little lacking when cornering though.

The front windscreen pillars don’t obstruct your view out at junctions although the high boot line obscures low objects when parking. All trim levels get rear parking sensors as standard to help out, but you’ll need mid-level Plus trim for a rear view camera and top-spec Max for additional front sensors. For great visibility at night, LED headlights are standard across the range.

The 5.5in driver’s digital instrument panel is on the small side and looks quite basic. There’s little in the way of layouts and it doesn’t show much information at any given time. Mid-level Plus trim adds some ambient lighting on either side of the screen to try and jazz it up, but this is where the C4 X feels a little low-rent.

Every C4 X comes with a 10in touchscreen infotainment system using the same software we first saw on the larger Citroën C5 X. That’s accompanied by DAB radio, Bluetooth plus wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. You’ll need mid-spec Plus trim or above if you want built-in sat-nav.

The screen reacts quickly enough to your prods and is easy to read at a glance. You don't get many physical controls for the screen itself (there is a just home shortcut button and a vehicle settings button), but you do get a row of rotary and button switches for the climate control, which is pretty easy to use while you're driving.

A six-speaker audio system comes as standard, while top spec Max trim gets a punchier Citroën HIFi System upgrade with additional speakers.

Interior quality is one of the better efforts we’ve seen from Citroën. It’s well built and there’s a generous helping of soft-touch materials throughout.

The Mazda CX-30 feels even more plush and does a better job of hiding the cheaper scratchy plastics, but this a good effort when you consider the C4 X's relatively low price tag. You even get some grippy suede-like Alcantara material if you go for top-spec Max trim.

Interior overview

Strengths Physical air-con controls; intuitive infotainment; good quality

Weaknesses Poor rear visibility; front seats could do with more side support

Citroën C4 X interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

The fact that the C4 X is longer than the Citroën C4 should make it more spacious inside. However, that isn’t really the case when it comes to accommodating occupants. There’s a similar amount of leg room in the front of both models and enough head room to keep two six-footers from touching the roof lining.

What’s disappointing is that the C4 X doesn’t address the standard C4’s biggest shortcoming: rear seat space. Rear head room remains tight, despite the reshaped roof line, with those measuring more than six feet tall pressing their head into the roof lining. Middle-seat passengers have an even worse time of it, with the slightly raised seat almost reducing head clearance further. 

Leg room also remains similar to the standard car, so there’s more space in the back than inside a Mazda CX-30, but it’s far smaller than the Kia Niro

As a result, you’ll have to walk round and open up the boot to find the extra space. With an extra 130 litres over the C4 hatchback, the C4 X has one of the largest load areas for the money.

Indeed, with a total of 510 litres, it’s very close to the Renault Arkana’s 513 litre capacity, and larger than small SUV alternatives, such as the Skoda Kamiq (464 litres) and the Kia Niro hybrid (451 litres). In fact, the figure promise a boot that’s bigger than the much more pricey Mercedes A-Class Saloon executive car.

In more relatable terms, that means the wide and flat-floored boot will very easily swallow your family’s holiday luggage, plenty of grocery shopping or a couple of buggies. The only slight compromise is that the saloon-like boot lid will make it hard to load bulkier items because of its smaller boot opening.

You get 60/40 split-folding rear seat backs to accommodate longer items. Annoyingly, folding them down causes a bit of a step up in the floor, but there's a ski hatch if you go for the top-spec Max trim.

Practicality overview

Strengths Good interior storage; big boot

Weaknesses Saloon boot opening is smaller than a hatchback’s; tight rear space

Red Citroën C4 X boot open

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The C4 X has more boot space, an upgraded infotainment system and more standard equipment than the standard Citroën C4 so it's no surprise that it costs slightly more to buy as a cash purchase. Still, the entry-level You! model undercuts the cheapest Mazda CX-30, Renault Arkana and Skoda Scala. 

The You! trim comes with 18in alloy wheels, two-zone climate control, electrically heated and folding side mirrors, automatic wipers and automatic LED headlights.

We’d advise stepping up to mid-spec Plus trim because it doesn’t cost all that much more and gives you a head-up display, rear-view camera and sat-nav.

Top-spec Max trim adds adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam assist, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and heated front seats.

The C4 X didn’t feature in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey but Citroën as a brand fared relatively well, claiming 14th position out of 32 manufacturers. Kia and Mazda came higher, but Peugeot was down in 21st. 

Citroën gives you a three-year warranty with unlimited mileage for the first two years and a 60,000-mile cap on the final year. That’s fairly typical, matching Renault’s offering, but no match for Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty or Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile package.

The list of safety equipment you get as standard across the C4 X range includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist and traffic-sign recognition. The top-spec Max model adds blind-spot monitoring and a more advanced AEB system that can detect cyclists. The upgraded AEB can be added to entry-level Sense Plus models as part of the pricey optional Safety Pack Plus. 

Disappointingly, the C4 X only gets a four-star rating from Euro NCAP. There were concerns over passenger leg injuries in the frontal crash test, and the potential for the front seat occupants to collide with each other in side impacts because of a lack of central airbag between the two. An alarm and immobiliser come as standard on all versions.

Costs overview

Strengths Competitive price; decent reliability

Weaknesses Four-star safety rating

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Citroën C4 X interior driver display

FAQs

  • The C4 X is the saloon version of the Citroën C4 hatchback.

  • Yes – you can read about that in our Citroën ë-C4 X review.

At a glance
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RRP price range £19,720 - £37,410
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)5
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, electric
MPG range across all versions 50.7 - 62.1
Available doors options 4
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £65 / £1,604
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £129 / £3,207
Available colours