Citroën C4 long-term test: report 3

The Citroën C4 family hatchback was recently reinvented to become a coupé SUV. We've already lived with the electric car version, but now we're seeing how the petrol compares...

Citroen C4 rear

The car Citroën C4 PureTech 130 S&S Sense Plus Run by Max Edleston, junior photographer

Why it’s here To see if petrol power is just as appealing as electric in Citroën's coupé-styled SUV

Needs to Have enough space for all my photography kit, keep me in touch with the office and be comfortable for long trips

Mileage 8843 List price £23,890 Target Price £21,416 Price as tested £24,805 Test economy 42.7mpg Official economy 50.3mpg

5 January 2022 – A ride to remember

Few car makers place as much emphasis on keeping you comfy as Citroën. Whether you’re talking about the super-smooth original DS or the rustic 2CV – which could famously carry a basket of eggs across a ploughed field without breaking them – the French brand has ride comfort as a top priority.

Indeed, this was at the forefront of my mind when I came to choose my Citroën C4, especially after hearing how my colleagues Allan Muir and Alastair Clements had been impressed by the rides in their Citroën e-C4 and Citroën C5 Aircross long-termers.

Citroen C4 interior

Getting from A to B in a comfy and unflustered manner is all the more important to me in winter – a particularly busy time for the What Car? team. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, for example, my work schedule became even more hectic than usual, but thanks to the C4’s luxurious ride I never arrived flustered, but rather ready to crack on.

One benefit of the C4 which is perhaps uniquely helpful to my role is that it makes a great tracking car. This is where one vehicle drives in front of another with a photographer perched in the boot – safely and under controlled conditions, of course – to get those lovely car-to-car shots you see online and in print. It requires a car with a smooth ride to avoid a blurry photograph.

A large boot space helps here too, of course, and the C4 can comfortably fit all six feet and two inches of me inside, as well as the awkwardly long legs of my tripod and all my lighting and camera gear. In fact, the C4’s boot is so commodious that I no longer believe I always need the largest of vehicles to do my work. Size helps, but the C4 has shown that clever packaging and a good use of the space available is equally important. 

Citroen C4 door handles

Life can’t all be rosy, though, and I’ve found that the C4 rolls more than its rivals when cornering at higher speeds. That’s less of a problem on a track, but it is noticeable when you’re exiting a motorway or going round a large roundabout. It can make the car feel wallowy, and combined with steering that’s decent rather than engaging, the C4 isn’t very sporty to drive. 

Given all the jobs which have been stacking up in the past few weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time inside my car, and that’s given me the chance to reflect on what a pleasant place it is be. There are plenty of soft-touch materials, and grey chevron cloth and black leather-effect seats which are comfortable and supportive. They’re easy to adjust to find your ideal driving position, with large grab handles at their sides.

The rear seats are good, too, and my passengers have commented on how relaxed they feel when journeying around. One friend, who has recently become a father, also commented that the Isofix points in the back seem well located and clearly labelled, which would make it easy to connect his newborn’s car seat.

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