Citroën e-C4 long-term test review: report 5

Citroën has reinvented its family hatchback, turning it into a coupé SUV and introducing an electric version for the first time. We're finding out what it's like to live with...

Citroen e-C4 long term

The car Citroën e-C4 50kWh Shine Plus Run by Allan Muir, managing editor

Why we’re running it To find out whether Citroën has finally got the recipe right with its new family hatchback cum coupé SUV, and to see how well the battery-powered version stacks up against its small electric car rivals 

Needs to Deliver on Citroën's promise of exceptional comfort while being easy to live with and having a long enough range to be viable as an only car

Mileage 3295 List price £34,995 (not including £2500 gov’t grant) Target Price £33,799 Price as tested £35,540 Test range 160 miles 

17 August 2021 – How can I be of assistance? 

Among the many driver aids and safety features that come as standard on my e-C4 is a package called Highway Driver Assist, which incorporates adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane-keeping assistance (LKA) to make cruising along motorways and fast A-roads safer and more relaxing. The former automatically matches your speed to that of the car in front, unless you change lanes, while the latter helps to maintain your position in the lane, including intervening with steering inputs if you try to cross a white line without indicating. 

I’m a fan of ACC in general and use it whenever possible, but normally I’d be reaching for the ‘LKA off’ button straight away on any out-of-town journey, because in some cars this function can be intrusive and annoying. However, much to my surprise, I’m finding myself using the LKA quite regularly in my e-C4.

Citroen e-C4 long term

That’s because it isn’t just a preventative measure; it actively steers the car along its lane, although, of course, you still have to keep your hands on the steering wheel. The steering isn’t quite as smooth as if I were doing it myself, tending to take a series of small bites at long motorway bends, but I can cruise along for miles without doing anything other than keeping an eye on what’s going on around me and changing lanes when necessary, and that makes a big difference to the way you feel at the end of a long journey. The ACC even continues to work in stop-start motorway snarl-ups, helping to avoid any possibility of rear-ending the car ahead due to wavering attention.

Citroen e-C4 long term

These functions are a doddle to operate via controls on the steering wheel, and there’s a separate button on the dashboard if you want to deactivate the LKA completely – something that’s still necessary at times, although it’s better judged than in some other cars. Navigating winding country roads with the LKA on but never encroaching has become a challenge for me. 

In some cars, you might not want this level of electronic intervention. But it suits the e-C4, which, with its light steering and soft suspension, doesn’t really promote driver involvement anyway. It isn’t difficult to imagine fully autonomous cars feeling similar to this one day.

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