Citroen C4 (2011-present)

The Citroen C4 offers a large boot and roomy interior, but it's not very exciting

Strengths & Weaknesses


Large boot
Efficient engines
Big discounts available


Loses value quickly
Not exciting to look at or drive
Lacks advanced technology

When it comes to competent family transport at a budget price, the Citroen C4 is a front-runner. Designed to be comfortable, spacious and cheap to run, it has efficient diesel engines that can return 55mpg in real-world driving. It's also available with Citroen C4 discounts that reduce the price of the car by several thousands of pounds - cutting the official price by almost a third.

You don't get those savings on many rivals - and for good reason. Simply being competent is the bare minimum for a family car and most alternative models offer much more than the Citroen which, since being launched in 2011, has fallen behind the rest of the pack.

It’s not that it’s a bad car: it’s roomy, especially in the front, where there are plenty of storage cubbyholes too. Children will find there’s plenty of space in the rear although taller passengers will feel cramped. There’s a decent-sized 380-litre boot, which is average for the class but nowhere near the best, including the Peugeot 308 with 470 litres and Skoda Octavia with 590.

For slightly more headroom, but not much more boot space, then another alternative is a crossover, which feels much like a hatchback to drive but has a higher driving position. The Peugeot 3008, Renault Kadjar, Seat Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan are among the best crossovers.

No crossover is likely to be as efficient as the Citroen C4, especially if you choose a car fitted with the smallest 1.6-litre diesel engine. You won’t get close to the official figures of more than 75mpg but you can expect more than 60mpg in real-world driving. That's not far off a similarly-sized Toyota Prius.

On the road, the C4 is comfortable, although not quite in the best traditions of Citroens since it thumps into potholes - a Peugeot 308 or Renault Megane  would be smoother The soft suspension makes the car lean a little in corners, too, while the steering is on the light side, which makes it effortless when parking. At higher speeds, this does mean that the steering wheel feels disengaged at higher speeds; you can't feel how much the wheels are turning, so it's difficult to drive precisely on twisty narrow roads - and it's less fun that many other cars in its class. Alternatives, such as the Vauxhall Astra, Mazda 3 and Ford Focus are more engaging to drive.

Mid-spec Feel trim is reasonably well equipped, but you’ll have to go to top-spec Flair just to get rear electric windows and a dashboard touchscreen, too. Rivals offer these features from lower down their range. Inside, the dashboard and fittings feels sturdy, but cheaper than a Volkswagen Golf, Megane or Mini Clubman.

Because the C4 is a realtively old car, it has not been crash tested recently. The independent safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded it five stars back in 2010, but it's not known how the car would fare in the very latest, tougher tests, which newer cars go through. It does have two sets of Isofix mounts in the rear for securely attaching a child seat.

The C4’s average qualities mean it’s ripe for discounting. There are some great deals available which should take the sting out of the large drop in value that the model suffers as a consequence.

Video published in 2010

Last Updated 

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 00:45

Key facts 

3 years
Boot size: 
408 litres
£0 to £30

Best Citroen C4 for... 

Citroen C4 BlueHDi 100 S&S Feel
A small diesel engine and realtively small 16in alloy wheels make this the economical C4. The stop-start technology increases fuel consumption, but is only available with mid-range Feel models.
Citroen C4 BlueHDi 120 S&S Flair
Its combination of decent power and low running costs makes this the best family C4. Unfortunately, it’s only available in expensive Flair trim but big discounts will bring the price down. A sat nav is a £600 option.
Citroen C4 BlueHDi 120 S&S Flair
This is the quickest C4 to accelerate from 0-62mph, although the time of 10.8 seconds is far from sporty, and just 0.2sec slower than the smoother petrol PureTech 130.
Citroen C4 PureTech 110 Touch
Its five-speed gearbox, steel wheels and lack of luxuries leave you in no doubt that you're driving the budget C4. That said, it’s £2000 cheaper than the next cheapest, the BlueHDi 100, so if you’re mileage is low it could be the better buy.

Understanding Citroen C4 car names 

  • C4
  • Engine
    PureTech 130 S&S
  • Gearbox
  • Trim level
  • Engine
    Citroen calls petrol engines PureTech and diesels, BlueHDi. The figure that follows refers to the engine’s horsepower, which may also be written as PS. S&S indicates that the engine has a stop-start system that stops the engine at, say traffic lights, to save fuel and restarts it when the clutch or accelerator is pressed.
  • Gearbox
    EAT6 is Citroen’s six-speed automatic gearbox.
  • Trim level
    The C4 is available in various trim levels, which come with different levels of standard equipment. It starts with the basic Touch. Feel is mid-level and Flair is at the top of the range.

Citroen C4 Engines 

Petrol: PureTech 110, PureTech 130
Diesel: BlueHDi 100, BlueHDi 120

Citroen has some of the most efficient engines on the market and they are the most advanced part of the C4. The PureTech petrol engines are small - made up of three cylinders and 1.2 litres in size. They are turbocharged which, in theory, gives them the power of a larger engine and the fuel economy of a smaller one.

On paper, that is the case. The official mpg - as tested in a laboratory - is up to 60mpg for both the 110 horsepower version and the faster 130 horsepower unit. Howver, estimates based on public road tests, published by the Equa Index, suggest that you'll get about 43mpg from both engines in the real-world, which is fairly average for a family hatchback.

Both engines feel zippy, but the more powerful 130 horsepower version suits the car better because you don't have to rev it as hard, enabling you to make smoother and quieter progress. However, it comes in Flair trim only, which pushes up the price.

If economy is your overriding priority, then the C4’s diesel engines are the best choice. The BlueHDi 100 is the slowest to accelerate and has only five gears,  but the version with stop-start is easily the most economical in the range. Again, there's a big discrepancy between claimed fuel economy of up to 85.6mpg and the real-world Equa Index estimates of 56.5mpg, which are a bit disappointing.

The BlueHDi 120 S&S is the most rounded performer (economical and also the quickest here) but available only in pricey Flair trim.

The EAT6 automatic gearbox available with the PureTech 130 S&S and BlueHDI 120 S&S doesn’t hurt economy much but is a little jerky.




0 - 60

Top speed

PureTech 110


56.5 - 60.1mpg




PureTech 130


55.4 - 60.1mpg


10.8 - 10.9s

122 - 124mph

BlueHDi 100


74.3 - 85.6mpg




BlueHDi 120


72.4 - 78.5mpg


10.6 - 11.1s


Citroen C4 Trims 

Touch, Feel, Flair

The C4 trim range begins with Touch. The steel wheels are the first thing you’re likely to notice about it followed by the fact that it’s available only with the least powerful engines (the PureTech 110 and BlueHDi 100). We’ve no problem with that since at least it helps keep entry C4 prices low. In any case, Touch isn’t without its appeal since it has air-conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter and height-adjustable front seats. Where it feels its price is in those steel wheels, manual rear windows and absence of connectivity and a digital radio.

Feel makes up for some of these shortcomings most notably with alloy wheels, a digital radio, a USB socket and Bluetooth handsfree but even at this level, rear windows remain manual.
Top-spec Flair raises some prices perilously close to £20,000.True, it brings dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, electric rear windows, rear parking sensors and a seven-inch touchscreen with CD player. However, set against the C4’s fundamental problems, it all feels like tinsel on a tree.

The C4 is most economical on its standard 16in wheels. The optional 17in wheels available with Flair can reduce consumption by up to 4mpg.

Citroen C4 Reliability and warranty 

The Citroen C4 doesn’t distinguish itself in terms of build quality and reliability. In the 2016 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey it ranks 141 out of 150 for the former, and 124 for the latter. What’s even more concerning is that sister models the Berlingo Multispace and C5 occupy positions 142 and 143 respectively, which suggests Citroen has work to do in this area. In terms of reliability, other sister models the DS3, and C4 Picasso and Grand Picasso are, according to the survey, equally unreliable while the C5 is worse still.

True, the C4 is covered by a three year or 60,000-mile warranty (which ever comes sooner) but sister brand Peugeot shows more confidence with its 100,000-mile ceiling while the warranty provided by rival French brand Renault, lasts four years or 100,000 miles.

Used Citroen C4 

The used car market is a harsh judge of cars. It sees through all the hype and glamour of the new car market to the unvarnished truth behind. As a result, a combination of lacklustre design, uninspiring driving qualities, generous new-car discounts and the simple fact that the model’s main rivals are so much better, means that a three-year-old C4 is likely to be worth just 25% of its new price after three years.

Of course, a loss of value of this magnitude means used car buyers can expect to find some fantastic bargains in the range. Petrol versions will be among the leading contenders here, the entry-level PureTech 110 Touch and the expensive, range-topping PureTech 130 EAT6 Flair especially.

The economical diesel versions will lose slightly less value. The mid-power BlueHDi 120 S&S will be the best performer in this regard but would be better still were it available in cheaper Feel trim.