Used Citroen C4 (2011-2018)

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

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Spacious cabin and boot
Efficient engines
Cheap

Weaknesses 

Not exciting to look at or drive
Lacks advanced technology
Likely to fall further in value quickly

Citroen C4 prices from £5,995  Finance from £112 per month

In the ever-competitive car market, fewer drivers are prepared to settle for competent family transport just because it’s affordably priced. But that was how Citroen chose to pitch its C4, hoping that hatchback buyers might overlook its shortcomings if they could save themselves a bob or two.

Drivers who did the sensible thing and test drove of any of the C4’s major hatchback competitors – including the Ford Focus, Kia Cee'd and Volkswagen Golf – soon came to appreciate that the C4 was no class act.

However, money talks. Citroen dealers delivered some tempting discounts on the C4, and today, on the used car market, the car remains competitively priced, with the most affordable from £5991 or £111 a month on Buyacar. The question is, is that enough for you to overlook its shortcomings?

As a new car, the C4 was sold in the UK from 2011 before being discontinued in 2018. Citroen gave the C4 a facelift in 2015 and improved some of the interior fittings.

It was designed to be comfortable, spacious and cheap to run, so has efficient diesel engines that can return 55mpg in day-to-day driving conditions. But there are plenty of cars on the used market that make a driver feel better behind the wheel.

It’s roomy, especially in the front, where there are plenty of storage cubbyholes. Children will find there’s plenty of space in the rear, and it comes with a pair of ISOFIX mounts for child seats, although taller passengers may feel slightly cramped, as the roof is quite low.

The 380-litre boot is average for the class. Drivers who want more space out of their family hatchback should consider the Peugeot 308 with 470 litres and Skoda Octavia with 590. There was no estate version available with the C4.

For slightly more headroom, but not much more boot space, another alternative is a used SUV, which feels much like a hatchback to drive but has a higher roof and raised driving position. The Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Volkswagen Tiguan are worthy consideration, and used prices start from around £10,000.

No SUV is likely to be as fuel efficient as the Citroen C4, though, especially if you choose a car fitted with the smallest 1.6-litre diesel engine. You can expect more than 60mpg in everyday driving. That's not far off a similarly-sized Toyota Prius, which is a petrol-electric hybrid.

On the road, the C4 plods steadily along, but its ride comfort is not quite in the best traditions of Citroens, some of which could glide over broken road surfaces like Aladdin’s magic carpet. A Peugeot 308 or Renault Megane would be smoother

On a winding road or through a roundabout, the C4 leans a little too eagerly, while the steering is on the light side. The upside of this is that it’s effortless when parking. At higher speeds, this does mean that the steering feels disengaged at higher speeds; you can't instinctively tell how much the wheels are turning, so it's difficult to drive precisely on twisty narrow roads - and it's not as enjoyable as many other cars in its class. If this puts you off, consider instead the Vauxhall Astra, Mazda 3 and Ford Focus, which 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 touchscreen entertainment system, too. Rivals offer these features from lower down their range. Inside, the dashboard and fittings feel reasonably robust but the look and aesthetic is dowdy and downmarket compared with a Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane or, even, the leftfield Mini Clubman.

Independent safety organisation Euro NCAP crash tested the C4, back in 2010, and awarded it five stars. It comes with two sets of Isofix mounts in the rear for securely attaching a child seat.

If your priority is to spend the least amount of money on a family car that’s as young and as low mileage as possible, there may well be some temptingly priced Citroen C4s. If not, a Ford Focus or Skoda Octavia will suit most better.

Last Updated 

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 00:45

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years/60,000 miles (from new)
Boot size: 
380 litres
Width: 
1789mm
Length: 
4329mm
Heigth: 
1489mm
Tax: 
£0 to £30

Best Citroen C4 for... 

Citroen C4 BlueHDi 100 S&S Feel
If you want your money to go furthest at the fuel forecourt, pick the BlueHDi 100, as its small diesel engine and 16in alloy wheels make this the most frugal 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. It was only available in mid-range Flair trim and sat nav was an option, so check whether a car has it.
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, when new it was £2000 cheaper than the next cheapest, the BlueHDi 100, so those after a bog-standard car at rock-bottom prices could give it a try.

Citroen C4 History 

2011 Citroen C4 goes on sale
2015 Citroen C4 facelifted, gets new engine range
2018 Citroen C4 discontinued

Understanding Citroen C4 car names 

  • C4
  • Engine
    PureTech 130 S&S
  • Gearbox
    EAT6
  • Trim level
    Flair
  • 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

At the time the C4 was launched, in late 2010, the entry-level petrol option was the 1.4-litre VTi, a four-cylinder petrol engine with 95hp. Next up the ladder was a 1.6 VTi, with 120hp that offered the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or an optional four-speed automatic. Topping off the petrol range was a smooth 1.6-litre THP version with 155hp, which came with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Drivers who prefer diesel-powered cars can consider either a 1.6HDi with 90hp, or 110hp. The latter was available as the e-HDi, which helped lower emissions to 109g/km.

The flagship of the diesel engine range was a 2.0HDi with 150hp. The strongest performer, it boasts plenty of pulling power and reaches 62mph in 8.6 seconds.
Following a facelift of the C4, in 2015, the engine range was updated and was all the better for it, with much more modern and efficient motors. 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 economy - as tested in a laboratory - is up to 60mpg for both the 110 horsepower version and the faster 130 horsepower unit. However, 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 average for a family hatchback.

Both engines feel zippy, but the more powerful 130hp version suits the car better because you don't have to rev it as hard, enabling you to make smoother and quieter progress.

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.

The BlueHDi 120 S&S is the most rounded performer (economical and also the quickest here) but was available only in the more expensive Flair trim, so compare prices of different used C4s carefully.

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.

 

Type

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 60

Top speed

1.4 VTi

Petrol

46mpg

95hp

11.5s

113mph

1.6 VTi

Petrol

44.8mpg

120hp

10.8s

120mph

1.2 PureTech 110

Petrol

56.5 - 60.1mpg

110hp

10.9s

114mph

1.2 PureTech 130

Petrol

55.4 - 60.1mpg

130hp

10.8 - 10.9s

122 - 124mph

BlueHDi 100

Diesel

74.3 - 85.6mpg

100hp

11.5s

111mph

BlueHDi 120

Diesel

72.4 - 78.5mpg

120hp

10.6 - 11.1s

122mph

1.6 HDi

Diesel

70.6mpg

90hp

12.9s

112mph

1.6 HDi

Diesel

61.4mpg

110hp

11.3s

122mph

2.0 HDi

Diesel

56.5mpg

150hp

8.6s

129mph

Citroen C4 Trims 

Touch, Feel, Flair

The post-2015 C4 trims begin with Touch. There are steel wheels, which is unusual these days, but it makes up for it by including air-conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter and height-adjustable front seats.

Feel is next in line, and adds alloy wheels, a digital radio, a USB socket and Bluetooth handsfree but even at this level, rear windows remain manual.

Top-spec Flair 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 ranked 141 out of 150 for quality, and 124 for reliability.

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

There have been a significant number of recalls for the C4 – eight, no less. So check the history of any used model and whether it was affected, and repair work was performed by Citroen.

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.

There are currently 12 Citroen C4s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £5,995 to £10,790 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £112 per month.

Of course, a loss of value of this magnitude means used car buyers can expect to find some bargains. 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.