Citroen C4 Review
The Citroen C4 is a high-riding hatchback that offers some of the looks of an SUV with a focus on value for money and comfort
Strengths & weaknesses
The Citroen C4 isn’t quite an SUV, but it’s also not a normal family hatchback either - it’s an example of what people sometimes call a crossover, which is somewhere in between the two. It offers the value for money and ease of use of a family hatch but with a higher driving position and the styling of an SUV.
This new version of the Citroen C4 is available in several versions including an electric model called the e-C4, which we’ve reviewed separately. There are a handful of reasons to consider one; it’s comfortable and easy to drive, well equipped and good value for money.
Since it straddles a line in terms of size and shape, there are loads of alternatives to consider. On the SUV side, there’s the Toyota C-HR, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008, and on the hatchback side there’s the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus to name a few. Joining the Citroen in the middle, meanwhile, are the Mazda CX-30 and Kia Xceed.
There are petrol and diesel engine options and a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes with the C4 - plus the electric e-C4. While it’s comfy, this Citroen is not particularly enjoyable to drive; if you are interested in a car that’s fun to drive then the Ford Focus or Mazda CX-30 will be a better option. Yet if ease of use is a priority then the Citroen is a good option to consider.
It’s not the most roomy model of its type but it will be good enough for most families, and since it comes with plenty of equipment and modern tech including smartphone connectivity as standard, it’s good value.
Read on to find out more about the Citroen C4 and to decide whether it’s right for you.
Should I get a Citroen C4?
✔ Comfortable and easy to drive
✔ Good value for money
✔ Lots of standard equipment
✘ Not as enjoyable to drive as rivals
✘ Interior feels cheap in places
✘ Petrol engines don't match efficiency figures
The Citroen C4 is an appealing choice as a family car in isolation, but since it has so many excellent rivals, it’s hard to recommend over any other specific rival. For example, if you want something that’s comfortable and practical, there’s the Skoda Karoq, or if you prefer something that’s better to drive, there’s the Ford Focus.
If you want to get the best value for money, however, then the Citroen does start to make a better case for itself. It’s well-priced as a new car and so it’s cheaper than some other used alternatives too, especially as it comes with all the standard kit you need and it’s comfortable and easy to drive. There are better options out there but at the right price, the C4 is worth considering - particularly if you love its funky, unique looks.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Best Citroen C4 for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
The Citroen C4 is the model we’re looking at in detail here - it uses petrol and diesel engines. Its styling places it somewhere between family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus and SUVs like the Skoda Karoq, and it’s the same when it comes to pricing - it’s perhaps not as good value as some hatchbacks, but most SUV alternatives will cost more.
The petrol engine range is made up of various power output versions of a single 1.2-litre three-cylinder motor. The lower-powered versions have manual gearboxes and the top version is automatic-only. It’s the same with the diesel options; go for a lower-power model and it’s manual, while the higher-power version is automatic.
The Citroen e-C4 is the electric version of the C4. It looks really similar from the outside, aside from a few blue details and a green flash on the number plate to signify that it has no combustion engine at all.
This model is reviewed separately but there’s one thing for sure; this is the better version. Not only is it far cheaper to run than the petrol or diesel versions, but it’s also quieter, smoother, faster and more relaxing. Okay, the battery range and UK charging infrastructure means it’s not ideal for long trips, but for most people we reckon it’s a better car. You can read more about it here: Citroen e-C4 buyers' guide.
|Limited stock: Even the entry-level trim level, Sense, comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control, plus autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and emergency call.
|Limited stock: Sense Plus adds to that with keyless entry and start, a 5.5-inch digital display instead of traditional dials, sat-nav with online traffic data and a wider choice of models (Sense models are manual only, while you can get the higher-powered engines with automatic gearboxes here).
|From £14,795: Going up to the Shine trim level adds front and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, an upgraded safety braking system, traffic sign recognition with speed limit detection and tinted rear windows.
|From £16,995: The top-spec Shine Plus model comes with an upgraded stereo system, wireless smartphone charging, heated seats and leather upholstery.
There are a few engine options to consider and it depends on your personal situation as to which one is best. The one that will suit most people will be the PureTech 130 model, which is available with either a manual or automatic gearbox. It's the automatic that suits the car better, making it easier and more relaxing to drive.
This engine isn’t the best for fuel economy, though, so if you do a lot of motorway miles then the diesel BlueHDi 130 is probably the best option. It’s also available with an automatic gearbox and is more powerful than the lesser BlueHDi 110 model without being less economical.
The Citroen C4 range isn’t the broadest - the petrol and diesel engines are all so similar to one another that your biggest choice will be which type of fuel works best for you. There’s also the e-C4, but we’ve covered that elsewhere.
The trim range is also pretty easy to understand, as we’ve explained above, and since the top-spec models aren’t a world away from lower-spec versions, especially in second-hand price terms, you can’t go too far wrong with any version - just pick one that has the equipment you want.
|Citroen C4 Puretech 130 Sense Plus: The Sense Plus trim level offers a good balance of equipment and price, while the PureTech 130’s 1.2-litre petrol engine is powerful and economical enough to make it a good all-rounder. The manual gearbox keeps costs down, too.
|Citroen C4 PureTech 130 Sense Plus EAT8: The ‘EAT8’ in the name of this version signifies that it has the automatic gearbox. It’s a good value model and the automatic means that it’s easy to drive, so school-run traffic will be less of a bother.
|Citroen C4 PureTech 155 Shine EAT8: The most powerful engine available is the PureTech 155 petrol, which offers 155hp. The C4 is as far from sporty as it gets, though, so no version is good for performance.
|Citroen C4 PureTech 155 Shine Plus EAT8: Since there’s not much fun to be had in driving the C4, don’t bother buying the most powerful model. The 130hp engine is more than enough and it’s cheaper to buy and run.
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The Citroen C4 crosses over several categories of car, so it’s impossible to list all of its rivals here. It straddles the line between being a high-riding SUV and a normal hatchback, so there are loads of potential alternative cars to choose.
The Mazda CX-30 and Kia X-Ceed are two models that we reckon closely match the C4’s appeal of being a halfway house, though both of those are more successful - the Mazda is great to drive, more upmarket and comfortable, while the Kia is well equipped and practical.
More roomy and practical options include the Toyota CH-R, Renault Arkana and Skoda Karoq, as well as the Peugeot 3008 and Ford Kuga. Yet the Ford Focus could also be considered as a rival, especially in ‘Active’ trim, along with the Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra.
Citroen C4 practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Citroen C4 is an average-sized car - it’s on the smaller side for an SUV, but larger - taller, especially - than most family hatchbacks. You can read more about its dimensions on our dedicated page by clicking on the link below, but it’s 4.4m long, 1.8m wide and 1.5m tall.
It’s roomy enough inside, as there’s enough space in the back seats for tall adults to sit comfortably. There’s perhaps not quite enough room for three adults in the back row but you can squeeze in if needed and it’s fine for kids. The front of the cabin is spacious, too - it feels airy and there’s plenty of light.
|Weight 1,209kg - 1,324kg
The Citroen C4 has a 380-litre boot that can be expanded to 1,250 litres with the rear seats folded down. This means it has the same amount of space as a VW Golf, which is a smaller car overall. A similar-sized Mazda CX-30 has more boot space, plus if you choose something like a Skoda Karoq then there’s much more space inside.
The C4 is still a practical car, and the boot will be plenty big enough for most families, but there are other cars that have more space inside for people who need it. So, if practicality is a key factor for you, it may be wise to pick another model.
|Seats up 380 litres
|Seats down 1,250 litres
The Citroen C4 shares parts with many other Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall models, as it uses a common set of parts with models such as the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka. This means parts availability should be good for many years to come.
However, Citroen owners reported in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey that the ownership experience was not a good one. The brand finished in 28th place out of the 29 manufacturers that appeared in the poll. This doesn’t mean that the car will be particularly unreliable, but if it does go wrong then the process of setting it right might not be the best.
The Citroen C4 gets a normal warranty that covers it for three years or 60,000 miles. This is as standard as it gets in the car industry - it’s essentially the bare minimum that we expect of any new car. It means used models are less attractive than, for example, an equivalent Kia or Toyota, which come with up to seven and 10 years' worth of cover respectively.
As a result, while a three-year-old C4 would be out of manufacturer warranty, an equivalent Kia would still have up to four years' worth of warranty remaining, and a Toyota up to seven years' left, giving used customers greater peace of mind. You can, however, add extended warranty cover at an added cost directly from Citroen that can bring it up to five years or 100,000 miles.
The Citroen C4 ought to be considered as part of a selection of models that interest you. The biggest strengths of the C4 are that it’s really comfortable and easy to drive, so it will suit people who want a car that’s as inoffensive as possible and will get them to work or the kids to school as relaxed as possible.
It’s also good value and well equipped, so it offers a lot of technology for the money, especially safety kit. Where you might think twice about the Citroen is that there are rival models that are just as good in those areas but far better in others.
For example, the Mazda CX-30 is just as comfy as the C4 yet it’s also far more enjoyable to drive. The Skoda Karoq, meanwhile, is also comfy and well-equipped, yet it’s also more practical and spacious. As a result, if you can find similarly priced versions of these models, we'd recommend considering these above the Citroen.
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As an all-rounder, the best version to choose is probably the PureTech 130 1.2-litre petrol engine, in Sense Plus trim. This version has a lot of equipment for a good price, and the engine is powerful enough for most drivers - especially as no C4 feels sporty to drive. There’s really no reason to go for the more powerful 155hp model.
If you do a lot of motorway driving then the BlueHDi 130 model is another option. This diesel engine offers impressive fuel economy of around 60mpg according to official figures, which should be achievable on the motorway.
The Citroen C4 is a relaxing car to drive and isn’t sporty at all, so an automatic gearbox makes a lot of sense. The thing to look out for in the name is EAT8, which shows that it’s an eight-speed automatic. This gearbox is smooth and makes the car easy to drive, so choose one of these if you don't mind paying a little more.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example
|APR rates available
|Cash price £12,000
|Value of loan
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12
|Annual mileage of 8,000pa
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55
|Term 48 months
|Optional final payment £4,285.79
|Loan value £12,000
|Total amount payable £14,755.55
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.