With the regular hatchback market suffering in the wake of the SUV boom, Citroen has taken a different approach with its new C4. As revealed by Auto Express earlier in the year, the VW Golf and Ford Focus rival has morphed into a crossover.
Speaking to Auto Express, Citroen’s CEO Vincent Cobée told us how the segment needed reinventing. “I would agree that the C-segment has been a fairly traditional sector and is probably right for changes,” Cobée explained. “One [idea] is to find the proper balance between affordability, versatility and comfort, better access, and better visibility, as there’s probably also a need for more spice in the style.”
The new C4 borrows styling cues from the larger C5 Aircross SUV as well as the 19_19 concept that was revealed as a preview of the future of Citroen design. Its influence can be seen in the head and tail-light design of the new C4. The images also reveal both petrol and electric versions of the C4, and clearly show that whichever powertrain buyers choose, the look of the crossover will be identical, with the exception of blue detailing on the badges of the e-C4.
It measures 4,360 mm long, 1,800 mm wide, 1,525 mm high, making it noticeably larger than a VW Golf. Citroen claims boot capacity of 380 litres across every model, while wheel sizes range from 16 to 18 inches in diameter.
The cabin is a more gentle redesign of what we can see in today’s C4 Cactus. A new 10-inch digital dashboard and instrument binnacle are obvious, while a redesigned centre console also appears. Wireless smartphone charging as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are also included.
Citroen also claims there are 16 storage compartments dotted throughout the cabin that add up to 39 litres of additional storage.
Citroen C4 and e-C4 engines and powertrains
The C4 and e-C4 has launched with a total of three petrol, one diesel and one electric powertrain options. However, not all are likely to be made available to UK buyers.
Petrol options include Citroen’s PureTech 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine in three states of tune: 99, 128 or 153bhp. All models will be front-wheel drive, while the more powerful versions will be offered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The only diesel option will be a 101bhp 1.5 litre, which can be had with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
The e-C4 makes use of a 50kWh battery that will power an electric motor, developing 135bhp, on the front axle. Citroen claims the e-C4 can cover 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds, hit a top speed of 93mph and cover 217 miles on a single charge. Using a 100kW fast charging station will replenish the battery to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, while a domestic 7kW wallbox charger takes a little over seven hours.
One thing Citroen has confirmed is that all C4s will have the firm’s new progressive hydraulic suspension set-up. The car’s springs and shock absorbers work with hydraulic compression and rebound stops, which are designed to gradually slow body movement over bumps and potholes.
Sales of the new C4 will begin in January, with prices likely to start from around £19,000. The e-C4 should come in at less than £30,000 once the Government’s plug-in car grant has been taken into account.
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