Currently reading: Citroen: Diesel option to be strong seller for new C4 hatchback
French brand has seen a surge in demand for diesel in the UK since the beginning of the year

Citroën plans for the new C4 - available with fully electric, petrol and diesel powertrains - to become its joint-third-best-selling model in the UK when it launches in 2021. 

Head of product marketing Robert Clark expects sales of the new car to match the C5 Aircross SUV, which is currently outsold by just the Citroen C3 hatchback and C3 Aircross crossover. He insisted that sales of the new C4 will be “additional volume for the brand, compared to where we are today”, rather than merely filling the gap left by its C4 Cactus predecessor. 

Citroën expects the ë-C4 electric version to account for 10% of the model’s sales, with diesel making up a relatively high 17% of the combustion car’s sales.

“We’ve noticed a bit of a shift [towards diesel] from the beginning of this year,” explained Clark, “which has come from the fact that we’ve helped explain to our dealers the benefits of diesel for customers. The CO2 is a lot lower than petrol and that’s become such a big focus for the industry, because of the fines levied on manufacturers.”

The uptick in demand for diesel powertrains was most prevalent in sales of the C5 Aircross, which have been 70% diesel year-to-date, compared with just 30% in 2019. Citroën has achieved a maximum fleet CO2 average of 95g/km across Europe and the UK every month so far this year, meeting the new target imposed by the EU. 

Clark compared this with other manufacturers “hoping to get there by actions taken in the second half of the year”. He added that the new ë-C4, Citroën’s first fully electric passenger car, “will only help with that”. 

Diesel engines available on the new C4 include a BlueHDI 110 unit paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and a BlueHDI 130 option with an eight-speed automatic. Citroën’s larger diesel engines - the BlueHDI 160 and 180 - are gradually being phased out of the UK market, the larger having been dropped from the C5 Aircross line-up earlier this year.


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Read our review

Car review
Citroën C4
The Citroën C4 range comprises three diesel and three petrol engines, plus three trim levels

It's an admirable family hatchback, but there is an abundance of superior rivals that makes the C4 feel a little outclassed

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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HiPo 289 21 August 2020

These buyers must be deaf and lacking financial awareness

I don't get it. All diesel cars stink and they sound like two skeletons in a dustbin. 

Q. "Is that a tractor outside?" 

A. "No, it's just my neighbour starting his Golf TDI, I'll just close the window before we all die of particulate poisoning." Aside from this typical petrolhead's view, there is also the matter of cold hard economics. New diesel cars are likely to be worthless within 10 years, so buying one is like setting fire to £5 notes. It's beyond comprehension that people haven't woken up to this yet.   

Jon 1972 19 August 2020

Its interesting to read this

Its interesting to read this the day after Volvo dropped diesel, citing declining sales. It did make me wonder how Volvo were going to meet the corporate C02 target without diesel.

I wonder are we starting to see premium brands headed for hybrid or electric sales (the guy who sold us our 3 series said there was huge demand for the 330e at the minute) and the mass market going diesel and electric?