The C4 fails to iron out road bumps as well as other Citroën models, and becomes quickly unsettled over larger bumps and broken road surfaces. The handling, too, is below par with more body lean than rivals. Push it hard and the grip gives way to plenty of understeer reasonably quickly, and there's little feedback offered through the inconsistently-weighted steering. Not Focus-rivalling stuff, then.
Gear changes are often clumsy too, as the gearbox is notchy; it can take several attempts to engage the gear you’re after. Furthermore, the brake pedal feels vague and the clutch biting point can take some getting used to, so driving smoothly requires some concentration. Wind and road noise are only noticeable around the driver’s window at speed, but creaks and rattles can be heard from the dashboard, particularly on bumpy roads.
Up front, the cabin is dominated by a large steering wheel and dark, hard plastics. True, the front and top of the dashboard have some soft-touch materials, but there isn't an air of real quality. Flair trim's 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system is well sited at the top of the dash, enabling you to look away from the road for the least possible time when using it. It's neither high-resolution enough, nor responsive enough to worry the best units, though.
Drivers will appreciate the generous amount seat adjustability and lumbar support offered on Flair trim. The seats are quite comfortable and supportive and there is plenty of head room. The inclusion of a central armrest is useful, too, but it may be set too far back for some.
In the rear, space is at more of a premium. There is very little leg and knee room and taller passengers will struggle for head room. A slim but tall transmission tunnel also means middle seat passengers have nowhere comfortable to put their feet.
At the very back, the C4's boot is a competitive size with a flat floor and a low lip height, aiding loading and unloading. There are useful straps and hooks for your cargo and a full-size steel spare wheel stored under the boot floor.
Should I buy one?
This new 1.2-litre engine adds some appeal to the C4; private buyers will appreciate the official fuel economy figure of 58.9mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions are just 107g/km meaning BIK tax is only 16%. However, overall, the C4 remains well short of the class best.
There remain many better choices in the family car class, namely the Skoda Octavia for its huge space and superb practicality, or the Ford Focus for its considerably more impressive ride and handling mix. While this is probably the best C4, it isn't the best family car.
Citroën C4 1.2 PureTech 130 Flair
Location Surrey; On sale Now; Price £18,510; Engine 1199cc, petrol; Power 128bhp; Torque 170lb ft; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1205kg; 0-62mph 10.8sec; Top speed 124mph; Economy 58.9mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 107g/km, 16%