First DriveWe try the Citroën C4 with its new three-cylinder 1.2 turbo petrol engine. Does it make the C4 a more competitive family hatch and a better buy?
First DriveUpdated C4 isn't devoid of talent but ultimately lacks what's required to tackle more modern, capable and similarly priced options
Buying the most expensive version of any mass-market hatchback is usually an excellent way to turn your hard-won cash to dust. And the £18,395 five-door 2.0-litre HDi Exclusive variant of Citroën’s C4 will likely be no different – expect it to speed down the depreciation curve a lot faster than the base LX.
However, you can’t have the LX with the strong 2.0-litre diesel and six-speed gearbox, which will top 129mph and thrust you to 62mph in an almost sporting 9.7 seconds. The cheapest way to get this drivetrain is to order the £17,095 (£15,395 with cashback) 2.0 VTR+, not a bad price for a diesel of this potency.
The Exclusive costs another £1200 on top, but the extra goodies aren’t absolute must-haves. We’d trade the tyre pressure sensors, laminated side windows, swivelling xenon headlights, CD autochanger, rear parking sensors, folding wing mirrors, extra cabin lighting and alarm for the optional Navidrive sat-nav system any day.
Still, never mind the spec – the car itself is a pleasant thing, scoring as all C4’s do with its unusual cabin ergonomics and the quality improvement over the Xsara. Dynamically it is unexceptional in this class of high standards, and it’s a shame that this comfort-oriented model has a disturbed ride, but it is a quiet motorway car.
If you can’t live without the 236lb ft of twist action the 2.0-litre diesel brings, go for the VTR+. Otherwise, the £14,895 108bhp 1.6 HDi SX is the shrewder diesel C4 buy.
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