Here’s an EV that treads its own path – and we’re going to see where it leads us

Why we’re running it: To see if this electric fastback saloon can outmuscle the growing SUV market

Month 1 - Specs

Life with an E-C4 X: Month 1

Welcoming the E-C4 X to the fleet - 7 February 2024

The Citroën -C4 X is a hard car to classify, even when you've spent a bit of time with one, as I have since ours arrived on the long-term test fleet.

The EV sits intriguingly within the increasingly blurred lines that separate different car categories, riding slightly higher than a traditional saloon but not quite by enough that you could call it an SUV. Coupé-SUV hatchback?

Raised fastback saloon? One of those descriptions is probably correct. Citroën itself calls the car a "fastback with the modern look of an SUV", so that's cleared that up...

One absolutely clear thing is that Citroën has stayed true to its comfort-biased roots because the e-C4 X has already made a case for it being among the Stellantis group's most relaxing cars to drive.

This electric fastback prioritises comfort above all else - a point emphasised by its gloriously plush seats and bump-absorbing ride.

To that end, it's equipped with the French brand's Advanced Comfort suspension, which features dual hydraulic stops at the front and rear. In some ways, it feels like a Rolls-Royce Spectre for the everyman.

Okay, so obviously it's not going to be taking on the £330,000 ultra-luxurious Spirit of Ecstasy in any forthcoming comparison tests, but it is jolly nice inside and it comes with a 10.0in touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a crisp head-up display, as well as a 5.5mm digital screen behind the steering wheel.

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It feels very quiet on the move too. There are no rattles inside, road noise is kept to a minimum and I've struggled to detect the sound of wind rushing past, even on faster roads.

The C4 X uses the same e-CMP platform as several other Stellantis models, including the DS 3, the Peugeot 2008 and the smaller Vauxhall Corsa, and it also shares much of its internals with the electric versions of those cars.

You could even, in effect, think of this car as an electric version of the Peugeot 408, which was run by chief sub-editor Kris Culmer towards the end of last year.

Anyone eyeing up an -C4 X is probably looking for an EV with practicality in mind, and it doesn't disappoint on that front. There's 510 litres of boot space with the rear seats raised and that increases to 1360 litres when they're folded. That compares favourably with the 425 litres offered by the Tesla Model 3 and the 405 litres of the Polestar 2.

There's room for three adults to fit comfortably in the back too. Where the e-C4 X is widely outclassed, though, is on range. Its 50kWh battery (46.2kWh usable capacity) is claimed to offer just 221 miles on a single charge, although Citroen says this can rise as high as 303 miles in the city. That's a figure I'll certainly be putting to the test, because my driving will be split mostly between London use and longer stints on the motorway.

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Power looks relatively modest on paper as well. A single, front-mounted permanent magnet synchronous motor supplies 134bhp and 192lb ft of torque. However, so far I've found it to be more than adequate in most situations. It helps that the 1623kg kerb weight is fairly light for an EV.

Besides, the e-C4 X is a car to be driven in a manner befitting its aura of calm, rather than ragged around corners. It's certainly no driver's car and nor is it intended to be one, as its leisurely 0-62mph time of 10.0sec attests. In that respect, it will be a marked contrast to the 308bhp BMW iX1 that I ran most recently.

The e-C4 X is priced from £32,195 but in Shine Plus form starts at £35,495, rising to £37,140 with the options fitted to ours. Beneath this range-topping model are the more affordable Sense and Shine trims.

Owners get a lot of equipment for their money. In addition to LED headlights, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, automatic wipers and a heated steering wheel (which are all standard), our car features optional metallic paint, wireless smartphone charging and a tablet cradle to keep your passenger entertained on the move.

The optional Hype Black interior ambience pack fitted to our car is also worth mentioning because it's all very Citroën. It adds grey stitching, heated front seats, a plusher leather steering wheel, four-way adjustable electric seats and electric lumbar support and massage functions.

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By spanning the saloon and SUV classes, the e-C4 X finds itself up against a huge range of competition from both segments. Our job over the coming months is to see if it's up to that task. First impressions suggest it could be a good option for those seeking an affordable electric company car, so that will be on our radar too.

And that's not all. While this electric version of the C4 X has been on sale since 2022, Citroen has now also decided to bring its internal combustion equivalent to the UK this year in response to customer demand.

So we plan to switch to a petrol car down the line, which should make for an interesting comparison of two comfort-driven sibling models. But we're in no rush to find out which C4 X is best. This simply isn't that kind of car.

Second Opinion

It flies under the radar and it’s so very comfortable – two favourable qualities compared with big, bulbous SUVs. I hope Jack has more luck in coaxing a decent range out of it, though. In my experience, it stopped far short of the manufacturer’s claim, even with ‘wasteful’ systems turned off. 

Jonny Bryce

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Citroen E-C4 X 50kWh Shine Plus specification

Specs: Price New £35,495 Price as tested £37,140 Options Hype Black interior ambience pack £800, Platinum Grey metallic paint £595, wireless smartphone charger £150, Citroën Smart Pad Support £100

Test Data: Engine 1x front-mounted electric motor Power 134bhp Torque 192lb ft Kerb weight 1623kg Top speed 93mph 0-62mph 10sec Fuel economy 4.4mpkWh (claimed) CO2 0g/km Faults None Expenses None

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