2022 Citroen C4 Shine Review : Crossed Over
Singapore - If you look at present car purchasing habits, you will realise that buyers have largely made a shift to purchasing SUVs or Crossovers - the latter is a term which has been loosely used… after all anything with a jacked up suspension can be called a “Crossover”.
With the shift in customer preferences, we were still surprised that Citroen, the ‘Kings of Quirkiness’ have hopped onto the Crossover-ish bandwagon. So this means that the new C4, which was once a hatchback is now “one of those”. This means that it sits between something like a taller Hyundai Tucson, and a lower Volkswagen Golf… but why of-course, it is splashed with a bucket-full of Citroen’s very own design quirks.
Like the Citroen C5, the C4’s organic form ensures a bold entry, sort of like the guy in the corner of the room, who is actually the life of the party. The kind whom you would simply keep looking at.
There are some design references here which hint of Citroens back in a time when they were truly unique cars. From the scrunched-up grille and large headlights, to the sloping roofline, wing included - a nod to the iconic CX, which we did see here in the 80s.
Citroen C4 - Interior
Citroen’s quirkiness has also been applied to the C4’s interior. Sitting within a mix of textured and piano black plastic panelling, there is it's odd-shaped steering wheel with its large bottom spoke, a nod to the brand’s single spoke steering wheels of the past.
Despite Citroen’s efforts in fancying-up the dash, there is a sense of cheapness. On our test car, there are already some interior chrome bits that have rubbed off, which is quite alarming.
The 5-inch digital instrument panel is almost too small, but it is easy to understand, and there is also a head-up display to help keep eyes on the road. The C4’s 10-inch infotainment touchscreen boasts (wired) Android and Apple connectivity, but it is laggy, and suffers from Citroen’s attempt to make the interface too special. At the base of this stack, you get manual adjustable air-conditioning knobs, a wireless mobile phone charging pad, a two-level storage compartment and two flavours of USB ports.
Above the glove compartment, there is a space for you to store your iPad. This includes a purpose-built case and mount. Once mounted, it looks like what you see below.
So that you can drive, while your partner watches the making of Alors On Danse. Absolutely gimmicky and not necessary.
The sloping roofline does not help if you are someone above 175cm who is trying to get through the rear doors. Additionally, the rear headrests when deployed, coupled with a tiny rear windshield, would mean that rear visibility is quite limited.
Speaking of being limited, poor image quality plagues the reverse camera, meaning that it is less helpful than it should be.
Boot space at 380-litres, is almost on-par with the Volkswagen Golf. However, the boot floor sits lower than the sill (we believe that in some markets this sits flush).
Citroen C4 - The Drive
The same Category A COE friendly 1.2 litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, found in the larger C5 and related Peugeot 2008 powers the C4. This means that it gets 129hp and 230Nm. This drives the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Like the C5, the C4 also gets the same Progressive Hydraulic Cushions, which deliver the promise of a comfortable ride. This takes away some of the judder you would usually expect from rougher road surfaces. The tradeoff is less communication from the road, and a steering which seems a tad artificial. Apart from a slight hum, which intrudes into the cabin under acceleration, the C4’s interior feels quite disconnected from the world outside.
While the 1.2 litre performs sufficiently, the C4 does not like being driven in a spirited manner. For one, the torque band is rather narrow, and the engine becomes vocal when pushed. With a fair mix of urban and highway driving, we managed 6.8 l/100km, which is decent.
Along with the adequate engine, the C4 has an impressive suite of safety and convenience equipment. Most important, I feel, are the adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and road sign recognition features, which rely on a forward-facing camera and sensors to watch the road ahead.
Refinement may not be the C4’s strongest suit, but where it might attract the Singaporean buyer (quirks aside) is its sub $128k starting price for a compact coni, this is inclusive of an astronomically high Category A COE, and an A2 VES bonus.
Citroen C4 1.2 Shine
Engine 1,199cc, turbocharged inline 3
Power 129hp at 5500rpm
Torque 230Nm at 1750rpm
0-100km/h 10.4 seconds
Top Speed 210km/h
Fuel Efficiency 4.7L/100km