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Citroen C4 1.6 HDi 110 VTR review

Premium cabin ambience welcome

October 2010

picture of car from the front picture of car from the rear picture of car interior picture of car detail

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5 stars

Likes:

  • Premium cabin ambience welcome
  • Frugal diesel engines prove effective
  • Comfortable driving position
  • Capacious boot is a surprise in this class

Gripes:

  • Modest rear legroom offsets generous boot space
  • Semi auto gearbox on selected models lags behind more advanced Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) of rivals
  • Flagship diesel model could be more refined at low speeds
  • Entertainment and navigation features could be more intuitive

This second generation C4 is a subtle but nonetheless important departure for Citroen. Keen to attract buyers seeking more in the way of luxury and a premium ambience, the French car maker has opted to focus more on boosting perceived and actual quality.

The medium size hatchback market is a tough one, and unless you already dominate the sector - Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall - attracting buyers can be a challenge. Citroen did well with its first generation C4, introducing buyers to quirky styling and value for money models.

Second time around and the market at large has shifted noticeably towards delivering more in the way of refinement and quality. Keen to follow this trend, Citroen has decided to focus on these attributes with its second generation C4. The result is a car with a cabin boasting an improved build quality and a better choice of materials.

The car's trademark supple ride has been improved, while the bias towards comfort and convenience - sat-nav, panoramic roof, climate control and the like - is most obvious in the options list. Like its rivals, Citroen is also following the burgeoning environmental trend. Engine choice is heavily weighted towards delivering low fuel consumption and CO2 figures, with a sub 100g/km CO2 diesel and engine stop-start a range highlight.

Progress has determined that this C4 is a little bigger than its predecessor, but Citroen has done well to manage the car's weight. Some old C4 traits remain, however, and while the car proudly packs a generously dimensioned boot, rear legroom remains modest for adults.

Our verdict on the Citroen C4 1.6 HDi 110 VTR

While the original car's quirky steering wheel and its numerous controls might have gone - a simplified version greets drivers now - this C4 has retained much of its predecessor's bold looks. The car's cabin exhibits a welcome quality boost, while the driving experience is typically Citroen: a supple ride and slight aloof steering. The newfound focus on frugal motoring is welcome and should help the C4 maintain its place in the family hatch pecking order.