Citroen Australia has confirmed price and spec for the all-new C4 – a melange of SUV, sedan and hatchback body styles priced from $37,990 before on-road costs
The original C4 was a big deal for Citroen back in 2004 – tasked with bringing design flair and good fortune back to the French marque’s small-car range – and that’s exactly the situation the all-new third-generation C4 finds itself in for 2022.
Priced from $37,990 (before on-road costs), the new Citroen C4 has gone on sale here in a single ‘Shine’ specification that packs a 114kW 1.2-litre ‘Puretech’ turbo-petrol three-cylinder (shared with the Peugeot 2008 GT Sport), with equipment levels mostly mirroring the range-topping ‘Shine Plus’ sold in the UK.
With the second-gen C4 hatchback having been retired here in 2015, in lieu of the funky C4 Cactus small SUV (that ceased importation in 2018), the latest C4 effectively replaces both those vehicles – both here and abroad.
The new C4 is pitched somewhere between an SUV, a hatchback and a sedan, with Citroen deciding to eschew categorisation and instead focus on pleasing buyers by offering the best of all three in one car.
Whether the C4’s new uncategorisable nature works in its favour will become clear shortly, but general manager of Citroen Australia, Kate Gillis, said the C4 customer is “somebody who is looking for something which is different, something which is unique, and certainly something which is comfortable to drive and to ride in, and that’s what the C4 is all about.”
Not only does the third-gen C4 sit between rigidly defined categories – though it is classified as a small SUV in Australian sales figures – the C4’s dimensions also slide between small hatch and SUV.
The C4 measures 4355mm long, 1800mm wide and 1525mm tall. That means it’s longer than a Volkswagen Golf Mk8 (4284mm), but shorter than a Mazda CX-30 (4395mm). As for height, the C4 is lower than a CX-30 (1540mm) but taller than the Golf (1456mm).
Citroen also decided to stretch the C4’s wheelbase to 2670mm, which makes it longer than the 2630mm Kia Seltos, itself considered large in the small SUV class, as well as a Golf (2636mm)
As for what it looks like, outright judgement is up to personal preference, though the C4’s bold appearance should set it apart on the road, especially in the hero shade of Pulse Orange ($695).
The silhouette takes inspiration from some of Citroen’s back catalogue, with the innovative GS (1970-84) influencing the C4’s shape to some extent, however its overall proportion and the modern flourish of LED daytime running lights make the C4 look nothing like a GS.
At the rear, the new C4 references the 2004 C4 Coupe with the inclusion of a gloss black lip spoiler that aids aerodynamics. Citroen doesn’t claim a drag coefficient for the new C4, though the original Coupe was famous for its Porsche 911-rivalling 0.28Cd.
While the C4’s exterior wows, the interior is a little more muted, with a focus on comfort and clever functionality over outright design flair.
It may not have been the first car ever to rock a digital display, but the original C4 was the first to offer one to the masses. Although the original LCD screen was far more simple than the new C4’s 5.5-inch set-up, the blocky digital font remains largely unchanged.
Mounted centrally on the dash is a 10.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Below that are physical climate controls, two USB chargers, a large rubberised storage area and a toggle-style gear selector.
Practicality should be a strong point, with Citroen including multiple door bins, large central cupholders and a clever tablet mounting device so passengers can watch movies or work on the move .
The seats themselves are appointed in ‘Siena’ leather and feature heating, while the driver gets a massage function as standard.
Working with its plush new seats, Citroen has identified comfort as a main pillar for the new C4.
It may not have a hydropneumatic suspension set-up, but the dampers feature hydraulic bump stops (which Citroen calls ‘progressive hydraulic cushions’) at the top and bottom of the stroke to emulate some of the French marque’s ride-quality legacy
The choice to have a hydraulic bump stop at both ends of the stroke should eliminate any harsh bottoming out or unpleasant over-extensions over sharp-edged impacts like speed humps. Additionally, the C4 rides on 18-inch alloy wheels shod with relatively high-profile 195/60 series Goodyear tyres.
Under the bonnet of the Citroen C4 is a 114kW/240Nm 1.2-litre turbo-petrol ‘PureTech’ three-cylinder engine, which is the most powerful offering in Europe and will be the sole choice for Australia. The turbo-triple is hooked up to an eight-speed torque converter automatic that sends power to the front wheels.
In other markets, a detuned version of the 1.2-litre petrol is offered, as is a turbo-diesel, but Citroen decided the flagship petrol motor is the go for Australia.
Citroen has included a solid suite of driver-assistance systems in the new C4 including AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring, active lane-departure warning, traffic sign detection, adaptive cruise control and 360-degree camera.
The C4 is yet to be rated by ANCAP, but scored four-stars in the European NCAP test.
The e-C4 (stylised as ë-C4 and offering 350km range from a 45kWh battery) is apparently under consideration for the Australian market, and general product manager Daniel Khan suggested the C4 range could grow in the future – if there’s demand.
Justifying the single launch model, Mr Khan said: “we looked at global specification and we brought to Australia the right car for the Australian segment right now, which is a very highly specified and extremely competitively priced vehicle”
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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