Citroen£€™s well equipped C4 models start with a list price of £15,595 for the 110 Touch petrol version or £17,695 for the 100 Blue HDi turbo charged diesel. But, as is the way these days, there are good deals from brokers and other sources to trim prices.
The test car was a Blue HDi 120 version of the facelifted Citroen C4 and lists at £20,350 in flagship Flair trim. Some people like shouty cars that proclaim their wealth or status but the Citroen C4 is quietly attractive and I rather like that approach. The C4 has a stylish interior and the dashboard features a good size touch screen, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate, Bluetooth phone and USB connectivity and cruise control.
On good surfaces the ride is comfy but jiggly at low speed. There£€™s some tyre and wind noise at times depending on conditions. The wide screen pillars need care at junctions and the windscreen wipers leave a large side part of the windscreen not wiped.
There£€™s plenty of response and precision from the power assisted steering and on twisty roads the Citroen will hang on enough to give your neck muscles a bit of a workout. But this is a car which prefers a relaxed, moderate pace. The six-speed manual gearbox works smoothly and there£€™s an automatic engine stop-start system to save fuel in stop-go traffic. There£€™s quite a long travel to the clutch pedal and the brakes bite sharply but you do get used to them.
Perhaps because I am tall I had to adopt a rather bent leg, short arm driving position but to my surprise it didn£€™t turn out uncomfortable. In manual form the car is exempt from road tax under current rules. As usual the 1.6 litre diesel engine is quite an enthusiastic companion and will manage the 0-62mph gallop in 10.6 seconds if you push it hard enough. Few owners will do so. It£€™s not that sort of car. But given the space of a long continental drive it is willing to wind up to a more than adequate 122mph.
Hill start assist is part of the electronics package. You also get rear parking sensors, a noise-reducing windscreen, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights.
The Citroen is restful transport but my back showed up the lack of support for my lower back on longer drives. There£€™s cruise control plus audio controls on the steering wheel and a nice £€˜grippy£€™ steering wheel.
There£€™s plenty of space up front but the back seats are not so generous; okay for two adults but not three.
Boot space is great and delivers the practical appeal of Citroens of old. With the rear seats down there£€™s a capacious 1,300 litres, but the seats don£€™t fold completely flat. The, ahem, official fuel consumption figures show an impressive 74.3mpg which would give you a range of nearly 1,000 miles if you drove gently and slowly enough. More cut and thrust driving saw a real world 52.3mpg, though over 334 miles this fell to 48.6mpg.
The gear change up indicator is a good idea because the gears are tall. I can imagine listening to the radio and leaving the car in fourth or even third by mistake. Even at 40mph you are only going fast enough to be in fifth gear. Keyless entry and engine start and automatic door locking make life easier but I couldn£€™t get the sat nav to take a full post code. The Citroen scored the maximum five star rating from crash test organisation Euro NCAP.
Also consider the newer Peugeot 308, Renault Megane, Vauxhall Astra.
Verdict Sensible family transport with a great boot.