Citroën updates its electric compact SUV (or upgraded sedan, your choice). New engine and additional autonomy are therefore on the program. Here are our first impressions aboard the new Citroën ë-C4.
The third generation of C4 inaugurated Citroën’s first “real” electric car. So yes, there was the C-Zero, but let’s say that it was less suitable for daily family use. The Citroën C4 is now renewed, welcoming more power and more battery. Enough to make it more versatile and more enduring? We had a little glimpse of it over a hundred kilometers. While waiting for long journeys, head to the roads of Val-d’Oise for a first express test of the new Citroën ë-C4.
The Citroën ë-C4 looks: identical
Not bad is not it ? It’s French. All joking aside, the new Citroën ë-C4 only has its underside again. Design side, absolutely no change since the compact SUV is still very young, the restyling will wait a little longer. We thus find this familiar silhouette with the air of a tall sedan, a bit of an SUV, with a slightly cut roof. As a reminder, this new design marked a radical evolution compared to the previous generation. Higher beltline, larger wheels, new elements on the rocker panels and shields… Without forgetting the more assertive visual identity, carried by the light signatures at the front and rear. The latest C4, we like it or we don’t like it. But it brilliantly embodies the originality so characteristic of the chevron brand. Unsurprisingly, the electric version is distinguished by a few blue inserts (or not), “ë” logos, and a charging hatch.
Test: we traveled 1,500 km in a Peugeot 308 plug-in hybrid
As my colleague pointed out on his 1,000 km test, special mention to the quality of the finishes and the paint. In particular for our two-tone Elixir Red livery topped with a Perla Nera roof. Personal favorite for this beautiful three-layer red with a deep finish, you will understand. The compact SUV sits on 18-inch “Crosslight” wheels, which accentuate the “massive” side of the car. Half-compact, half-muscular, the Citroën ë-C4 therefore maintains exactly the same proportions. Its dimensions: 4.36 m long, 1.80 m wide, and 1.52 m high. Same for the wheelbase, which stands at 2.67 m. Finally, the trunk volume is still 380 l, for a total weight of 1,561 kg empty. The most attentive are already wondering how the weight can remain the same, despite a larger battery. We’ll come back to this a little further down.
On board: comfort above all
As with the exterior, the new Citroën ë-C4 maintains the same identity inside. Starting of course with the Citroën Advanced Comfort seats, which have proven themselves. This ë-C4 offers a soft and comfortable seat, with just the right amount of lateral support. A recipe in line with the ambitions of daily relaxation rather than dynamism. Behind the wheel, the compact SUV calls for calm, in tune with its silence and smooth driving. Our model in its Shine finish offers a very neat leather effect interior ambiance, still quite sober. We will still note the shiny black inserts which are particularly fond of the slightest fingerprint and dust. But that’s a bit of a problem for everyone. Just like the few hard plastics that remain, but nothing shocking in this segment and this positioning.
The equipment on board is to match: multifunction steering wheel, head-up display, 10-inch screen, USB-C ports, induction charger… Everything is there. The ergonomics are also familiar and intuitive. Modes, driving aids, everything is easily accessible. As always, we welcome the presence of physical controls (wheels, air conditioning, etc.), don’t change anything Citroën. Storage enthusiasts will appreciate the famous glove box topped with an independent drawer. As is the trunk from 380 (under shelf) to 1,250 l (seat folded). Ultimately, our only regret lies in the instrument cluster, which we would have liked to have been larger. Moreover, we benefit from the same very correct habitability at the front and at the rear of the Citroën ë-C4. A bit tight at 3 at the rear, but perfect at 2. Headroom remains sufficient, especially at the front with the glass sunroof.
Performance and behavior: a little more watts
With more than 175,000 sales in Europe, the Citroën ë-C4 is making headway. It is therefore logical that the manufacturer makes some modifications in terms of performance and autonomy. Starting with the performances. The electric compact SUV goes from 100 kW (136 hp) to 115 kW (156 hp). On the road, this translates into an increase in power for responsiveness in all circumstances. In Normal and Sport modes, the new ë-C4 is a little livelier. But it’s in Eco mode that I personally feel a little better. However, the torque remains 260 Nm, like the 100 kW version. The compact SUV seems a bit less “windy”, which makes city driving more pleasant with repeated stops/starts. In Sport mode, the new ë-C4 has it under the hood.
But be careful, its agility and urban ease are far from sufficient for dynamic driving. It is not made for it, and we observe its limits by seeking to spice up our driving. This reminds us, relatively speaking, of Smart #1: a chassis that cannot necessarily follow the engine. We will therefore avoid arriving too quickly in a curve, imprecision of the front axle and body movements oblige. But these body movements are also the result of ever-rigorous work on the comfort of the suspensions. Because at a more leisurely pace, the Citroën ë-C4 remains a little treat for cruising with the family, that’s undeniable. The steering is light and precise, the small SUV maneuvers and drives very easily. Add to that a turning circle of 10.9 m, and cameras for parking, and it’s an ideal large city car, SUVized.
Range: up to 420 km?
Finally, let’s talk autonomy. This Citroën ë-C4 is based on a new 54 kWh battery (51 useful) compared to 50 kWh (46 useful) previously. For those who have been following, this improved capacity does not impact weight, here’s why. They are actually the same components, but with different chemistry. The previous Lithium-ion battery was 60% Nickel, 20% Manganese, and 20% Cobalt. The news is 80%, 10%, and 10% respectively. According to the manufacturer, this new chemistry makes it possible to reach up to 420 km. An extended autonomy that we have not yet been able to verify in this short test, for the moment. Over the approximately 100 km traveled, we still noted consumption with different driving styles. Here is a currently rudimentary projection of autonomy.
|Eco||13,4 kWh / 100 km||402 km|
|Normal||14,1 kWh / 100 km||382 km|
|Sport||17,7 kWh / 100 km||305 km|
Our route: country roads (70-80), city (50), and a few short kilometers of rapids (110-130). Citroën ë-C4 on permanent regulator in Eco and Normal, and right foot a little more teasing in Sport. In theory, a consumption of 12.8 kWh / 100 km would achieve the promised 420 km. But be careful: Eco and B mode, very light driving… and driver alone without any cargo in the rear. Finally, on-board charger and charging times remain unchanged. That is 7.4 kW as standard and 11 kW as an option for the charger. The charging time varies between 5 hours (3×16 A three-phase Wallbox at 11 kW) and 31 hours (8 A domestic socket). Allow 30 minutes for 0 to 80% on a 100 kW fast charging station, or 10 km per minute.
Citroën ë-C4 115 kW: from €42,600
The Citroën ë-C4 YOU in its 156 hp version with extended autonomy starts at €42,600 excluding bonuses. This is far from cheap, and even €1,000 more than the new basic Peugeot e-2008. Count respectively €43,050 and €45,100 for the ë-C4 PLUS and MAX. For this price, we are in any case benefiting from a compact SUV with a little more power, and a little more autonomy, which can constitute a sufficient argument for many customers. Comfort and simplicity are there, all it would take is a little extra care (less hard plastics, a larger handset) to drive the point home. And you what do you think ?
Video test – Citroën ë-C4X: long trunk, but short battery
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