We highway take a look at the trendy new four-door model of the pure electrical Citroen e-C4…
The “reasonably priced” finish of the EV market is changing into extraordinarily aggressive – and Citroen is up for the struggle.
Beginning with the discount basement Ami metropolis runabout, by means of to the e-C4 hatchback, and as much as the e-Berlingo and e-SpaceTourer individuals carriers, there’s loads of alternative from the French producer within the sub-£40,000 class.
The newest mannequin is the brand new e-C4 X, which isn’t only a saloon model of the e-C4. Certain, there’s some déjà vu initially as a result of it appears an identical from the entrance.
Nonetheless, it’s new from the rear doorways again, and in contrast to its sibling, it’s solely out there as an EV (no petrol or diesel engines).
And slightly than simply stick the boot in (keep in mind the Vauxhall Belmont, Ford Orion and Volkswagen Jetta?), Citroen has given the e-C4 X a glossy derriere that’s a lot sexier than the hatchback.
The advertising blurb claims it “combines the elegant silhouette of a fastback with the trendy look of an SUV”. I wouldn’t go that far, but it surely definitely has added kerb enchantment.
The Citroen e-C4 X is round 240mm longer than the e-C4 cargo area is bigger too (up from 380 litres to 510 litres). There’s additionally a good quantity of room for passengers within the rear seats, and should you want extra load area, the rear seats might be folded flat to create an space of 1,360 litres.
Apart from that, the e-C4 and e-C4 X are very related, when it comes to spec and driving expertise.
Each are solely out there with a 50kWh battery mated to a 134bhp electrical motor with drive through the entrance wheels. In concept this gives a spread of as much as 222 miles and delivers a 0-62mph time of 9.5 seconds.
You get 100kW DC fast charging, which means a 10-80% top-up might be accomplished in half-hour when linked to a appropriate public fast charger. Or to place it one other manner, hook it as much as a 100kW charger and it’ll add 59 miles of vary in 10 minutes.
Naturally, it is going to additionally totally cost in a single day at residence utilizing a wallbox, and regenerative braking will get well vitality in any other case wasted when slowing down or coasting.
There are three trim degree out there – Sense, Sense Plus and Shine.
Beginning at £31,995, Sense kicks off the e-C4 X line-up. Providing one of the best worth for cash, it comes as commonplace with LED exterior lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus a 5.0-inch digital driver’s cluster, dual-zone local weather management and rear parking sensors, plus security necessities resembling autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keep help.
Subsequent up is the mid-spec Shine (£33,995) which provides built-in sat nav, a head-up show, heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise management, blind spot monitoring and a reversing digicam.
Lastly, range-topping Shine Plus (£34,495) will get Alcantara and leather-based impact upholstery, heated entrance seats and Security Pack Plus with Freeway Driver Help (semi-autonomous driving functionality).
Inside, the e-C4 X is snug, due to Citroen’s famed Superior Consolation padded seats. Elsewhere, other than the odd arduous floor, the cabin is a pleasing place to be with a logical structure.
Fortunately, up entrance it hasn’t gone fully minimalist and nonetheless retains some buttons and dials for necessities. The infotainment touchscreen is far improved, but it surely nonetheless isn’t the slickest system on the market.
I additionally wasn’t eager on the old fashioned head-up show which initiatives data onto a plastic panel above the dashboard. It really works nicely sufficient, but it surely was proper in my line of imaginative and prescient.
Oh, and a particular point out for a intelligent storage answer above the glovebox which permits your front-seat passenger to view a pill system through a retractable holder totally built-in into the dashboard.
On the highway, the Citroen e-C4 X is far the identical as its hatchback sibling. In different phrases, it gained’t put a smile in your face, but it surely delivers a easy experience (although “magic carpet” is pushing it) and spectacular cabin refinement.
It doesn’t supply gut-wrenchingly quick acceleration like some EVs, but it surely’s keen sufficient for on a regular basis driving.
There are three drive modes (Eco, Regular and Sport), however frankly Regular hits the spot. Eco is okay for pottering round city, whereas Sport provides a bit zip. Nonetheless, push it on tougher corners and there’s a good quantity of physique roll, so the e-C4 is greatest loved at a extra leisurely tempo.
Elsewhere, mild steering and a comparatively excessive driving place add to the simple on-the-road expertise. It will simply be good if the brakes have been a bit extra progressive.
Actual-world vary is prone to be nearer to 200 miles, however should you can reside with that then the e-C4 X is a welcome addition to the reasonably priced EV scene.
I think it could show to be well-liked with taxi drivers too, as a result of that boot can eat a critical quantity of baggage. Nonetheless, households would possibly choose the broader hatchback opening of the e-C4.
Rivals embody the MG4 EV, Peugeot e-2008, Kia Niro EV, Ora Funky Cat and Renault Megane E-Tech.
Verdict: Wise, easy, secure, snug and sensible, the all-electric Citroen e-C4 X’s distinctive design delivers a fastback-style rear finish with the boot of a big saloon.