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  • Gutsy turbocharged engine; brightness of LED signature headlights; sound equipment levels; roomy boot
  • Lack of front storage spaces; both base Seduction and flagship Exclusive models are a touch pricey; slippery steering wheel resulted in sore hands

LIFESTYLE RATING
8 / 10



2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review

In my role as the CarAdvice Correspondent, I’ve been lucky enough to sample some fairly diverse metal, but with the 2016 Citroen C4, things just keep getting better…

When I found out I would be spending a week with the five-seat French five-door, I thought it was going to be ‘just another hatchback’. I was about to be proven wrong.

It might not be quite as ‘funky’ as the new Citroen C4 Cactus, but my first impression of the 2016 Citroen C4 is that it looks fun.

Lit up under the lights of a North Melbourne service station, flecks in the Gris Platinum (grey) paint gleam, while the car’s moulded bonnet and door lines are pleasingly highlighted.

Being night time, the C4’s standard puddle lights are handy, as is the flagship Exclusive’s keyless entry and start.

I press the engine start button on the centre console, slide the six-speed automatic transmission into ‘Drive’, and all of a sudden, the Citroen starts making the most terrifying warning sound I’ve ever heard – like the world is coming to an end. After much confusion, I realise it’s because I didn’t shut my door properly. My bad.

If you’re a fan of in-car noises, though, the C4 also allows you to change the sound attached to the indicators. How cool is that? There are four ‘tones’ to choose from, though, I settle for the one that sounds like a ticking clock.

2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review

The multi-function leather steering wheel has all your audio and cruise controls on it, which is convenient, but by the time I get back home to Shepparton – around two and a half hours out of Melbourne – I find my hands are sore from gripping the slippery wheel. The indicator and wiper stalks, are also placed directly behind the wheel, making them difficult to see.

Priced from $33,990, the top-spec Citroen C4 Exclusive is $4000 dearer than the $29,990 entry-level Seduction. Both team a 96kW/230Nm turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Regardless of variant, standard equipment includes LED daytime running lights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, and rear privacy glass.

An ‘Automatic pack’, comprising automatic dual-zone air conditioning and auto headlights and wipers, means less distractions while driving, while Citroen’s six-year/90,000km warranty and six years capped-price servicing and roadside assist adds additional peace of mind.

On the road, the C4’s small-capacity ‘PureTech’ turbo engine is gutsy.

Zipping through slower traffic on the freeways is fun and also safe, thanks to the Exclusive’s blind-spot monitoring. With an engine stop-start function on board, the C4 Exclusive claims 5.1 litres per 100km, though keep in mind, it does require premium unleaded fuel rather than regular unleaded.

2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review

The standard six-speed automatic is quick to respond and very smooth. Switch it into ‘manual’ mode – using the steering wheel-mounted gear-shift paddles to change gears when you want – and smiles get even wider.

The 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is simple to use, but I found the fixed below-screen buttons (for vehicle data, sat-nav, media, phone, internet and settings) quicker and easier to access, than the system’s on-screen picture ‘buttons’.

There isn’t a lot of storage up front, with only one cup holder in the centre console. Luckily, the C4 makes up for it with an impressive 408-litre boot – bigger than the top-selling hatches of the Toyota Corolla (280L), Mazda 3 (308L), Hyundai i30 (378L) and Volkswagen Golf (380L).

There is ample room in the back for kids, and the seats are largely as comfortable as the heated electric ones up front.

All around vision is good. The shape of the rear-view mirror neatly matches that of the back window, and the C4’s overall design means there isn’t too much rake on the rear side windows either.

Every day I have with the C4, I cannot wait to get back into it, and it quickly feels like a ‘normal’ part of my life. It’s one of those cars that makes you turn around and look twice at it after you’ve parked it at the shops. And it isn’t just me that’s impressed. Everyone I show it to is amazed when I tell them, “It’s a Citroen”.

2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review

The French car maker is often forgotten among the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Hyundai i30 and Volkswagen Golf – even playing second fiddle to its compatriot, the Peugeot 308. But I have to say, after spending a week with one, it’s definitely worth being noticed within the highly competitive world of hatchbacks.

The base Citroen C4 is a tad pricey compared with the circa-$20-25k starting point of some if its key rivals. But you do still get a fair amount for your money – except, of course, for a rear-view camera that commands an extra $1000 as an option.

The C4 Exclusive, however, is loaded with gear, including a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, electric parking brake and 17-inch alloy wheels. It’s also impossible not to open the standard panoramic glass roof to either let light into the cabin during the days, or the stars at night. Fitted with optional leather trim ($2500), the smell of our test car was another solid bonus.

The second-generation Citroen C4 may not be one of the segment’s top-sellers – far from in fact, with 107 units sold in 2015 compared with 42,073 Toyota Corollas – but it is a car that can surprise you, just like it surprised me.

Click on the Photos tab for more images by Mandy Turner.


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CITROEN C4 BREAKDOWN

2016 Citroen C4 Exclusive:: Week with Review
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Citroen C4 Specs

EXCLUSIVE : B7 MY15 : 1.2L TURBO MPFI - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
CITROEN
Model
C4
Variant
EXCLUSIVE
Series
B7 MY15
Year
2016
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
$33,990 MRLP
Private Sale
$23,760 - $27,000
Dealer Retail
$24,700 - $29,370
Dealer Trade
$18,700 - $21,600
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
1.2L
Cylinders
TURBO 3
Max. Torque
230Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
96kW @  5500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
71.6W/kg
Bore & Stroke
75x90.5mm
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
60Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
5.1L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1340
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1489mm
Length
4329mm
Width
1789mm
Ground Clearance
140mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1300  Unbrake:655
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.7
Front Rim Size
7.5x17
Rear Rim Size
7.5x17
Front Tyres
225/45 R17
Rear Tyres
225/45 R17
Wheel Base
2608
Front Track
1526
Rear Track
1519
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Trailing arm, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power Sunroof
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Holder, Traction Control System
Driver
Adjustable Steering Wheel - Tilt & Telescopic, Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering, Satellite Navigation, Trip Computer
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Interior
Centre Console Box - Multi-purpose, Power Windows, Tinted Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Interior
Leather Upholstery
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
72 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Inner Guard
Country of Origin
France