Citroen e-C4 first drive

Citroen e-C4 first drive

Zap-Map verdict: “Practical and comfortable, the e-C4 displays Citroen’s expertise in refinement, boosted by an electric powertrain.”

citroen c4 drive

  • OTR: £29,180
  • Category: Family hatchback
  • Tax: £0 VED – 0% BIK
  • Cost to charge: £8.00
  • Emissions: 0 g/km CO2
  • Cost per mile of range: £134

Range & charging

citroen c4 drive

Citroen’s new e-C4 looks to prove there’s life in the family hatchback market yet, with the promise of a good range, quick charging, and practical interior. It shares a platform and powertrain with other PSA Group models like Peugeot’s e-208 and the Vauxhall Corsa-e, but sits in a larger class, challenging instead the Nissan Leaf and VW ID.3.

There is one configuration available:

    • ● Citroen e-C4- 100 kW – 50 kWh – 217 miles

This first drive saw us test a left-hand drive model on UK roads for early impressions of what is undoubtedly an important car for Citroen. As such, the driving range couldn’t be thoroughly tested, but initial calculations are good. On a frosty morning, I worked out the car would cover almost 170 miles on a charge on a mixture or city streets, country routes, and motorway travel.

Warmer temperatures will see the e-C4 confidently cover a greater distance, so unless you regularly drive in the snow at motorway speeds all day, the Citroen should be able to achieve its official range figure with little effort. This is all possible because of a 50 kWh battery, which can be charged at up to 100 kW on CCS DC charge points. AC charging is covered by a 7 kW on-board charger, with an 11 kW option available.

There are the usual EV driving systems fitted, with no gears to change, but a D and B mode to select between for forward drive. B beefs up the brake energy recuperation strength, but you would be hard pushed to ‘one-pedal’ drive the e-C4. I’d prefer a stronger setting, or a variety of choices as available in some rivals.

On the road

citroen c4 drive

To drive, the e-C4 focuses on comfort and excels in this regard. A supple suspension set-up is balanced with decent levels of body control, meaning the Citroen isn’t an enjoyable drive when pushed hard, but it does at least cope. Instead, it’s most comfortable cruising on the motorway or pottering about town, showcasing a high level of refinement, both in terms of ride and noise suppression.

Performance is good, but suffers when compared to rival offerings, since the 100 kW electric motor is roughly on par with the likes of Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric and Nissan’s Leaf 40 kW, but behind the Leaf e+ and VW ID.3 for example, let alone the Hyundai/Kia Group crossover offerings. As such, although the e-C4 is nippy, it’s not quick, and to get the most out of the potential performance, drivers will need to put the Citroen in Sport mode.


Comfort & Practicality

citroen c4 drive

The Citroen e-C4 is a practical car, making the most of its ‘fastback’ hatchback styling to create a highly useful interior. The sloping roofline cuts into the boot’s height above the window line a little, but it goes back a fair way, and the roof doesn’t really dip until after the rear passenger’s heads. As such, back-seat occupants have an excellent level of space, even for adults, with head and leg room both impressive. It’s a spacious interior, and one that offers no compromise over the petrol/diesel alternatives.

Comfort throughout the cabin is good, though the materials used are good rather than excellent. However, there are some nice features to grab the attention. The infotainment system looks good atop the dashboard and works well, though the driver’s digital instruments are a bit compact. However, with head-up display fitted as standard, this is of less importance. There’s also a dashboard tray that incorporates a stand to hold an iPad or other tablet – sure to be a popular feature for passengers on long trips.


Tech & Specifications

citroen c4 drive

Citroen has packed in the kit for the e-C4, which makes the new EV look good value for money. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloys, a 10-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, automatic wipers and lights, rear parking sensors & reversing camera, LED headlights, and a head-up display.

For those looking at a practical family car, the Citroen e-C4 is a very good choice. There are more dynamic models out there, but few as comfortable, and the interior is spacious enough for four adults easily. A reasonably long driving range and ultra-rapid charging complete the practical propositions, and I’d rate the e-C4 as one of the best medium-sized electric hatchbacks around.

Citroen e-C4 rivals

hyundai ioniq electric - citroen e-c4 rival

Hyundai Ioniq Electric Extremely efficient, Hyundai’s electric hatch offers a decent driving range from a compact battery.

nissan leaf - citroen e-c4 rival

Nissan Leaf The best-selling electric car has been regularly refined to deliver a good range and faster charging.

vw id.3 - citroen e-c4 rival

VW ID.3 Plenty of options in terms of range/price, the VW ID.3 offers the space of a larger car in a Golf-sized package.

All information above correct at time of publication. Official economy figures, pricing, and tax rates supplied by the manufacturer. Cost to charge based on 0-100% charge at home on a tariff of 16 p/kWh.