CITROEN E-C4 REVIEW

The Citroen e-C4 is an all-electric family hatchback and one of its key selling points is that it’s very comfortable to drive, as well as being more affordable than many other EVs.

  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
  • Citroen e-C4
Green Car Guide Rating: 8/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   Citroen e-C4 Shine
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP):  217 miles
  • Maximum rapid charging rate:  100 kW

Summary

  • Comfortable
  • Refined
  • 217-mile range
  • Relatively affordable

BACKGROUND

There are lots of electric cars that cost upwards of £40,000, but not that many that are closer to the £30,000 mark. Citroen stands for being affordable, and the e-C4 aims to achieve this goal. So does the e-C4 offer a lot of car for the money?

Citroen e-C4Citroen e-C4

DESIGN & ENGINEERING

The Citroen e-C4 sits on a platform that’s shared widely within the Stellantis Group. There’s a 50kWh lithium-ion battery in the floor, a 100kW (136hp) electric motor, and front-wheel drive. There’s also a slightly raised ride height – maybe it’s a crossover between a crossover and a family hatchback.

Citroen differentiates its products by unique styling, and the e-C4 is a result of this, complete with its slightly unconventional-looking front end.

Inside, the dashboard is fairly simple and not as high-tech as the one you’d find in a Peugeot. There’s decent space inside for occupants and luggage, including useful storage space between the front seats, 380 litres of boot volume, or 1,250 litres with the rear seats folded, and there’s a false boot floor, under which you can store the charging leads. There’s even a stand for a front seat passenger’s iPad in the glove box.

Citroen e-C4Citroen e-C4

CITROEN E-C4 DRIVING EXPERIENCE

The Citroen e-C4’s party trick is that it’s comfortable – and easy – to drive. Under most circumstances the suspension does a good job of providing very pleasant ride quality.

The electric powertrain also delivers refinement, and the e-C4 is quiet at motorway speeds.

Handling is aided by the low centre of gravity, thanks to the low-down battery position. Compared to many EVs, with a 1,541kg kerb weight the e-C4 is actually relatively light, and this definitely aids the driving experience. However the soft suspension means the car won’t go round corners like a sports car, and the steering is also very light (ie. not sharp).

The Citroen e-C4 is front-wheel drive so with all the torque from the electric motor you’re likely to experience wheelspin if you accelerate enthusiastically out of a junction in the wet.

There are three drive modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport – and performance is good in Sport mode.

The e-C4 features the same gear selector that seems to be in virtually all current Stellantis EVs. There’s a button for Park at the top, and a button for ‘B’ at the bottom – to provide more brake regeneration, and between these two settings you move a switch to select R, N or D. The selector is small and fiddly and when parking the car and changing between D and R it’s easy for the gear selector not to engage the gear you want, which is likely to be because you haven’t held the lever in the desired position for long enough. At night the gear selector isn’t lit, so it’s hard to see.

Like all modern cars, the e-C4 has a touchscreen. It features a clear reversing camera, and when you get close to the vehicle behind it gives you a really useful overhead view.

There are also separate buttons for heating and ventilation, including dials for the temperature and for the fan, which is good, and the climate information is shown on the central screen. However the graphics on the climate buttons are quite hard to see in poor light conditions.

There’s even a button that allows you to easily switch off the lane departure warning system, which is excellent news.

The touchscreen itself only has two buttons around the screen – one for home and one for vehicle. If you press the home button you then have to press another button to select navigation or radio etc. To change the radio station, you have to press four buttons. This is too much button-pressing – we’d instead prefer to see more shortcut buttons.

Although there was a heated steering wheel, there were no heated seats – which isn’t good, as they’re a big help to reduce the drain on the battery by minimising cabin heating.

Our test car had a head-up display. Rather than displaying information onto the windscreen, as more expensive systems do, in the e-C4 information is projected onto a piece of plastic in front of the windscreen, which can be distracting.

Citroen e-C4Citroen e-C4

CITROEN E-C4 ELECTRIC RANGE AND CHARGING

The Citroen e-C4 has an official combined WLTP electric driving range of 217 miles. During a week of mixed driving, we averaged 207 miles in the real-world, which is very good. But note that the range will drop quickly with lots of high-speed motorway driving.

Using a 7.4kW home charger, a full charge should take seven hours 30 minutes. You can also specify the e-C4 with the option to charge at 11 kW, which will deliver slightly faster charging when using a charge point with a three-phase electricity supply, such as at a workplace.

The Citroen e-C4 can rapid charge at up to 100 kW, when a 0-80% charge will take just 30 minutes.

How to charge an electric car

Citroen e-C4Citroen e-C4

PRICE AND MODEL RANGE

The Citroen e-C4 is available in three trim levels: ‘Sense Plus’ at £29,180 after the UK government plug-in car grant, ‘Shine’ at £30,130 after the grant, and ‘Shine Plus’ at £31,330 after the grant.

The e-C4 has a 1% benefit in kind tax rate for company car drivers in 2021/22, and the fuel costs of pure EVs can be around one-fifth of the fuel costs of petrol cars.

The Citroen C4 is also available with petrol and diesel engines.

Citroen e-C4Citroen e-C4

Conclusion

Here at Green Car Guide we believe that we need as many affordable electric cars as possible in order to get the maximum number of people into EVs. The Citroen e-C4 helps in this area, and it’s also comfortable and easy to drive, refined, practical, and it has a decent range of around 200 miles in real-world driving. Perhaps the main question is whether you like the styling. The Citroen e-C4 gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.

Car facts and figures CITROEN E-C4 REVIEW

  • Test electric driving range: 207 miles
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):   £0 year 1
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2021/22): 1%
  • Price:   From £29,180 (after UK government plug-in car grant)
  • Insurance group:   TBC
  • Power:   136 hp
  • Torque:   300 Nm
  • Max speed:   93 mph
  • 0-62 mph:   9.0 seconds
  • Weight:   1541 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor