We highway check the fashionable 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 battle.
Beginning with the cut price basement Ami metropolis runabout, by to the e-C4 hatchback, and as much as the e-Berlingo and e-SpaceTourer folks 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 seems to be an identical from the entrance.
Nonetheless, it’s new from the rear doorways again, and in contrast to its sibling, it’s solely accessible as an EV (no petrol or diesel engines).
And moderately 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 modern derriere that’s a lot sexier than the hatchback.
The advertising and marketing blurb claims it “combines the elegant silhouette of a fastback with the trendy look of an SUV”. I wouldn’t go that far, however it actually 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 for those who want extra load area, the rear seats will be folded flat to create an space of 1,360 litres.
Apart from that, the e-C4 and e-C4 X are very related, by way of spec and driving expertise.
Each are solely accessible with a 50kWh battery mated to a 134bhp electrical motor with drive by way of the entrance wheels. In idea this gives a variety of as much as 222 miles and delivers a 0-62mph time of 9.5 seconds.
You get 100kW DC fast charging, that means a 10-80% top-up will be accomplished in half-hour when related to a suitable 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 absolutely cost in a single day at dwelling utilizing a wallbox, and regenerative braking will recuperate power in any other case wasted when slowing down or coasting.
There are three trim degree accessible – Sense, Sense Plus and Shine.
Beginning at £31,995, Sense kicks off the e-C4 X line-up. Providing the most effective worth for cash, it comes as customary 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 similar to 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 digital camera.
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 comfy, due to Citroen’s famed Superior Consolation padded seats. Elsewhere, aside from the odd onerous floor, the cabin is a nice 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, however it nonetheless isn’t the slickest system on the market.
I additionally wasn’t eager on the old-fashioned head-up show which tasks information onto a plastic panel above the dashboard. It really works properly sufficient, however it 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 machine by way of a retractable holder absolutely 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, however it delivers a clean journey (although “magic carpet” is pushing it) and spectacular cabin refinement.
It doesn’t provide gut-wrenchingly quick acceleration like some EVs, however it’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 of 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 straightforward on-the-road expertise. It could simply be good if the brakes have been a bit of extra progressive.
Actual-world vary is more likely to be nearer to 200 miles, however for those who can stay with that then the e-C4 X is a welcome addition to the reasonably priced EV scene.
I believe it could show to be widespread with taxi drivers too, as a result of that boot can eat a critical quantity of bags. Nonetheless, households would possibly choose the broader hatchback opening of the e-C4.
Rivals embrace the MG4 EV, Peugeot e-2008, Kia Niro EV, Ora Funky Cat and Renault Megane E-Tech.
Verdict: Wise, clean, secure, comfy and sensible, the all-electric Citroen e-C4 X’s distinctive design delivers a fastback-style rear finish with the boot of a giant saloon.