C 4 Comfort – 2022 Citroen C4 review

French car maker Citroen has a reputation for comfort that extends way back to the 2CV’s of the 1930’s, when it was suggested that the 2CV should be able to carry a basket of eggs across a ploughed field without them being scrambled. Fast forward nine decades and this ‘comfort’ mantra remains alive and kicking in the new Citroen C4, it’s a hatchback that thinks it’s an SUV and we have to say is ‘eggscellent’.

Along with comfort, Citroen has a longstanding affinity with hatchbacks, ninety three year history in the hatchback market, over ten generations and sales that exceed 12 million units In fact, so despite the new C4’s looks and dimensions (Length 4.36m x Width 2.03m x Height 1.53m) and 225mm ground clearance swaying more to the crossover market, it remains a big hatch.

Citroen C4 review NZ

The new C4’s look is more masculine than before with a bold new front, deeply sculpted bonnet (unusually so) and wide chrome Citroen chevrons. The lights are double decker LEDs and the design team have made a big deal about the lower air inlets. 

The hatch’s profile sees small overhangs front and rear (adding to that crossover look), it has more artistic trim and it rides on 18-inch diamond cut alloys, while the C4’s rear offers up a tailgate spoiler (that only slightly compromises the view), more LED lighting and two skinny exhaust tips.

Citroen C4 review NZ

While we’re at the rear, let’s talk about the C4’s suspension. The engineers have replaced the single axle for independent suspension but whereas a ‘normal’ vehicle would have shock absorbers, springs, and mechanical stops, Citroen has gone several steps further and added Progressive Hydraulic Cushions which sounds all soft and loving – and is.

Citroen C4 review NZ

The progressive hydraulic cushion suspension system brings two progressive hydraulic cushions to the fight. One is located at the top of the suspension unit (for rebound) while the other rests at the bottom for compression. On an everyday road surface the shock absorbers and springs control vertical movement without the help of the ‘cushions’ which are there to just add to the smoothness. However, should the road get a little rough (basically virtually any NZ road) the ‘cushions’ take on a greater roll slowing the movement more gradually and  dissipate the energy away from the rear end, both yours and the C4’s.

It may sound rather complicated, but all you need to know is that regardless of the road below, the ride is super smooth.

Citroen C4 review NZ

On the subject of your behind, the other thing that the new C4 has is Citroën’s Advanced Comfort programme, which is essentially ultra soft seats (front and rear) that has high-density foam at each seat’s core and 15mm of thicker, textured foam on each seat’s surface – your bottom will thank you for this. Personally I can’t help but conjure up images of Homer Simpson’s couch and the impression that his frame leaves in the seat below, talk about personalisation!

Citroen C4 review NZ

The rest of the new C4’s interior is a mixture of more traditional (yet modern) trim such as soft touch plastics and gloss mixed in with some ‘expected’ French quirks like a very minimised instrument cluster that shows small dials and ‘just the facts’. And on the subject of minimalism, the gearstick has been replaced by a ‘guilloche’ designed metal gearbox control, it’s a stubby switch that engages the C4’s EAT8 8-speed automatic gearbox. 

Citroen C4 review NZ

There’s a 10-inch colour touchscreen that comes with 3D navigation and 180-degree camera views and Apple/Android connectivity which is all fine and dandy but should your passenger desire more entertainment, two drawers above the C4’s glove box open out to produce a (smart pad) tablet holder – yes a tablet holder so games and movies (or work) can be done on the move. It’s also angled away from the driver so they can’t be distracted by it.

Citroen C4 review NZ

My C4 review model came in Caramel Brown and I have to say, both that unusual colour and the C4’s unique looks really grabbed the attention of passers by. The ride itself is as soft as advertised and quiet too with an excellent amount of sound deadening to remove you from the outside world. It’s powered by a 1.2L puretech turbo that offers up 114kW/240Nm which although is not exactly earth turning, it does seem to handle both the town and motorway well.

As I said, the C4’s ride is soft and calm and on the whole cornering is fine, but should you wish to get a little more enthusiastic, I did find that understeer makes itself known, maybe because the tyres are tall but skinny.

Citroen C4 review NZ

The new C4 comes complete with a raft of modern driver and safety toys including traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, with many controls now more accessible on the classic style Citroen steering wheel, but there’s still a bit of a delay in swing on and off – I guess you’d get used to it.

Citroen C4 review NZ

Modern and comfortable, the new Citroen C4 is a hatchback that is a dream to drive around the town, is practical in size and unique in style – in other words perfectly French.

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