Citroen C4 2.0 HDi VTS Coupe - CITROEN C4 Car Review


Added: 12 Dec 2006
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WHEN you get to more mature years, there is little doubt that young lady bystanders are concentrating on the car and not its driver as you drive by.

However, whatever vintage the driver may happen to be, the sleek form of the Citroen C4 Coupe is definitely tailor-made to catch the eye of the many discerning pedestrians who make a hobby out of watching the traffic roll by.

Based on the floorpan of the Peugeot 307, the Citroen C4 has successfully filled the gap left by the Xsara and is a quality contender in a hotly competitive C segment where rivals include the likes of  the Peugeot 307, VW Golf, Renault Megane and the Ford Focus.

And, over the past two years, it has carried the flag for the design ethic at Citroen couched in either the dynamism of the three-door Coupe or the stylishly comfortable five-door family C4 Hatchback.

They are compact creations with a stylish appearance, stretching from the individualistic bold double chevron grille flanked by swept back headlights through the swish look of a distinctive sloping bonnet and low swooping roofline.

Both derivatives offer the choice of 1.4-litre 90bhp, 1.6-litre 110bhp, two-litre 143bhp and two-litre 180bhp petrol power while diesel engines available are a 1.6-litre 92bhp HDi, 1.6-litre 110bhp HDi and two-litre 138bhp HDi.

The Coupe version also offers a hugely generous quartet of trim levels, VT, VTR, VTR+ and VTS.

In the spotlight here is the C4 Coupe attired in VTS trim and powered by a punchy yet refined two-litre HDi engine paired with a six-speed manual gear change.

The C4 Coupe exudes fine build quality inside with fabrics and plastics showing a huge improvement over the old Citroen Xsara while all models include the likes of  sport seats, automatic dual zone air con, multi-function computer, cruise control, electric windows plus steering wheel-mounted audio controls for stereo sound system and CD.

In addition, driver safety aids include ABS braking with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Braking Assistance (EBA), plus Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Control, while  there are also six airbags and an energy absorbing side impact protection system.

The range-topping VTS model adds a five-CD autochanger, heated and folding door mirrors, rear parking sensor, tyre pressure alert, Xenon dual function directional headlamps, front door sill and footwell warning lights while laminated acoustic side windows and an anti-theft alarm add to the provision of high frequency remote central locking with deadlocks and a transponder immobiliser to help keep the thief at bay.

Although the boot is perhaps not the most generous, with all seats taken, there is still 314-litres of stowage space.

But Citroen's designers have also worked hard to make the load space practical, including a system of partitions built into the rear of the luggage bay to create compartments to separate small or delicate objects.

There's also an illuminated glovebox, sunglasses holder, drawer in the dash, drawer under front passenger seat, rear central armrest and, in the VTS model, an additional open storage compartment in the dash plus a box in the boot.

A leather steering wheel with chrome inserts and alloy drilled pedals make further contributions to the sporty theme as you sit facing some quite quirky touches in the shape of five information screens.

Another hint of Citroen quirkiness comes with the innovative steering wheel boss which remains in a fixed central position at all times, allowing the driver access to the sound system and other controls neatly set out around the stationary hub without hands leaving the steering wheel or your eyes the road.

However, while headroom in the rear of the cabin is pretty amenable, legroom may prove a problem for some taller passengers. Equally, the Coupe styling does inhibit rear view vision with wide rear roof pillars and a boot-mounted spoiler - rear parking sensors are a must.

The two-litre turbodiesel paired with a slick-switching six-speed manual gearchange uses its 138bhp to provide 0-62mph in under ten seconds and a top speed of 129mph.

The C4 Coupe delivers a fine performance from a firmish, but not unforgiving ride.

Overall, the C4 Coupe is a stylish head-turner and with stacks of kit on board, a user-friendly CO2 emissions output level and good performance.


Citroen C4 2.0 HDi VTS Coupe

Price: £17,890

Mechanical: 138bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 129mph

0-62mph: 9.7 secs

Combined mpg: 51.4

Insurance group: 10

CO2 emissions: 145g/km

BiK rating: 19%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust

Words: Malcolm Robertshaw

Keywords: CITROEN, C4