Citroen e-C4 review: Comfort-first family EV

Citroen e-C4 review: Comfort-first family EV

Buying an electric car seemed like a great idea until the energy crisis hit. Since then, with charging costs on the rise and the government abandoning the plug-in car subsidy, enthusiasm for electric vehicles has cooled. Electric cars are also far from cheap: the Citroen e-C4 Shine Plus on trial here will set you back £34,995.

However, it sits at the top of the e-C4 range and comes with a number of extras, including a glass sunroof, power driver’s seat with massage function and a City Park package, which costs just £350.

Despite the cost, the e-C4 Shine Plus has a lot going for it, including a design that oozes curiosity appeal. You wouldn’t know to look at it, but underneath it is using the same Stellantis e-CMP gubbins as the DS3 Crossback e-Tense, Peugeout e-208, Vauxhall Corsa-e and Mokka-e.

Setup is pretty straightforward too, with a 50kW battery and a single 138bhp electric motor driving the front wheels.

the style

The Citroen e-C4 has more of a crossover vibe than anything else, but it feels taller than expected. This faux-go-anywhere look is further enhanced by quirky integrated sill panels that rise to the bottom of the doors for an extra touch of ruggedness. The design of the front and rear ends, the former with distinctive LED headlights, has also been executed very well, with a roof line that tapers down to the boot. Just be aware that this also reduces headroom in the rear as a result.

Meanwhile, the cabin is a very nice place to be, especially in terms of comfort. Naturally, the seats are typically Citroen, extremely comfortable, although they do look and feel a bit flat. There is hardly any side support, but you do tend to sink into them when you go in. The effect is very similar at the rear, and while the initial expectation is that they won’t be great, they’re absolutely fine. .

There’s a lot of quirky Citroen styling, especially in the instrumentation area of ​​the dash. The space around the center console that houses the drive selector looks exactly the same as that found on other electric vehicles from the Stellantis group. It looks and feels pretty basic, but it works as expected and there’s nothing to grab you. Simplicity is ideal, especially for anyone driving an EV for the first time.

In the back, the trunk is plenty for daily commutes, with underfloor space to stow charging cables if you end up buying more than expected.

unit

You’ll find the same kind of drive mode layout here as you find in the Vauxhall, DS and Peugeot versions on the platform. It’s a decent format, with a center-mounted tab that lets you select Eco, Normal or Sport modes and get the fun started.

And that it is a fun car to drive. It feels so light, with effortless steering and a soft, almost spongy suspension setup that makes you feel like you’re floating on air. The small downside to this is that the e-C4 can feel a bit also undulating, especially if you are bunching up on a sharp curve. It will roll a bit and go by, but the effect may not be to everyone’s liking.

However, the e-C4 is fine if you just keep going, not doing anything rash and just enjoying the comfort on offer. This is a car that works best on shorter runs around town, where range won’t get on your nerves and the combination of battery and motor works more harmoniously. On a longer run, the range soon starts to decrease, especially if you have the hammer down.

Inevitably, this will mean one or two stops on a long journey, but due to the small power supply, a fast charger can quickly recover up to 80%. Well, about half an hour, but that pairs perfectly with a quick foray into motorway services, right? Add a coffee to go maybe. This is also the kind of car that seems quite happy to be plugged in at home at night, with a home wall box charging effort taking around seven and a half hours.

The technology

There’s a 10-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash, which has all the main control options. Interestingly, Citroen has considered keeping the temperature settings on each side of the screen, which encroaches on the viewable area a bit. It seems like a waste of space, given that there are also physical buttons and dials underneath where you can manually adjust the same settings.

You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while our car also featured wireless phone charging in addition to the obligatory USB ports. In general, the touchscreen system seems to work fine, but there are the usual annoyances of trying to change some settings using a touchscreen on the fly. The Citroen e-C4 Shine Plus also features a head-up display, which once you have one to look at makes resorting to looking at a standard instrument cluster almost redundant.

The parking sensors and 360-degree camera come in handy, particularly given that the roofline slopes down at the rear of the car. There’s also a spoiler that cuts across the middle of your view out the rear window, so sometimes the tech becomes a necessity, rather than a convenience.

Citroën e-C4 Verdict

Citroen e-C4 rear beach crawl

Everything about the Citroen e-C4 is easy, from driving to charging, and even the touchscreen infotainment system can be mastered on the move. It’s a great car for getting into town on errands, though the somewhat limited range makes freeway jaunts a little trickier than they need to be. While the range isn’t bad, up to and around 200 miles, there is often a need to stop for refueling.

However, if you can time this with your coffee and bathroom breaks, there is no real sense of disruption to your schedule. In the middle parts, you’ll find the e-C4 cruises down the trail with no fuss or hassle.

The Citroen e-C4 Shine Plus is more fun when you jump in it to go to the city or make a few trips to and from school. In these kinds of scenarios, it also seems happier in terms of power consumption. It’s hard to fault the comfort levels while you’re at it too. Combined with the insanely light steering and spongy suspension, this is a car tailored for running errands. Yes, the Citroen e-C4 Shine Plus is a nice little thing, made even better by its slightly original French-flavored features.

Technical specifications of the Citroën e-C4

Engine 50kw electric
Drums 50kWh
Energy 138bhp
Torque 191 pound feet
0-62mph 9.0sec
Maximum speed 93mph
Range 218 miles
charge rate 100kW
empty weight 1541kg
Cargo volume 380 liters

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