With the new C4 X, Citroën still surprises the automotive world by choosing to market a classic malla three-box saloon, Citroën does nothing like everyone else. Faced with this seemingly surprising choice, getting behind the wheel of the C4 X reveals all the relevance of this concept, which seems to be looking far ahead and preparing for a future where SUVs will no longer be so ubiquitous.
Derived from the C4, we therefore expected to find the same sensations in the C4 X as in its 5-door sister, but this test had a few surprises in store for us, starting with the rear visibility, which completely ignores the boot. it is as if the car stops at the base of the bezel. A parking radar or camera is compulsory or you will have to pay regular visits to the bodybuilder, but Citroën offers rear parking assistance as standard. It is indeed surprising not to see the end of the car, the fastback line with the boot lid in the continuity of the window is the reason for this, it has the advantage of elegance but the disadvantage in terms of perception of the car. Fortunately, this Shine version comes with a reversing camera as standard (starting with the Feel Pack version), which allows you to manoeuvre with confidence, especially as it offers a good field of vision and 360-degree view. (Parking becomes child's play thanks to the C4 X's excellent manoeuvrability, but also to the flexibility of the finger-operated steering for effortless manoeuvring.
The second surprise concerns comfort, because although the C4 is remarkable in this respect, the large 18-inch wheels make it feel the bumps of the road, especially at the rear. In the C4 X, the modifications made to the rear of the car have corrected this slight flaw, offering an absolute royal comfort, eliminating bumps, holes and unevenness and offering a flexibility that really makes everyday driving more pleasant and reassuring, especially in the naturally stressful urban environment. In the C4 X, smoothness reigns supreme, the controls fall naturally to hand, the steering is supple and the remarkable seat-suspension pairing welcomes you and offers you a particularly appreciable and quite unique relaxation space at this price level and in this range.
Of course, the C4 X's flexible suspension and seats with only average lateral support do not allow it to be a sports car, but it has neither the intention nor the ambition, its aim, which it succeeds in, is to offer space and comfort to each of its passengers, not to please the single driver who can vroom-vroom without thinking of the well-being of the other passengers. The C4 X is first and foremost a family car, to be driven like a good family car and then to be perfect.
Powered by the 1.2 Puretech 130 engine mated to the EAT8 gearbox, the C4 X offers the third surprise of this test with a gearbox that no longer makes the engine howl in the first three gears and shifts smoothly, intelligently and quickly. The puretech engine is still audible when starting, but the whole thing is quiet, flexible and generous, without distilling maddening performances, they will be sufficient to meet the needs of families without more. The only regret will come from the consumption, which is quite high in the city with more than 9 litres recorded on a smooth drive. Fortunately, on roads and motorways, the C4 X is much less gluttonous, consuming a mere 6 litres per 100 to 130 km/h on the motorway, which is a good point given its generous dimensions. On the motorway, wind noise is noticeable from 110 km/h, especially in the door mirrors, but it is not distracting during a conversation or with the radio on. On this playing field, the C4 X performs perfectly, combining stability, safety and comfort to allow us to swallow the kilometres without feeling the slightest fatigue; it is absolutely amazing that for a car of this price level, to perform several hundred kilometres at the wheel can be done without the slightest fatigue.
On the price side, this Puretech 130 EAT8 Shine Pack version is priced at €35,050, slightly below a similar Renault Arkana, which is its main rival at the front. This Shine Pack version is fully equipped and has level 2 autonomous driving, heated leather seats, a full-grain leather steering wheel, etc. In conclusion, this new C4 X is much more than a simple 4-door version of the C4, it adds improved comfort, a quieter engine-transmission unit and a personality of its own, as if it had taken the themes of the C4 (saloon, SUV, coupé) and mixed them in a different way. The C4 X is habitable, but also shows an obvious sense of welcome that allows each passenger to really have space, storage space, practical aspects that make it a real family saloon. By showing that it is quite possible to offer space without being an SUV, comfort without being overpriced, C4 X plays a different score from the others, in all good Citroën, but the score it plays is almost flawless that it has the gift of not charging too much... Hats off!