Citroen C4 (2011 – 2018) Review

Citroen C4 (2011 – 2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
After the striking looks of its predecessor, this Citroen C4 was a bid to go more mainstream to tempt buyers from the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. But it felt dated when new, and now only has cheap used prices to recommend it.

+Most models are well equipped. Punchy diesel engines offer strong economy. Decent-sized boot.

-Bland looks. Poor to drive. Cabin quality. Jerky automated manual gearbox.

Insurance Groups are between 12–26
On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure

The first Citroen C4 gained a following because of its attractive angular styling, but this second-generation model did away with that unique selling point, and was much more conventional. The idea was that this would help it challenge the Volkswagen Golf and big-selling Ford Focus, but the car was just too far off the pace in its drive, cabin space and quality. Read on for our full Citroen C4 review.

The Citroen C4 was a model that played things safe, sacrificing radical styling in a bid to lure in buyers of more mainstream small hatches.

The result, sadly, was a car that lacks sparkle and felt dated on launch next to alternatives such as the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

With the DS 4 designed to be a flashier hatchback, the Citroen C4 was free to be a comfort-focused model with decent practicality.

Yet it was far from the being the best car to drive in its class at the time, falling way behind the Ford Focus on the road.

Inside, plus points included reasonable usable storage and some good quality materials.

But by ditching popular features from the old model – such as the fixed-hub steering wheel and translucent digital dash – in pursuit of a more conventional look, it all ended up rather bland.

At least the Citroen C4 engine range was kept up to to date, meaning emissions and economy remained competitive.  

The cleanest BlueHDi diesel version emits just 86g/km and is officially capable of 85.6mpg, plus there are more powerful, but less economical alternative BlueHDi variants.

There are also punchy PureTech petrol engines with outputs of 110PS or 130PS. 

As a used car, the Citroen C4 makes sense as prices are lower than its equivalent rivals, but that’s hardly a glowing recommendation for a model that felt outdated when new and now just seems old.

Fancy a new Citroen C4? Read our Citroen C4 review here.

Ask Honest John

Why is the gearstick squeaking on my Citroen C4?

"I own a 2011 Citroen C4. When putting the gearstick in first I get a squeaking noise. Do you know what it could be?"
Reads like the linkages need lubrication.
Answered by Dan Powell

Why does the gear stick get stuck in third gear on my Citroen C4?

"My Citroen C4 refused to start today. I can't move the gear stick from parking to any other position unless I press on the brakes. When I do move it, the message "put auto box in place" comes up. When I move from fourth to third gear, it gets stuck there - this is rectified by stopping, switching off the engine and restarting. How can I correct these faults?"
I guess this has the awful EGS automated manual system. But it's entirely normal not to be able to move the lever from P to N or D without pressing the brake pedal. That's a safety device fitted to all automatics. The rest of it is probably faults with the actuator and there is no easy fix. So it's a trip to the Citroen dealer, an independent Citroen specialist or a member of
Answered by Honest John

Turbo has failed three times - do I have any comeback against the dealer?

"I bought a Citroen C4 with a broken turbo and got a new one fitted with warranty. However, the new turbo failed within 10,000 miles. Another one was fitted under warranty, but less than three months after the warranty expired, the replacement turbo has failed again. What come back could I have?"
Probably none. The reason why turbos fail, then the replacements fail, is that the turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes are partially blocked with carbonised oil from switching the engine off when the turbo is very hot rather then idling the engine for a minute to keep the bearing lubricated and the pipes free of carbon while it cools slightly. The consequent restricted flow of oil to the turbo bearing gives it a short life.
Answered by Honest John

Can you suggest an auto that offers a nice ride and decent boot space?

"I'm looking for a very smooth ride and responsive acceleration. I've got £10,000 - £20,000 to spend on something automatic with a decent boot and five doors. I have a 2007 Vauxhall Zafira 2.2 plate which has just died after 45,000 miles. I loved it but it's too expensive in repairs recently. Also have a 2016 Volkswagen Golf SV 1.4 auto and hate it; dreadful acceleration and really dislike the electronic handbrake. We also have a 2004 Volvo S60 auto which is still reliable and very nice to drive. Looking for the feel of the Zafira/Volvo in a reliable car. Currently thinking a Volvo V40 or Citroen C4."
Interesting that you don't like the Golf SV 1.4 TSI DSG. I like the SV, but definitely not the DSG version. if I was you I'd try to test drive a Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 110 EAT6 automatic that comes in just under £20,000 (before any discounts). Supple ride, excellent 6-speed torque converter auto and the added benefit of 'Grip Control' fore the winter. Comes on all weather tyres as standard.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Citroen C4 (2011 – 2018) cost?