11 January 2022

Citroen C4 Shine 2021 Car Review

The new Citroen C4 Shine is described as a Hatch; however, we beg to differ as it felt more like a compact crossover SUV with its added height. But it doesn’t really matter what you call it as its looks are innovative and in vogue.


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Citroen C4 Shine 2021
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Citroen C4 Shine 2021
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Citroen C4 Shine 2021
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Citroen C4 Shine 2021
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Citroen C4 Shine 2021
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Citroen C4 Shine 2021
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Citroen C4 Shine 2021

Model: Citroen C4 Shine
Price Range: $39,990 + ORC (special launch Price)
Body Style: Hatch
Status: Currently on sale

The C4 now sits on the EMP1 architecture and comes with sporty looking bumpers and plastic cladding that make it appear almost utilitarian, with a degree of sophistication.

Striking appearance

The C4 features a high bonnet with sculpted accents and a unique style that boasts Citroen’s new aesthetic. There is a suave V-shaped light signature and a two-tier headlight design, which comes with High Beam Assist and new LED daytime running lights. The bonnet line is finished with bold chrome chevrons stretched across the entire width.

The C4 displays an interesting mix of body lines that create an intriguing style, especially with the relatively short front and rear overhangs. The large 18″ ‘AEROBLADE’ diamond cut alloy wheels and the added ground clearance make the C4 stand out from the crowd.

The model we were reviewed had received a few extras, such as the panoramic sunroof with electric interior blind, which is an additional extra for $2,500. This was a brilliant add-on and made the cabin feel extra light and airy. Another treat was the metallic colour - Caramel Brown. It’s worth noting that this feature is an extra $550. If you want another colour option available, aside from Bianca White, you will need to come up with this premium.

Because it’s a Hatch, the boot volume is easy to access and it’s not a bad size either with 380 litres capacity. The sloping rear window, small spoiler and lights are all connected by a glossy black embellisher, which combined give it a contemporary look.

The C4 features a two-piece rear window that integrates a new V-shaped LED light signature. The only downside is that the spoiler intersects across the rear window, however it wasn’t too obtrusive, and the reverse camera has a generous 10-inch display that is both clear and ample.

More comfort with a touch of quirkiness

French cars can lean towards the quirky side and while the C4 has its share of unique features like the Smart Pad Support, which is a special passenger tablet holder that ejects from the dashboard; it had plenty of practical and compelling features too.

The interior decor is called “Urban Grey” Ambiance, and its seats are covered in grey cloth and black leatherette upholstery. On the door panels there are also fabric strips that seem to mimic classic pull strap handles, adding a unique retro vibe to the interior.

The advanced comfort seats include a special foam that makes the seats incredibly comfortable, especially when combined with the Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension (PHC). We found the C4 to be a class leader in terms of comfort when compared to similarly sized rivals.

The digital instrument cluster isn’t the most generous at 5.5-inches. However, it is beautifully mounted to appear as if it is simply floating, with the clever backlight effect the designers have included. There is also an adjustable colour heads-up display, which is unusual for models at this price point.

It’s a great touch having conventional dials for the climate control, even though these are accessible in the infotainment system it feels far more natural and easier to adjust the cabin temperature in this way.

The 10-inch infotainment system includes both Apple Car play and Android Auto with a crisp six-speaker DAB radio as standard. One of the features that makes this infotainment system so good is that you are not reliant on a smart phone for navigation, during our review we entered an area without cell coverage, but we could still use the navigation system to find our way home as it relied on a GPS signal. We also discovered it featured voice command, which was surprisingly intuitive.

Surprising sounds

The C4 currently has one powertrain option in New Zealand. Overseas variants enjoy a much wider range including BEV options. The engine is the 1.2-litre pure tech, which beats all three turbo charged cylinders with bravado; you can even coax out a surprising burble when you labour the engine on a hill.

This small unit produces 114kW @5500rpm and delivers a surprising amount of torque of 240Nm from just 1750rpm. Its consumption is splendid at only 6.1L/100km and its CO2 output is a modest 138g/km.

The engine is paired to a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission that performs remarkably well. There are also several drive modes so you can choose from economical normal or sport.

If you wish to drive more spiritedly you can take advantage of the paddle controls. However, the comfort and quietness of the space didn’t make us feel like dashing about; it was more of a relaxed affair with the plush seats and supple ride.

We took this vehicle through the winding Waitakere backroads heading for the coast and in many cars of this class you would arrive shaken and stirred, but in the C4, after the twisty roads were behind us, we felt refreshed and relaxed.

Verdict

The Citroen C4 was a surprise. These days it’s rare to find a vehicle that has been designed specifically around comfort, while it has its quirks, it’s a focused model and one that should be taken seriously.

If you are in the market for something with a similar style to the more popular Toyota CH-R or Mazda MX-30 Mild Hybrid, it would be well worth comparing the Citroen C4 Shine. Considering its price, features, style, and comfort it makes the Citroen C4 hard to ignore.

Pros

  • Great Economy
  • Exceptionally comfortable ride for a hatch
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Missing the wireless charger that the overseas models get
  • That split rear screen may annoy some

At a glance

Models

Citroen C4 Shine

Engine

1.2L Turbo

Price

From $39,990 + ORC

ANCAP safety rating

4 Star

Power and Torque

114kW/240Nm

Transmission

Eight-speed Automatic

Fuel economy/CO2

6.1L/100km, 138g/km

Towing capacity

500kg unbraked, 500kg braked

2WD/4WD/AWD

2WD

Seating capacity

5

Luggage capacity/payload

380L (All Seats Up) / 1250L

Safety systems

  • Airbags (x6): Driver and front passenger, front side, front and rear curtain
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Hill Start Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Traffic sign recognition and speed limit recommendation
  • Driver attention alert and forward collision warning
  • Active Emergency Braking (AEB) with night function, pedestrian, and cyclist detection
  • Post-collision safety brake
  • Blind spot monitoring

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