Citroen C4 X Shine long-term test: a spacious and affordable family car

First report: the Citroen C4 X saloon is suiting the Adam family to a tee so far

  • 3.5 out of 5

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    While our new C4 X may not be quite as remarkable to look at as its cool forebears, it still trades on its maker’s reputation for quirky, unconventional styling. Based on the striking-looking C4 hatchback, the X transforms into a rather smart saloon, albeit one with quasi-SUV undertones.

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      We’ve plumped for a PureTech 130 S&S petrol model with an eight-speed automatic transmission, although Citroen has already completely revised specifications for the C4 X, which means you won’t find our mid-range Shine version on the current price list. It’s close enough in spec to the latest Plus trim, however, which sits above YOU! and below the Max and e-Series in the hierarchy of equipment levels.

      Starting from £19,495, the entry-level C4 X offers refreshingly good value for a spacious family car, but our model is a little pricier, at £26,780 (including Cumulus Grey metallic paint, at £595, and the £135 Safety Pack Plus). To provide some context, the same petrol engine with Max trim costs around £27,000, while the most expensive EV will set you back almost £36,000.

      At 4.6 metres long, the C4 X is a big car, but I like the purposeful look that’s brought together by a combination of its elevated ride height, black wheelarch mouldings and chunky 18-inch wheels, while a 240mm increase in length over the C4 hatchback provides a superior 510 litres of boot space.

      The extra load-lugging ability has been a real plus point for us, with most of the kids’ sports kit now taking up residence in the boot, but still leaving plenty of room for ad-hoc shopping trips without the fuss of having to clear everything out first.

      We’re finding the cabin space is equally impressive, although it’s a sombre affair inside, with the dark trim only lifted by a few silver accents dotted around. Any fastidious cleaners out there will be driven mad by the use of black piano trim across the centre console. I think I saw it reasonably clean for a full two minutes after delivery, but it’s now succumbed to its usual modern-day patina of fingerprints, greasy marks and dust, courtesy of a tag-team effort from the kids.

      Standard kit is pretty generous and includes a 10-inch touchscreen with integrated sat-nav, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a head-up display and dual-zone air-conditioning. There’s no heating function for the seats or steering wheel, though, which would’ve been welcome with winter on the way. Likewise, a sunroof or fixed panoramic glass panel would help to brighten the cabin, but perhaps that’s a little nit-picky when you consider the reasonable asking price and decent build quality on display.

      Auto Express creative director, Darren Wilson, previously ran a Citroen C5 X on our test fleet and remarked in his first report that “It’s the kind of model that makes you want to book a driving holiday”. I get the same feeling from its smaller sibling; the Comfort seats in the C4 X are a highlight and more than live up to their billing, combining well with the soft damper set-up to expertly lull you into taking things easy.

      It’s early days with the C4 X, but it’s a case of so far so good, while a few minor niggles, such as a faulty boot catch and mildly irritating stop-start system, haven’t taken the edge off what seems to be a capable family car.

      Model: Citroen C4 X 130 S&S Shine
      On fleet since: October 2023
      Price new: £26,320
      Engine: 1.2-litre, 3cyl turbo petrol, 128bhp
      CO2/tax: 129g/km/£180
      Options: Cumulus Grey metallic paint (£545), Safety Pack Plus without Adaptive Cruise Control (£135)
      Insurance*: 20E/Quote: £889
      Mileage: 313 miles
      Econonmy: 39.7mpg
      Any problems? Faulty boot catch

      *Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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