CITROËN C4 X 2023 TEST
THE CHEVRONS GO AWAY
The Citroën C4 X, a three-box high-end sedan that takes itself as an adventurer, confuses the issue by displaying various aspects that make it unclassifiable, even unique and unrivaled in the ë-C4 X electric version.
Citroën likes to surprise, and after the C5 X last year, the manufacturer dropped its X in the range below the C4. Suddenly, the hatch compact stretches out and turns into a triple body with various influences of coupe and SUV, a tall 4-door on legs with luggage. Even if this type of three-body body is not very successful in our regions, Citroën did it not so long ago with C-Elysée or Tipo sedan, Fiat, Audi A3 sedan, three-body works in German Premium, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé and Mercedes A-Class. If there is competition, the Renault Arkana, even if it looks like a crossover, seems like an ideal candidate.
With its rocker panels, black plastic wheel arch surrounds and raised ground clearance, the C4 X bills itself as an adventurer. Based on the technical basis of the regular C4, this C4 X’s recipe lies in its unique rear section with a coupe design with a roofline that descends into the trunk. If the CX wins, the stylistic harmony takes a hit with a large edge and an unremarkable body design. If this 24 cm widening now benefits from a trunk that shows a very correct volume of 510 liters (+130 liters compared to the C4) for a sedan measuring 4.60 m, access to it is limited, but not impossible for objects. it opted for an old-fashioned trunk rather than a tailgate as in the Peugeot 408, which uses the same base. A choice made by the manufacturer, which prefers a lower price and technical simplicity, unlike a hatchback. Inside, the C4 X borrows the furniture of the compact C4, incorporating the latest version of the infotainment system, which is more fluid in use. Compared to the classic C4, the space on the plane does not change, and therefore there is no shortage of space in the front and back.
For lovers of dynamism, the C4 X is not for them. Favoring comfort with the “flying carpet” effect dear to the brand, the C4 X does not create any special sensations, especially since the over-supported steering wheel does not offer any feeling behind the wheel. Even in Sport mode, road feel is unremarkable, especially as the body moves a lot between noticeable verticality with significant suspension movement and body roll reinforced by weak lateral seat support. Yes, this C4 X is often more comfortable than an SUV with firm damping, but you pay a high price for it as soon as you opt for a more dynamic ride with the outdated front axle and 18-inch wheels. let them show the limit. This very flexible shock absorber fortunately has some advantages when passing speed bumps or road degradation, it is complete comfort and thanks to these shock absorbers with progressive hydraulic stops. We can’t have everything, but let’s face it, the C4 X really gets the job done when it comes to ride comfort, and Citroenists will surely appreciate that.
Under the hood and for the French range, Citroën offers 110 hp BVM and 130 hp BVA EAT8 3-cylinder internal combustion gasoline engines, as well as 130 hp BVA EAT8 diesel engines. The all-electric version ë-C4 X 100 kW (136 hp) – our test version – unfortunately does not benefit from the group’s new electric motor and 156 hp, as in the new Peugeot e-308 and e-208. But for Citroën, this electric C4 X, even with the old 100 kW engine, is of great importance, as it is planned to be marketed in electric-only mode in many European countries.
The C4 X is a true Citroën and will impress those who love comfort. However, if there’s no doubt its reception will be mixed in France against real compact hatchbacks, including its sister C4 sedan, the C4 X should do well in countries more receptive to the body.
Photos by Laurent SANSON