Long term test report: Citroën C4 Exclusive HDi 150
Victor Harman’s struggling to keep the C4 looking smart, and Britain’s soggy 2011 summer hasn’t helped at all!
After a couple of weeks with the rather entertaining Nemo Multispace, RV60 RZO was duly returned to me and its stand-in taken away. In its short stay with me, the Nemo had seemed quite fun, very practical and easy to live with for fairly local motoring. It’s certainly a car that should be considered by those who might want something reasonably equivalent to Toyota’s now long extinct Yaris Verso, and the even longer extinct Renault 4, with a diesel engine. And it’s a damned fine one at that, albeit one that’s actually a Fiat-designed engine.
Although the C4 is proving to be pretty economical for a two-litre 148bhp diesel, there’s certainly no chance of getting it anywhere near to the 84.7mpg that was displayed on the Nemo’s instruments after one intentionally serious eco-drive of 40 odd miles. But that’s really no surprise, as I’m now clocking on average around 52 to 53mpg, which is around 4mpg less than the C4’s EC Combined economy figure of 56.5mpg, although I have beaten the latter figure without too much effort on a number of occasions. But the Nemo’s impressive 84.7mpg was almost a 30 per cent improvement on its EC Combined figure of 65.7mpg, and I’ve rarely come anywhere near the 73.5mpg that would represent the same proportional improvement for the C4. I have a strong feeling that the bluff shape, huge front screen, and large door mirrors of the Nemo Multispace would make it a relatively thirsty machine at motorway speeds, although I did not have the opportunity to explore such roads while it was with me.
Some light was eventually thrown upon the mystery rattle that is often heard when closing the nearside door on the C4. It turned out to be emanating from the rear end of the nearside rear wing liner, or something attached to it, and it seems to be just about the only sub-standard external trim item on the car – the general standard of construction of which is certainly very good. I can provoke the same noise by just fairly gently banging the very bottom of the bodywork just behind the wheel arch with my hand, and it does sound pretty flimsy, I must admit. Anyway, it’s not really a problem and is certainly less of one now that I know what it is. But it could do with sorting, Citroën, as it rather spoils the C4’s refined image.
Another reflection of potential ownership is that although the Bourrasque Blue paintwork is most attractive when clean, it is rather prone to showing general road dirt and water streaks. Living in a hard water area, it’s almost impossible to wash and dry on a hot sunny day, as water droplets dry off as small spots almost as soon as you put the hose down. I’d encountered this problem previously, with a metallic silver car, but it’s even worse on the C4’s dark blue. One partial solution is to finish off the rinse process with a pump spray of deionised water, but even this fails on a hot day, as the water droplets dry off into obstinate little spots too quickly, and it affects the window glass too. So I would probably choose one of Arctic Steel, Thorium Grey, or Fluid Grey (all metallic) if I was buying a new C4, and I would also possibly add from the accessories list the chrome boot trim, (£54) to help protect the paintwork, and the chrome door finishers, at £145. Both sound a little expensive, but there’s little change out of £500 for a minor piece of bodywork or paintwork repair these days, so they probably aren’t a bad insurance against the possibility of far greater expense.
|Citroën C4 Exclusive HDi 150|
|Price when new:||£21,495|
|Price as tested (including options):||£24,915|
|Optional extras:||eMyWay and Denon Hi-Fi system, metallic paint, Mistral ‘Caludia’ leather upholstery with heated front seats, space saver spare wheel, vision pack|
|Engine:||1997cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel|
|Power output:||148bhp at 3,750rpm|
|Maximum torque:||251lb ft at 2,000rpm|
|Maximum towing weight:||1,750kg|
|Fuel consumption:||56.5mpg (official combined)52.3mpg (on test)|
|CO2 emissions (Taxband):||130g/gm (D)|
|Benefit in kind tax liability:||19%|
|Size (Length/width with mirrors):||4,329/2,050mm|
|Boot space (Minimum/maximum):||408/1,183litres|
|EuroNCAP safety rating:||5 stars|
|Date arrived:||2nd February 2011|
|Mileage to date:||7,047miles|
|Costs to date:||None|
|Faults to date:||Minor problem with fuel flap release now solved|