Review: Citroen e-C4 X first drive

From £31,995

The Citroen e-C4 X is the latest pure electric model to join Citroen’s zero emissions line-up at the “affordable” end of the EV market.

While it might be identical to the hatchback derivative from the front, it’s new from the rear doors back. And rather than just stick the boot in (remember the Vauxhall Belmont and Ford Orion?), Citroen has given the e-C4 X a sleek derriere that’s arguably much sexier than the model it’s based on.

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Perhaps the French car maker’s marketing department has gone a bit far when it claims that it “combines the elegant silhouette of a fastback with the modern look of an SUV”, but it certainly has added kerb appeal.

On paper, the e-C4 X is some 240mm longer than the e-C4 (Auto Express Driver Power ‘Car of the Year’ winner 2023), which means cargo space is larger too (up from 380-litres to 510-litres).

There’s also a decent amount of room for passengers in the rear seats, and if you need more load space, the rear seats can be folded flat to create an area of 1,360-litres.

> Review: Citroen e-C4

And it’s this extra space that could prove to be the car’s USP. We suspect it may prove to be especially popular with taxi drivers because that boot can consume a serious amount of luggage. However, families might prefer the wider hatchback opening of the e-C4.

Other than that, the e-C4 and e-C4 X are very similar, in terms of spec and driving experience.

Both are available with two electric powertrain options. The slightly cheaper option is the 50kWh battery mated to a 134bhp electric motor, which is capable of up to 222 miles, while the uprated 54kWh battery and 154bhp electric motor provide a range of up to 260 miles.

> Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid 136 will produce 15% less emissions than diesel version

Drive is via the front wheels on both, delivering a 0-62mph times just below 10 seconds. You get 100kW DC rapid charging, meaning a 10-80% top-up can be completed in 30 minutes when connected to a compatible public rapid charger. Or to put it another way, hook it up to a 100kW charger and it will add 59 miles of range in 10 minutes.

Naturally, it will also fully charge overnight at home using a wall box, and regenerative braking will recover energy otherwise wasted when slowing down or coasting.

There are three trim levels available – Sense, Shine and e-Series – and standard features include a heat pump which improves battery performance.

Sense models get 18-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers and LED headlights, a 5.5-inch driver’s digital instrument cluster, plus a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Safety features include Active Safety Brake with video assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision Warning.

Shine adds dark-tinted rear windows with chrome trim and ambient lighting, plus a sat nav which includes a three-year subscription to real-time traffic and speed camera alerts.

> Review: Citroen Ami

Top-of-the-range e-Series models get a bi-tone Perla Nera Black roof, distinctive 18-inch Onyx Black ‘Aeroblade’ wheels and heated front seats.

Inside, the e-C4 X is comfortable, thanks to Citroen’s famed Advanced Comfort padded seats. Elsewhere, apart from the odd hard, plastic surface, the cabin is a pleasant place to be with a logical layout.

Up front, the e-C4 X isn’t completely minimalist and still retains some essential buttons and dials. The infotainment touchscreen is now much improved compared to previous Citroen models, but it’s still not the slickest system out there.

And a special mention for a clever storage solution above the glovebox which allows your front-seat passenger to view a tablet device via a retractable holder fully integrated into the dashboard.

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On the road, the Citroen e-C4 X is much the same as its hatchback sibling, delivering a smooth ride (though “magic carpet” is pushing it) and impressive cabin refinement.

It doesn’t offer fast acceleration like some EVs, but it’s eager enough for everyday driving.

There are three drive modes (Eco, Normal and Sport), but frankly Normal hits the spot. Eco is fine for pottering around town, while Sport adds a little zip. However, push it on more challenging corners and there’s a bit of body roll, so the e-C4 X is best enjoyed at a more leisurely pace.

Elsewhere, light steering and a relatively high driving position add to the easy on-the-road experience, though it would just be nice if the brakes were a little more progressive.

Ultimately, the e-C4 X doesn’t deliver much in the way of driving thrills, but it’s an honest car that prioritises comfort, space and refinement over performance.

The real-world range is likely to be closer to 200 miles for the 50kWh battery and 225 miles for the 54kWh. So, it’s not up in the 250-mile+ comfort zone of some rivals, but it’s more than enough for most drivers’ daily needs.

Competitors include the MG4 EV, Peugeot e-208, Kia Niro EV, Ora Funky Cat and Renault Megane E-Tech.

> MG4 EV named UK Car of the Year 2023

For the record, the e-C4 X is also available with petrol and diesel engines.

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Sensible, smooth, safe, comfortable and practical, the all-electric Citroen e-C4 X’s distinctive design delivers a fastback-style rear end with the boot of a large saloon.
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3.50/5

Performance

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Range

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Comfort

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Dynamics

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Fast Facts

Price

£31,995
-37,195

Battery Capacity

54 kWh

WLTP Range

260 miles

Maximum Power

154 bhp

Torque

192 lb-ft

0-60

9 secs

Top Speed

93 mph

Boot Capacity

510 litres

Pros and Cons

Comfortable ride
Spacious interior
Big boot
Average battery range
Leisurely performance
Saloon-style boot opening
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