EXCLUSIVE: We drive new-look Citroen’s C4 in Paris
A week before its launch in New Zealand Driven has tested Citroen's facelift C4 hatchback around the company's Paris headquarters.
The French hatchback’s 1.6-litre petrol engine has been replaced with a 1.2-litre turbo version and the four-speed auto has been ditched, and instead the C4 at last gains a responsive six-speed version.
The C4 also gains such technology as stop-start, keyless entry, 7in touchscreen and satnav while the exterior change are U-shaped front headlights and 3D style rear lights.
Citroen NZ has decided to launch only one model, priced at $34,990 with such features as blind spot monitoring ($1500) and 17in alloys ($1000) as options.
Citroen NZ’s boss, Simon Rose, was the passenger during Driven’s Paris test drive and told us that he expected to sell between five and 10 models a month, with existing C4 owners already showing interest in the product.
The decision to have one model and “one price point”, Rose said, was part of the company’s plan to restructure and simplify the Citroen models available in New Zealand.
“We found in the past that we had too many variants which makes it too complicated for buyers,” said Rose.
The six-speed transmission, plus the fuel efficiency of the responsive 1.2-litre petrol engine, should also attract new customers to the brand.
Competitors for the facelift C4 include part of Citroen’s “family”, Peugeot’s 308, plus Volkswagen’s Golf and the Mazda3.
Driven took the C4 for a test drive from Citroen’s office to Versailles, taking in city driving, cobbled roads and a variety of motorway speeds.
Once out of Paris, with the speed limit moving up to 110km/h, sixth gear kicked in and the car felt confident in high-speed situations.
The rides is also more assured and comfortable, even on the bumpy cobbled stones around the palace of Versailles as we
snuck in for a photo shoot.
Heading back into Paris, the turbo engine came to the fore with a quick lane change and the turning circle was impressive as we navigated city roads of the French capital.