Citroen e-C4 review: performance, motor and drive
The e-C4 comfortable and has sufficient performance, but we'd prefer a more controlled driving experience
|0-62mph||Top speed||Driven wheels||Power|
Like many modern electric cars, performance from the e-C4’s electric motor is adequate rather than spellbinding; the instant torque makes it feel lively off the line and plenty quick enough day-to-day.
As mentioned elsewhere in our review, until recently, Citroen used parent group Stellantis’s older-generation electric technology in the e-C4 – for the motor as well as the battery. However, from mid-2023, it has been offered with the bigger battery and more powerful motor from the updated DS 3 E-Tense and Vauxhall Mokka Electric. It'll remain optional for the time being and while unfortunately we've not yet tried the punchier motor in the Citroen, our experiences in the C4's sister cars would suggest the differences are unlikely to be that obvious. In fact, we expect on-paper performance to be identical.
Elsewhere, Citroen’s dedicated 'B' mode ramps up the regenerative braking to good effect, making town driving a breeze – simply lift off as you approach junctions or traffic and speed is scrubbed off like a petrol car in a low gear. The system doesn’t quite offer one-pedal driving like the Kia Niro EV, but it’s still a useful feature that many owners will be able to reap the benefits of.
Citroen e-C4 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
Most e-C4s are powered by a 134bhp electric motor that can deliver peak torque from the instant you press the accelerator. Top speed is 93mph – not that that’s terribly relevant – while 0-62mph takes nine seconds flat. Acceleration is pretty linear; the e-C4 won’t pin you back in your seat, but it still feels nippy from a standing start and faster than the conservative figures might suggest – much like the majority of modern electric cars.
More recently, the e-C4 inherited the more powerful 154bhp electric motor and slightly bigger battery from the DS 3 E-Tense. It's optional for the time being, though in reality, this upgrade focuses on range improvements rather than any kind of real-world performance gains.
The e-C4's light steering helps with parking and low-speed manoeuvres. The e-C4 is perfectly proportioned for town driving, in fact, and while the steeply-raked rear window and awkwardly-placed rear spoiler don’t do visibility any favours, all but the most basic model come with a reversing camera as standard.
We’d prefer a little more weight and feedback through the steering for extra confidence at higher speeds, though. On twistier roads there’s very little feel through the wheel, which means a slower, more relaxed approach is best. It's less of an issue on the motorway, where the e-C4 really excels on refinement and comfort – it’s just a shame the Citroen doesn’t offer a little more real-world range.
The main reason the Citroen is so comfortable though, aside from its silent electric powertrain, is down to the brand’s famous 'Progressive Hydraulic Cushions' suspension, which comes as standard across the range. As such, the e-C4 ably takes the edge off any nasty lumps and bumps in the road, with an accomplished high-speed ride. It’s not perfect, however; the system can feel slow to react at lower speeds, while faster changes of direction often cause the car to feel loose or a little unwieldy.
In This Review
- 1VerdictCitroen's first proper go at an electric family car is a successful one, offering good all-round ability with a unique character
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe e-C4’s is now optionally available with a bigger 54kWh battery – only adding to the crossover's appeal
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Citroen e-C4 should be a very cheap car to run, much like other electric cars of this size
- 4Performance, motor & drive - currently readingThe e-C4 comfortable and has sufficient performance, but we'd prefer a more controlled driving experience
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortPractical, comfortable and with decent infotainment, the Citroen e-C4 offers plenty to like inside
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThat interesting shape hasn't had an undue impact on the e-C4's practicality, though the spoiler does affect visibility
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThere's not much solid reliability data to go on yet, but the Citroen e-C4's proven underpinnings bode well
- 8Living with itWe put Citroen's electric family hatchback through its paces in the real world with a long-term test