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In-depth reviews

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

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£32,410 - £37,410
Fuel Type:
Electric

Model

0-62mph

Top speed

Driven wheels

Power

50kWh

9.0s

93mph

Front

134bhp

54kWh

9.2s

93mph

Front

154bhp

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, it’s now offered with the bigger battery and more powerful motor from the Jeep Avenger, as well as the updated DS 3 E-Tense and Vauxhall Mokka Electric. It’s only available on top-spec models, though, while the majority of the e-C4 line-up retains the old setup.

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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 in 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.

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More recently, the e-C4 inherited the more powerful 154bhp electric motor and slightly bigger battery from the aforementioned Jeep Avenger, as well as the new Fiat 600e. Only available on the top-spec ë-Series car, the more powerful electric motor seldom feels any different to its lesser sibling, mainly due to the fact that, to preserve range, it generally outputs the same 134bhp. To unlock the extra 20bhp and full potential of the motor, you need to switch it into Sport mode which, while certainly snappy, feels at odds with the Citroen’s relaxed character.

Handling

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

The main reason the Citroen is so comfortable, though, aside from its near-silent electric powertrain, is down to the brand’s 'Progressive Hydraulic Cushion' 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.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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