Citroen e-C4 (2024) review
Bigger battery and more power for Citroen's distinctive e-C4 electric hatchback.
Matt Robinson
Matt Robinson

Published on September 13, 2023

Citroen's emphasis on electric power gathers pace as it turns its attention to the e-C4 hatchback. Accounting for roughly one-in-four of all C4 sales across Europe since this model arrived at the start of the decade, the electric version will soon come with a larger battery pack, an additional 20hp when in Sport mode... and the bonus of going past the 400km one-shot range barrier.

In the metal

There are no visual changes to denote the Citroen e-C4 with the bigger battery pack, so it's as you were on the aesthetic front, both outside and in. That first of all means a very daring exterior, with the sloping fastback rear, the busy light clusters and detailing fore and aft, an idiosyncratic spoiler bisecting the tailgate glass and a general crossover-like air afforded to the car by its tall ride height plus black-plastic lower-body cladding. The example we drove didn't have blue highlights around the front fog lights and on the chunky door sills, but instead wore silver - as did all the other e-C4s we saw at the launch. Which means the only way you can now tell if the C4 you're looking at is petrol or electric is to either look for the tailpipes peeking out at the back of the car (if the former) or to spot the small blue 'e' just in front of the model's boot badge (if the latter).

Whatever; we rather like the way the e-C4 looks. It's dramatic and, were you to prise every double-chevron badge from its bodywork and then ask someone who knew nothing about cars which company it came from, we reckon 100 per cent of the answers would be along the lines that it really couldn't be a model from any other manufacturer besides Citroen. However, this then makes the utterly humdrum interior of the car all the more baffling. You swing open the door on a vehicle whose headlights appear as if they took direct inspiration from the power units that dragged Sebulba's pod racer forward in the Star Wars universe, and you reveal a cabin which is a sea of largely featureless grey rubberised plastics. There are token gestures at enlivening the surroundings of the front-seat passengers, such as a couple of diagonal fabric strips on the door cards, some contrasting textiles on the seats and outer air vents which are roughly hexagonal in shape, but otherwise this is staid stuff.

There's nothing wrong with the materials used, and actually ergonomically speaking the e-C4's interior is largely very good, clunky infotainment system aside - oh, and the comfort levels of those front seats are off the scale. But when you consider this particular car company has turned out some truly esoteric interiors over the decades - the cockpit of the CX of the 1970s and 1980s being a particular highlight - then it's just so bizarre that a forward-thinking electric vehicle with such striking exterior styling is saddled with a dull cabin. We're not even asking for deliberately wacky switchgear placement from Citroen, either; just some different colours and materials to break up the tonal monotony would be enough to lift the ambience quite a few notches.

Driving it

There's some excellent news in terms of the technology of the e-C4 and it is that the electric motor and battery have both been enhanced. For the propulsion system, the old 100kW (136hp) permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) has been replaced with a more advanced 115kW (156hp) hybrid synchronous motor (HSM), which is not only more potent but also more efficient. In order to help maximise this gain, Citroen has enlarged the e-C4's battery pack from 50kWh gross (46kWh net), to a 54kWh unit now that results in 51kWh of usable capacity. Part of the trick here was changing the make-up of the battery, from 60 per cent nickel and 20 per cent each of manganese and cobalt, to 80 per cent nickel and 10 per cent of the other two metals.

The net result of all this is an official maximum one-shot driving range of 420km, which is not only notable for going past the psychological marker of 400km on a charge but also a 60km uplift on the pre-existing e-C4's theoretical maximum of 360km.

In terms of charging, all remains the same. The 115kW e-C4 has the same 100kW maximum DC rate as the 100kW model, which means a 20-80 per cent juice-up of the battery pack will take less than 30 minutes on the electric Citroen's fastest hook-up connection. AC charging of up to 7.4kW is the standard specification for the e-C4, but an 11kW upgrade will be an option. You're therefore looking at around five hours for a full charge of the car at 11kW.

To drive, the e-C4 is remarkably refined. In fact, it's genuinely wonderful to travel along in it, because we suspect Citroen might've taken the opportunity of fitting an upgraded electric drive system to sneakily add more sound-deadening here and there. Seriously, the last few times we drove any e-C4, on a variety of roads in various countries, we don't remember them having such a rich, thick, silken silence onboard when travelling at 80km/h and more on country roads. The supple 'Advanced Comfort' suspension, the marshmallow-like seats and the near-total absence of wind, tyre and (of course) drivetrain noise when you're moving in the e-C4 all combine harmoniously for one of the most pleasant motoring cruising experiences you're going to get, and it is the effortless way the Citroen covers ground which is the car's obvious USP.

Naturally, it follows that the e-C4 isn't particularly great in the corners, which it never has been so far, to be fair. It's by no means bad, but there isn't any emphasis on driving enjoyment, as the entire focus is on comfort - which, as we've said, Citroen has completely nailed. Therefore, the merits of that additional 20hp are possibly moot. To access it, you have to have the car in Sport mode - otherwise, it's basically 'just' a 100kW e-C4 but with a marginally bigger battery - and you can feel response to accelerator inputs immediately sharpen as soon as you engage it. And yes, it does make the e-C4 feel more urgent in a straight line, acceleration not tailing off as markedly as you approach and then surpass 100km/h. However, its quoted 0-100km/h time is actually half a second slower than the 100kW model's 9.5-second figure, and in reality most of the time you drive the e-C4 in Normal or Eco anyway, where it feels much the same as it ever did - which is to say, one of the nicer electric hatchbacks that are available out there right now.

What you get for your money

Citroen Ireland hasn't confirmed prices and specs for the new 115kW e-C4 as yet, but it's very likely that it will do the same thing as seen in other markets when offering these two electric models side-by-side, in that the 100kW variant will be reserved for lower trim levels, while the 115kW will only be available higher up the spec tree. We'll wait until we know Citroen Ireland's exact strategy for sure before updating this section of the review.


In fairness, the extra 20hp of the 115kW Citroen e-C4 model is not the big news here; instead, it's the additional 60km of range which draws the eye. This updated electric hatch is a superbly comfortable and refined machine, and if our test drive in cool conditions is anything to go by, its quoted one-shot driving capability looks like it won't be totally pie-in-the-sky - you might not get 420km on every charge, but upwards of 350km shouldn't be out of the ordinary if you're a smooth driver. Thus, if you've always liked the appeal of the Citroen e-C4, this new technical update has just made the car all the more alluring - provided Citroen Ireland can get the pricing right.


Tech Specs

Model testedCitroen e-C4 115kW 54kWh
Powertrainelectric - 115kW electric motor, lithium-ion battery of 51kWh usable energy capacity
Transmissionautomatic - single-speed reduction-gear gearbox, front-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat hatchback
Irish motor tax€120
CO2 emissions0g/km
Electric range420km
Max charge capacity100kW DC, 11kW AC
Energy consumption12kWh/100km
Charging port typeCCS combo
Top speed150km/h
0-100km/h10 seconds
Max power156hp
Max torque260Nm
Boot space380 litres rear seats up, 1,250 litres rear seats down
Rivals to the e-C4 (2024)