Using an established platform, the Citroen e-C4 X bolsters the French brand's electric offering with a shape that blurs the line between traditional segments. While it is very similar to the e-C4, this model gains more practical features that could make it more appealing to buyers.
In the metal
You might look at the Citroen e-C4 X and think, what is it? On the one hand, it appears to be a crossover due to its slightly raised ride height. Then there's the semblance of a three-box design associated with saloons. Yet this is technically neither of those, at least according to Citroen. That's where the 'X' part of the name comes in, as Citroen has begun using it for models that break convention. We've seen this already with the larger C5 X, a crossover estate of sorts.
The e-C4 X is also a raised design that shares much of its sheet metal with the e-C4 hatchback. The entire front, windscreen and side doors are carried over. Where these two differ is at the rear, where the e-C4 X gains a stretched design to accommodate a saloon-style boot lid.
Open it up and there's 510 litres of space inside - up from 380 litres in the hatchback. That's thanks mostly to an increase in length, though the actual boot aperture isn't as wide as that of the hatch. It's still large enough to get a suitcase in, but bulky items aren't so easy. There's a new sloping roofline, and to keep the exterior look clean there is no rear wiper, which isn't ideal. On the upside, the e-C4 X doesn't get the same spoiler as the C4 that spans the rear window, which greatly improves visibility.
The cabin of the Citroen e-C4 X is identical to that of the C4, and that's no bad thing as it's nicely laid out and features some good design. The electrically adjustable driver's seat includes heating, and the manually adjustable steering wheel can also be heated (depending on trim level). The multifunction wheel is a good design that feels nice in your hands and isn't strewn with buttons, making it easy to navigate. Ahead of the driver sits a small digital display that's tastefully backlit on the sides, giving the dashboard greater visual depth. Citroen also offers a colour head-up display that projects onto a clear plastic oanel that rises from the dash and puts relevant driving info right in the driver's eye-line.
A 10-inch touchscreen sits atop the centre of the dash. Citroen's native infotainment system is easy to use, though the built-in maps function isn't the best that's out there. Thankfully, there is wireless smartphone mirroring, so you can connect and run Android Auto or Apple CarPlay without any cables; a wireless phone charger is also available. We like that Citroen sticks with physical controls, such as a volume knob and rotary dials, for the temperature and climate settings.
Passengers in the rear won't have many complaints about the available space. There's decent headroom and kneeroom, and the front seats sit high enough to allow rear-seat occupants to put their feet under them. Despite the appearance of the roof being sloped from the outside, it isn't noticeable inside.
Citroen does manufacture a petrol version of the C4 X, but only this fully electric model will be sold in Ireland. The e-C4 X uses a setup that is common across several brands and models from the parent group, Stellantis, such as the Opel Mokka, Peugeot e-2008 and DS 3. Powering the e-C4 X is a 50kWh battery (45kWh is usable) and a 100kW (136hp) electric motor that drives the front wheels. Delivery of that power is smooth, enabling the Citroen to glide through city and urban traffic with minimal fuss. In that sense, it makes for an ideal commuter car.
Much effort has gone into making comfort a priority. It makes a refreshing change from other manufacturers focusing on making their vehicles seem sporty and dynamic by increasing wheel size and firming up the suspension. Some of the comfort can be attributed to Citroen's patented hydraulic cushion suspension, which improves bump absorption. You notice it over pockmarked tarmac and when travelling over speed bumps. You're never entirely isolated from them entirely, but it does take the hard edge off, resulting in a more comfortable ride overall. The front seats also contain more padding than usual for the same reason.
You also experience little in the way of road and wind noise at speed, adding to the overall comfortable driving experience.
There is the choice of three different driving modes: Normal, Eco, and Sport, though the default Normal mode is fine. In the Sport setting, the only noticeable change is the sharper delivery of power, which is likely to reduce the car's range.
Differences in the car's design and aerodynamics mean the e-C4 X has a slightly longer driving range between charges than the e-C4, at 360 kilometres. That figure reduces if you're mostly doing motorway driving, as ever, but you should still comfortably manage more than 200 kilometres at a constant 120km/h. Across a mixed variety of driving, we saw the average energy consumption figure drop down below 18kWh/100km. It might not be an ideal long-range EV, but it can charge up at 100kW, making top-ups to 80 per cent possible in as little as 30 minutes.
What you get for your money
Irish pricing for the Citroen e-C4 X is still being finalised, but we expect it to cost slightly more than the e-C4. Buyers in Ireland will have the choice of four specification grades: Feel, Feel Pack, Flair and Flair Pack. At a minimum, equipment will include 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry and start, automatic air conditioning, rear parking sensors and a 10-inch touchscreen.
With the Feel Pack, the standard equipment expands to include a colour head-up display, reversing camera, Citroen's Smart Pad Support and My Citroen Drive Plus. The Flair grade adds front parking sensors (in addition to the reversing camera), rear privacy glass and a heated steering wheel. You'll need to upgrade to the Flair Pack trim to get heated front seats, which also adds Alcantara upholstery.
The genre-busting design and enhanced practicalities of the Citroen e-C4 X could make it a more popular choice than the e-C4 hatchback. A tasteful interior design, keen approach to comfort and the electric powertrain make it a car that takes much of the strain out of driving and strikes a decent balance between performance and efficiency. It might not appear outwardly conventional, but that's just part of it being a Citroen.