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Driven: Citroën C4 - on sale now

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Review

There is no denying that the Citroën C4 is a fantastic looking car. Some have labelled it as the best looking car from Citroën since the DS and it certainly caused a stir in the industry when it was launched last year.

The C4 range offers technology that many prestige saloons are only now filtering in. Lane departure warning systems, directional headlamps, voice-command telematics and a visual-assisted parking sensor package are just some of the gadgets that will help its dealers entice the techno-friendly generation.

It’s just a shame that more development time hasn’t been spent on getting the trim quality right.

Both the 2.0 VTS three-door and 2.0 HDI five-door test cars AM has driven suffered from loose trim and an annoying squeaky driver’s seat bolster, despite having covered only a few thousand miles. Such early quality issues are bound to make potential purchasers wonder whether all the on-board technology will lead to big repair bills.

The 2.0-litre diesel variant feels punchy, while the engine is also smooth and quiet, making it a comfortable long distance cruiser.

In its favour, the VTS’s fantastic styling is matched by its handling. Turn-in is sharp and precise thanks to sports suspension and variable electro-hydraulic power steering.

The C4 still had the ability the turn heads, but potential buyers may be concerned as to whether this Citroën is too much about style over substance.

Strengths: Stunning looks, lots of gadgets and trim options
Weaknesses: Some interior trim issues
Opportunity: Stands out from the crowd
Threat: Questions over longevity of technology
The USP: Stylish Citroëns are back
Price: VTS: £17,295; 2.0 HDI: £18,495
Transmission: Five- or six-speed manual
Performance: 2.0 180bhp: 0-62 mph 8.3sec; top speed 141 mph. 2.0 HDI 138bhp:0-62mph 9.7sec; top speed 129mp
Efficiency: 33.6mpg, 200g/km CO2 52.3mpg, 142g km CO2
CAP RV 30k/3yr: £6,075 (36%),£6,025 (33%)
Rivals: Renault Mégane, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 307

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