Car review: Citroen crosses out more rivals with e-C4 X

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SINGAPORE – In a case where the encore is significantly better than the main show, Citroen presents the e-C4 X.

The car is simply bigger and better than its first electric model, the e-C4, which was test-driven here less than a year ago in June 2023.

It measures 4,600mm tip to tip, making it 245mm longer than the e-C4. The width and height remain the same at 1,800mm and 1,525mm respectively, and its wheelbase is a wee 5mm longer at 2,670mm.

Although the X in its name may suggest it is a sport utility vehicle (SUV), ground clearance is unchanged – and modest – at 156mm. Negotiating tight carpark ramps is still a cinch.

The car is 23kg heavier at 1,584kg, which is still rather light for an electric car that is almost the size of the Polestar 2. Its relative lightness is largely attributable to its smallish battery, which has a capacity of 54kWh, or 4kWh more than the e-C4.

On top of an improved power consumption of 14.1kWh/100km – from 14.5kWh/100km – the new car has a realistic range of 383km, or at least five weekdays’ worth of driving for the average motorist here.

The test car manages 14kWh/100km, despite the air-conditioner having been pre-programmed to come on three times each day by a previous driver. Alas, I discover this only on the second day of my test drive. The pre-programming is unnecessary, as the car’s air-con is powerful enough to cool a baked cabin in a jiffy.

I estimate that the e-C4 X will average 13kWh/100km without the pre-cooling. That would give it a real-world range of over 400km in Singapore. For driving in Malaysia, the car should take you easily to Melaka at highway-legal speeds.

Function over frills: Cabin finishing conveys robustness and durability.

The electric Citroen will deliver that commute with ample comfort too. There is more than adequate legroom and headroom in the second row.

Its boot has a squarish floor space of 1m by 1m, which is fairly big for a car its size. But because it has a saloon-like boot lid and aperture, it will not accommodate bulkier items with as much ease as the Polestar 2, which has a liftback tailgate.

Besides its size and excellent air-con, another crucial contributor to occupant comfort is the car’s unrivalled suspension set-up. The e-C4 X retains the French brand’s reputation for superb ride quality, something which cannot be understated in Singapore.

Its plush ride has a small trade-off in the handling department. The car does not feel as planted and confident around fast bends as many Continental rivals, although some of this has to do with its woolly steering.

Its braking action is likewise comfort-biased, which makes stop-start traffic much more bearable for occupants, but perhaps somewhat objectionable to aggressive drivers.

Ample amenities: Among highlights, adaptive cruise control, head-up display and doors with self-locking and unlocking.

Most drivers, however, will find the e-C4 X adequately nippy. It has 100kW and 270Nm of torque, versus 97kW and 260Nm in the e-C4.

It sprints to 100kmh in 10 seconds, faster than the e-C4’s 10.8 seconds. Top speed however, remains unchanged at 150kmh.

Like many electric cars, acceleration is instant and seamless, making the car feel a lot punchier than its modest 10-second century sprint conveys. In fact, the Citroen offers a good compromise of power, efficiency and range – a mix which is ideal for city use, but which seems to escape many other electric vehicles.

At the same time, the mix contributes to a more palatable price tag. At around $165,000 with certificate of entitlement (COE), the e-C4 X is one of the least costly electric cars in its size segment.

The keen pricing is not at the expense of equipment either. The car has features such as adaptive cruise control, head-up display, 360-degree camera, wireless phone charging and plenty of storage compartments. Above the glovebox is a compartment for a laptop and on top of that is a pop-out stand for a tablet.

Light lid: The boot cover is manual, but feather-light for easy opening and closing.

The car’s infotainment system offers wireless connection, although pairing and unpairing require a couple of steps. Once connected, Android Auto does not always reconnect automatically.

The cabin finishing is austere, but not cheap. The panels are robust and there is no sign of rattle. You get more functionality than frills, which is a familiar trait in Citroen cars. Its doors feel solid, closing with a reassuring thump and opening in dampened stages.

The best part is that they unlock automatically as you approach and lock when you walk away. Although the boot lid is manual, it is very light.

Like Citroens of old, the e-C4 X has a quirky styling, looking like a cross between a saloon, fastback and SUV. It is not a car you will miss in a parking lot.

Clearly, on top of everything else, this encore comes with a stunning costume change.

Citroen e-C4 X

Motor: Permanent magnet AC synchronous with 54kWh battery
Transmission: Single-speed
Power: 100kW at 3,540-13,000rpm
Torque: 270Nm at 500-3,530rpm
0-100kmh: 10 seconds
Top speed: 150kmh
Power consumption: 14.1kWh/100km
Agent: Cycle & Carriage France
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Book a test drive with the new Citroën e-C4 X now!

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