Citroen e-C4 X Review

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The e-C4 X is aimed at first-time EV owners seeking an electric sedan that offers a cushy ride and an easy-going, driver-friendly character.

New technology can be a scary thing, especially for folks who aren't so inclined to go with the flow and adapt to changing norms. And this fear isn't one-dimensional either. People not only fear being unable to adapt, but also being left behind by their peers.

For instance, in less than a generation, we've gone from being tied to desktop computers to a mobile ecosystem where nearly everything can be done and run from a smartphone that fits in the palm of your hand.

The same can be said about cars. As carmakers whip out one electric model after another and fill each vehicle with more technology than we need, shifting from an ICE powertrain to an electric one seems too daunting to attempt.

The exterior design may seem unconventional, but it's a cohesive one nonetheless

Unconventional yet affable

The Citroen e-C4 X is one of the most approachable EVs you'll encounter, even if it may not look that way at first. It's French, so the whole 'rude Parisian' stereotype probably plays a role here. If you've encountered such a person, it's easy to think the cars are that way, too.

The e-C4 X's styling is unusual, to say the least, for despite having the swoopy lines of a fastback, this car is actually a sedan. It features double LED head lights, a sculpted bonnet and fenders, and unique taillights that each have a two-line signature.

The added ground clearance means you won't have to sweat steep carpark ramps

It's a fastback in profile only - the short boot lid gives away the car's true body style

Giving the e-C4 X a crossover-y vibe is the taller ride height, along with unpainted lower panels that suggest the driver might be the outdoorsy type. The only other car you might mistake this for the e-C4, its equally otherworldly hatchback sibling.

Now, if you're never driven an EV, you might feel apprehensive, imagining that their interiors are so high-tech that you'll be facing a steep learning curve even before you set off on a test drive.

The e-C4 X's cockpit is modern enough and even has a heads-up display, but the overall feel is sombre rather than chic

Surprisingly user-friendly

Indeed, if you're used to a car with an analogue instrument panel, the e-C4 X could be bewildering at first. The steering wheel is square (okay, a rounded square), the instrument cluster looks like a phablet screen, and the gearshift lever is replaced by a tab. Only the air-con dials on the centre console seem familiar.

Equally odd is how you need to press and hold the 'Engine Start Stop' button to turn on the car. Obviously, there's no internal combustion engine and being an electric car, shouldn't a single quick press do the trick?

Designers adopted a minimal approach for the instrument panel, while the infotainment's large icons make it easy to navigate

But once the car is on and the infotainment has loaded (this only takes a moment), you'll discover that the menus aren't as complex as expected. While not as minimalist and intuitive as the Polestar 2's infotainment, it's not difficult to navigate either.

You can also customise the layout of both the infotainment and instrument panel so that your preferred information is displayed. There are several background colour options, too, which is a nice touch since the entire cabin is a sombre black.

Rear seat legroom is relatively good, but passengers over 1.75m tall will find headroom lacking

The 510-litre boot is great for bulky items, but the short boot lid means access to the interior can be tricky

The rear seats feel as cushy as the front seats, with adequate legroom for someone up to 1.75m tall. The seat backs, however, are relatively low, so taller folks might not be too comfy here. That said, having rear air-con vents and two USB ports (a USB-C and a USB-A) does make the space useful as well.

Practical, too, is the e-C4 X's boot, which at 510 litres is 130 litres bigger than the one in the e-C4. Its only downside is that if smaller items roll further in, retrieving them requires you to duck into the space. This is due to the fastback body style that results in the rear windscreen extending further than it normally does in a sedan.

The Advanced Comfort Seats, coupled with the surprisingly cold air-con, further enhance the e-C4 X's comfort

Soft and zippy

Citroen is regarded for its expertise in ride comfort and the e-C4 X is another solid demonstration of this. The car's suspension features progressive hydraulic cushions, which smoothen out rough surfaces and speed bumps alike.

'Doughy' is a good way to describe the ride quality, since pockmarked roads do not faze this car one bit. It's no surprise then, that the steering is totally effortless to the point of almost being devoid of feel. If twirling the helm tires you, then the lightness of the e-C4 X's one will be welcome.

A car with a pillowy ride and light steering needs an equally gentle powertrain and Citroen delivered this, too. If the thought of immediate acceleration is deterring you from an EV, then the e-C4 X might change your mind.

Its electric motor produces 134bhp and 270Nm of torque, but its delivery is tempered so that the figures arrive gradually rather than suddenly. The e-C4 X accelerates like a comparable ICE-powered model, taking 10 seconds to go from zero to 100km/h. There's no danger of being caught out by a sudden surge of torque.

The motor works best in 'Normal' mode, but drivers in a rush are still given the option of selecting 'Sport'

Though there's enough power for daily commutes, you will need to plan overtaking manoeuvres since the acceleration isn't rapid. Another interesting point here is that the regenerative braking isn't as powerful as you'd expect - even with B or Braking mode activated, the regenerative braking is barely palpable.

While that might be a bummer for those used to stronger regenerative forces, first-time EV drivers and owners may still prefer mainly using the brake pedal to slow down and stop the car. In this regard, the e-C4 X feels like an ICE model.

Citroen claims the e-C4 X averages 7.1km/kWh and has a driving range of up to 436km. In my experience, I clocked 6.3km/kWh in mixed conditions, which is good. I reckon being able to go between six and seven days before needing to juice up the car.

Safety-wise, the e-C4 X is equipped with Active Safety Brake, Blind Spot Monitoring System, and Active Cruise Control. The latter combines Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go along with a lane-keeping system, to assist the driver on longer journeys.

French congeniality

French cars are known to have offbeat designs and quirky manners, but while the former is true about the e-C4 X, the latter isn't. The e-C4 X may be advanced, but its technology and personality are relatively approachable.

Equally amiable is its drive, which is linear and easy to modulate. Combined with the pliant suspension, the end result is an EV that's easy to live with. My only gripes are the sombre interior and the fact that Citroen should have followed through on the design and made this car a fastback. If you want an EV without a steep learning curve, this is certainly one to check out.

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

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