We drove 1,800 km in one weekend with the Citroën C4 X!

Comfort, practicality and frugality are the key words for a successful family car. How well does the new Citroën C4 X do in this respect? The answer in this long-distance test with the well-known BlueHDi.

Although diesel has fallen out of favour recently, it is still relevant in family cars designed for long-distance travel. In addition to the electric and petrol versions, the new Citroën C4 X also retains a good old-fashioned diesel under its bonnet. It is precisely this engine that we have chosen, the 1.5 BlueHDi 130 coupled with the EAT8 gearbox, a classic combination that will disappear in the next few years. To appreciate all its qualities, there’s nothing better than a big 1,800 km loop linking Paris to the Alps between town, country, motorway and mountains!

A cosy little nest

Although the C4 X’s interior is not retina-friendly, it is at least functional. The controls are easy to use and, unusually, the ventilation system relies on physical knobs that are ergonomic. The seats are designed like armchairs and are very soft but lack lateral support. However, the ideal driving position is easy to find, with good amplitude in the steering wheel and seats. In the rear, legroom is quite good. The same cannot be said for the headroom, which is rather limited for taller drivers. The boot is very deep with 510 litres and can easily accommodate a family’s luggage, but its impractical opening makes it difficult to carry bulky objects. However, it is comforting to know that the car is particularly well-equipped. In this Shine trim, the C4 X provides more than the essentials with a 10 inch touch screen, blind spot monitoring and head up display. Special mention should be made of a few nice options such as semi-autonomous driving and the glass sunroof, both of which are charged extra on the Shine trim level.

Small shortcomings in the city

Before starting our journey, we had to leave the Paris region. On a completely saturated ring road, the stop and go traffic gave us our first impressions of the BlueHDi. At very low speeds, the EAT8 gearbox shows some hesitation, leading to a few jerks. The same applies to the engine, which is capable of cutting itself off when the traffic picks up. This can become confusing at certain junctions. Fortunately, the damping is conciliatory in urban environments. It’s quite simple: the C4 X flies over almost everything! Only a few bumps in the road can cause a bit of a wobble. There are also no surprises regarding the steering. As a self-respecting Citroën, it is very assisted, which is again exquisite in town. Only its length of 4.60 m actually requires a little time to adapt when maneuvering.

The expressways? Its territory!

On the first few kilometers of the A6 motorway, the C4 X undoubtedly shows itself to be a good traveller. Remarkably well damped, the sedan digests all the undulations of the road with brio. Its soundproofing is correct with wind noise fairly well contained. On the Bessey-en-Chaume pass, near Beaune, our C4 X does well. Thanks to its 300 Nm of torque, the BlueHDi has the luxury of holding its own on the hills without downshifting, again to the benefit of the noise level. The semi-autonomous driving system facilitates the major stages and is alert in most situations. The system keeps a firm grip on the sometimes hazardous road markings and maintains the set speed on steep descents. As far as fuel consumption is concerned, the C4 X is getting a lot of compliments, as our average was less than 5l/100 km, which suggests a motorway range of over 900 km. Remarkable.

Still comfortable on the road, but with some body roll

A short detour in the Haut-Mâconnais region allows us to do our photo session. As we drove through the hills, the Citroën continued to float gracefully on the road. But when the route starts to wind, the French car loses its superbness. The front end is not very responsive and the steering lacks consistency when cornering. The low rolling resistance tyres don’t guarantee good feedback either. Finally, the price of royal comfort is that the body roll is inevitable. After strolling through the plains of Burgundy, the C4 X arrived at the foot of the Alps. Despite the chilly weather, the ventilator proved to be very efficient, with powerful airflow and a rapid temperature rise. Thermal comfort is guaranteed and this is fortunate because the climb will not be easy. Between two hairpins, the BlueHDi does not hesitate to climb in the revs to maintain its strength and is rather grumpy. In the hairpin bends, the body movements join in the fun. However, this is not a tragedy because once you reach the top, the Alpine landscape appears to be an invaluable reward.

After three days and 1,830 km at the wheel of the Citroën C4 X, it was time to sum up. Not surprisingly, the diesel version of the French sedan loves long stretches of asphalt. In addition to its amazing comfort, its range is surprisingly good compared to the petrol model and the fuel budget will hardly break the bank. However, the boot opening is too narrow, which makes it difficult to get in and out of. Sometimes clumsy, sometimes lazy, its behavior on the road may also put some people off. While the BlueHDi certainly doesn’t have the smoothness of the electric version in town, it does keep its promises in terms of consumption and makes the C4 X an accomplished family car.

Verdict: 15/20 – Good

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