Driving report: Citroën ë-C4 X: Finally

The pecking order in the Stellantis Group actually seems clear.

Driving report: Citroën ë-C4 X: Finally

The pecking order in the Stellantis Group actually seems clear. First the French brands don't come along for a long time and ultimately the Italians and Opel are allowed to use the new technology. Not even close. While the Astra Electric already benefits from the more efficient and stronger 115 kW / 156 HP electric motor (previously 100 kW / 136 HP) and the 54 kilowatt hour battery (previously 50 kWh), Citroën is now equipping the e-C4 brothers and the e- C4 X with the drive and range update. In the case of the Stromer crossover, this means a longer WLTP range of 420 kilometers (previously 360). However, the additional power is only available in the ë-Series and Shine equipment lines and costs an additional 1,000 euros compared to the 100 kW version, which is still offered.

For some people it may sound strange to spend so much money for a few more horsepower. Especially since the improvements are manageable. But they come about through a change in the cell chemistry of the battery. While the electricity storage system previously consisted of 60 percent nickel and 20 percent each of cobalt and manganese, the split is now 80 percent nickel and ten percent each manganese and cobalt. So definitely a change worth mentioning. The French apparently don't have an easy time optimizing the store either. While the three-phase 11 kW is completely fine when refueling with AC, the maximum of 100 kW at a DC fast charging station means lower middle range. With a 400 volt platform there should be more possible by now. After all, according to Citroën, the batteries can be filled from 20 to 80 percent in less than half an hour.

That brings us to consumption, which the French car maker states at 14.9 kWh/100 km. During our test drive, during which we also drove a little faster, we achieved 15.1 kWh/100 km. The heat pump, which is on board as standard, also helps with efficiency. Since the Citroën ë-C4 The spread between the Eco, Normal and Sport driving programs remains clear, with Eco easily enough to keep up with the traffic. If you still need to get more power, all you need to do is press the accelerator pedal completely down to a defined pressure point in order to draw the reserves out of the drive train. This means the Citroën ë-C4 X can reach a maximum speed of 150 km/h. Not necessarily record-breaking, but enough to be able to travel faster.

With the ë-C4 The idea behind it is still clever, as this technology is significantly cheaper than adaptive dampers. The chassis is comfortably tuned and compensates for potholes properly. However, it cannot completely conceal the e-crossover's weight of 1,659 kilograms, but that's okay because otherwise the driving experience would be too decoupled. Comfort also includes noise development and the Citroën E-Crossover is the quietest.

The comfort seats are designed for relaxed travel and they serve exactly this purpose. There isn't necessarily a business class feeling in the rear, but the legroom is acceptable for a 4.60 meter long car with a wheelbase of 2.67 meters. Things are different around the head, which is significantly less airy. The trunk volume is 510 liters; if you fold down the backrests of the rear seat, it increases to 1,360 liters. However, a narrow hatch and a noticeable step in the loading floor make filling the luggage compartment more difficult.

The dark interior of the test car doesn't quite keep up with the expressive exterior of the Citroën ë-C4 X. A little more color would help here. The controls are clearly arranged. So the automatic climate control has its own control bar and you don't have to click through menus to adjust it. Good! The ten-inch touchscreen is the command center of the infotainment, where the menu structure of the home screen is somewhat convoluted and you first have to swipe through different pages. Once you get used to this concept, you'll quickly find your way around. The digital instrument cluster is 5.5 inches in size and is complemented by a head-up display with a hinged Plexiglas panel. Not for high-tech nerds, but the system serves its purpose and is cheaper than the windshield version. The smartphone recharges its batteries in an inductive charging cradle and can be wirelessly integrated into the infotainment system via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you prefer the classic connection between smart device and car, there are USB-A and USB-C ports.

You can tell from the rear view camera that the e-CMP platform has been around for a few years now. The 360 ​​degree image uses the ultrasonic sensors of the blind spot assistant, which means the display is not quite as detailed as if cameras were built into the mirrors. It can also happen that after a long period of standstill, the sensors first have to feel the way and therefore the areas to the left and right of the car are initially "grayed out" and you have to rely on the good old look over your shoulder when maneuvering.