So here I am after about six weeks or so, into my ownership of a C4P 1.6 HDi VTR+ with the flappy paddle things. Maybe it's time I shared a few thoughts on what was a fairly large change from my previous car, a Mazda3 1.6 Activematic.
For a start, I came into owning the C4P after two years in which I came to loathe my previous motor. Nice to look at and shiny when i got it, the shoddy quality interior and unpleasant rattle drove me mad in the end. as did bashing my head when I got in and out of it.
The C4P has been a revelation. It looked pretty, and promised much when I collected it from Lythgoe in Bolton. Interior was both roomy and well-appointed, with a fit and finish that belied the occasionally poor Citroen reputation for not being everything they could be in build quality. I haven't been disappointed so far.
For a mini MPV it handles beautifully. Not much in the way of body roll for a vehicle of its height, and much better than others such as the Meriva or soft-sprung Renaults. The harsh brakes are a problem but you learn to live with those as it's better to pull up fast than argue with a lamp post.
I have spent most of the first month in a combination of motorway and town driving. Town driving can occasionally make the EGS gearbox a bit lumpy, but again it's something you adapt to. Using the paddles for an occasional faster shift works wonders in the smoothness stakes. However it's on the roads that begin with an M that the C4P comes into its own.
That legendary Citroen attention to the suspension and engine mounts pays off hugely on motorways. The diesel growl quietens to a muted hum, and the balanced suspension helps eat up the miles. I've done Manchester to London four times and also a trip to Swansea, both journeys being much less taxing than in the old jalopy.
Fuel economy is excellent for its size and will improve as it beds in further. Fifty mpg is easily attainable on a nice long run. So all in all, I'm happy with my new car and even cherish those quirky bits that make a Citroen what it is. Forget bland motoring.
30th September 2007 Well it's now two months almost, four thousand on the clock, Manchester to London again yesterday and not so much as a burp. The C4P's brakes also saved a number of lives yesterday when a white van almost broadsided me near Coventry at speed.
I really don't think another MPV would have braked as cleanly or quickly with no stability loss, or got me out of what could have been a particularly brutal crash in fast traffic.
11th October 2007 Here I am, two months in and here is a list of faults that have developed with it in those two months....
um.... none at all
It's exceptional as far as I'm concerned. Nothing. Nada. Not a chipolata. It is as reliable and fault-free as the day it came out of the factory, and that beats the "legendary quality" of Mazda hands down in my estimation. The only thing I could possibly point to is a tiny squeak that the offside wheel makes when manoeuvring slowly in traffic, and that is hardly grounds to reject it!
As it is playing ball, it got a coat of posh polish the other day and is going to get a second one ready for winter. Everything is still fine. No electrical problems, in fact the only "issue" is that the big glass screen does seem to get a bit grubbier more rapidly than any other car. Maybe it's just because of the size and it being more noticeable.
Winter drawers on and we shall see how it performs on the condensation stakes. My last two cars (an Astra that I miss and a Mazda that I certainly don't...) were awful for that. Not noticed any issues on wet days so far with the Citroen. In fact the curse of those two was water streaming in at speed if the side window was open, which the C4 doesn't suffer from at all.
If things go on as they are now I can see me becoming a Citroen loyalist
6th November 2007 I'm now at three months in and five thousand on the clock. No faults whatsoever, and I've even been responsible for a couple more being bought!
Some fellow hobbyists have traded in their motors for the C4P and all are equally happy. Mine has been a revelation so far, but it does seem to have a preference for Shell or other branded diesel. If I use supermarket stuff the MPG drops.
No faults to report at all. Nothing particularly annoying (apart from the oft-discussed economy mode being a PITA at times) and it's still a top notch long distance cruiser despite only having the 1.6 engine
I've got used to the EGS now after five thousand miles of mixed running. If I'm in crawling traffic, I use the paddles rather than auto mode as I find it is a smoother way to drive. The M1 at the busy end is a bit of a bind when it comes to congestion!
otherwise I just leave the hard work to Fifi le Cheese Eating Surrender Citroen (with apologies to that Clarkson bloke)
22nd January 2008
Thought I would add to the report now that it is almost at the six month and 7,500 mile mark.
Still as good as the day i got it. Yes there is that funny squeak that they all seem to make in reverse, but apart from that no problems at all. The only oddity I have noticed is that the EGS gearbox is a bit noisy when you are driving next to something that reflects sound, like a wall or crash barrier, at low speed. A definite clunk which I presume is due to the gearbox being close to the left wing.
No electrical faults, and it handles extremely well. Nudging the paddles in automatic mode gets more performance out of it and is an acquired skill. Other than learning to get used to oddities like the hand brake arrangement and not turning the engine off in an IMO car wash it has been a totally painless six months of motoring and I am a total Citroen convert
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