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50,000 miles plus in a C4 VTR+ 110 HDi Beline

How is it doing
on 07 March 2009
by BigJohnD author list print the content item create pdf file of the content item
in C4 Owners Model Reviews
 9.8 - 5 votes -

The odometer hit 50,000 miles this morning (27th August 2008) on the way the work so felt it was time for a report on progress.

I've done about 38,000 of them in 20 months since I bought the car in Jan 07, and have very little to report other than satisfaction.

I've only had two issues, both of which were dealt with under warranty during a service, so there's been no unscheduled off road time. I even had the ABS recall (all was well there) done during the service.

I've added a DAB aerial, the 9706.AG additional input and the 9702.EZ iPod link (which I really like). I've also added an additional 12v socket in the recess under the headlamp adjuster switch for the SatNav, which keeps the cable out of the way.

The front tyres do around 24,000 miles and the rears about twice that, though I replaced them all a bit early to ensure I had new tyres for this summer's 3,000 mile tour of France, Spain and Andorra. I also replaced the front brake pads myself at about 46,000 miles - the disks seemed fine.

I had a puncture in the North of Scotland (Wick) which amounted to dropping the wheel off while we did some shopping and fitting it back on an hour or so later. On the way south, (Northumbria = south????) I bought a fifth Resolfen off Dave. It does wonders for the confidence knowing there's a proper wheel and tyre in the boot, but it's never been used - yet.

Battlescars: I have a chip in the windscreen which Autoglass say is OK. and both corners of the rear bumper are scuffed, thanks to idiots in supermarket car parks, and the cover of the driver's mirror is a bit wonky, probably also caused by clumsy parker.

I bought some new wipers last year, and the head-light protectors for blanking off the beams for driving on the right.

The glove box door has jammed twice, but on both occasions I was able to force it open without damage, though there are now scratches around the lock.

Oil consumption has been negligible.

The Black/Grey 'Mesh 3D X-Ray' cloth seats clean up OK but need serious hoovering to get all the crumbs and fluff from the little perforations. They're good big seats. Very comfy, and don't get cold in the winter nor hot in the summer. SWMBO keeps falling asleep in the passenger seat, so they must OK.

And the climate control is great too. I don't think it gets much heavy use in the UK, but it worked superbly when the outside temp was 41ºC in northern Spain, dropping the temp by 25º to around a cool 16º inside.

The leather steering wheel is really nice to hold- really solid leather. Far, far better than the rubbish in a F*c*s which disintegrates and leaves black marks all over your hands, and which Ford won't replace under warranty - "that's wear and tear, mate" - yeah, right.

As regards style, the mono orange/black display screens look dated now - a single full colour display would be good. The overall shape and presence is still a delight. I love the powerful bright-ware Citroën double chevrons on the front.

An finally, the engine. It's a dream. For a 1.6 turbo. it's really powerful. When the turbo's on song, it really powers away, and the steep climbs in the Pyrénées were a doddle, even fully loaded. And the the economy is exceptional. I don't recall ever getting under 50mpg from a tankful, and have had over 60mpg on a few occasions. Brill.

All I can say is, the VTR+ 110 diesel is the car to have! (Photo taken this morning, 27/08/08)

I now need to phone the dealer to book in for the 50K mile service.

7th March 2009 - I thought I'd add a quick update, as it's over 6 months since I wrote the original posting.

Another 7,000+ miles have been added with only a couple of scheduled pitstops.

The 50K miles service threw up that the front discs were approaching the limit and the turbo heat shield had rusted and come loose. I tried to do the the front discs myself, but wasn't able to undo the retaining T55 torx set screws. This was partly because the car was on an axle stand on the drive, and I was scared I was going to heave the car off the stand and partly because they were well truly loctited in. To cut a long story short, I got a local garage to do it for fifty quid.

The heat shield was replaced under warranty, and the same day the car passed its MOT without comment. The chip in the windscreen is still there, but it didn't worry the MOT inspector.

I use the 2nd trip recorder for long term, i.e. for the full 6,000+ miles, and it has never been less than 50 mpg. While I don't exactly rag it or break speed limits, I like to think I'm up there in lane 3 on the motor way whenever it's possible. I have recorded over 60mpg for a 1,000 miles or so of motorway/autoroute driving without much difficulty. 650 miles is my (usually achieved) target from a tankful.

I don't clean the car very often but when I do, it does comes up well.

Staff at work like to ride in it if we car share - partly for the novelty ("the centre of the steering wheel doesn't turn") and partly because it's roomy and comfortable.

There's nothing else to report, not even a dud bulb

I lie - I did accidentally spray the interior of the car with Champagne causing the light idiot/repeaters on the steering column to go wonky for a few hours until the alcohol evaporated. Oh, and the cruise control/speed limiter flashed "SERVICE" once, but a squirt of switch cleaner and much rocking and rolling of the switches sorted it.

Anyway, I conclude that's excellence! What a terrific car and engine!


The car had its 100K Km service today, a little late at 102Km.

The dealer's report is:

a) Brake light not working (which Barrie told me about at FCS). Replaced, new bulb = 79p
b) Rear pads have probably got about 5,000 miles left in them.
c) Bill: £112.50 + Parts + VAT = £199.
d) Thank you - see you in another 7 months!

Car seems fine and continues with around 55mpg.

Another non-event in the life of BJ's C4…


Well another three months have passed, and we're up to 67,000 miles.

Nothing to report, really. I did nearly hit a cyclist who was riding the wrong way along a one street, but that doesn't really count as I missed him and got a mouthful of sailor-speak for letting him live.

The last tankful returned 55.3mpg (5.1litres/100km) which is usual. I've been using Total Excellium Diesel as

Last updated 6th October 2010
a) it's same price as Shell and Tesco;
b) it's very convenient at the top of the road, and never busy; and
c) if Seb Loeb had a diesel C4, it's what he'd put in it.

I checked the oil today, which was black as usual, and decided I could squeeze a token 100ml in. So that's 100ml in 4000+ miles or a litre every 40,000 miles. Not bad, given the price of good quality oil from obscure parts of the planet.

I topped up the squirters too, while under the bonnet, using maximum strength winter grade unfreezable blue stuff from the Total garage.

I did a lap of the car, starting with kicking the front tyres which are excellent but expensive Michelin Exaltos. They're wearing a bit, perhaps half worn. The shiny C4Owners.org sticker was still there on the stern, and the rear tyres looked fine - no signs of any uneven wear or anything. I opened the boot to check the spare, but was a bit upset to see the the pullout thing in the boot stop the wine boxes sliding about was a bit damaged, but I think I can repair it. OMIGAWD! Yes I will repair it. I've just surfed over to Citroën Accessories and discovered Citroën want £391 for new one!!! Say that again? £391 - including fitting though - well I should think so, and gold plated too. - Click Here -

Carrying on…

The spare was still there.

Car needs a wash (I hate cleaning those Resolfens, but they do look good), and the interior needs a good Dysoning. Returning to the pointed end, I reckoned an under bonnet clean wouldn't go amiss either, and I realised that the headlight protectors were still on from my visit to France in February. But I was getting cold so I left them on. Well, I might just do an impromptu Beaujolais run after work… Better get the back pads replaced before then though. (See previous message)

After having had all the scratches removed, I did notice a dint in the rear offside door which can only have been put there by some low life with a negative IQ, who must have smacked my pride and joy with the door his scrappage rust bucket. Not sure waht to about it - nothing probably.

The MOT will need doing again around Christmas, which hopefully might coincide with the next 75,000 mile service, and the tax disc runs out next year some time.

I was vaguely thinking of trading in if the deal was good. I did have a glance at the new VTR+ brochure on Citroën.co.uk, but it lacks so much of the old VTR+ standard kit. Who wants to go down-market? And the VTS spec isn't that exciting either. So, maybe I'll be doing a "Phil and Dave" and moving on from C4. Who knows?

Well, apart from that shock of £391, all is well. Nice one, Citroën.

August 2010 - 70,000 miles and counting:

Been on a touring holiday around France. I'm home now, and thought I'd post up some observations of our 2,500 mile trip to Albi and back in the wife's Focus.

C4 v Focus

1. The Focus is not a car in which to do long journeys. The seats are too small and uncomfortable, and the ride is far too taut and twitchy for relaxed driving. Going over a bump at speed can throw the car off line, requiring quick steering corrections which upset the passenger. In the C4 the bump would probably have gone unnoticed, being properly absorbed.

2. I/we failed to get 50mpg (49.3) despite a good start of 55mpg. French diesel maybe not agreeing with the Ford? Though last time I did a similar journey in France in the C4 we did 53mpg.

3. Our model (Zetec 1.6HDi diesel) had no cruise control which is a must for long distance cruising. It was extremely difficult to maintain a constant speed in the Ford on the autoroutes. I frequently suffered from a dead leg because of the poor position and lack of thigh support from the small seat.

4. The ability to change the speedo's primary readout to km/h was sorely missed, and the Focus's analogue dial was way out at 130km/h when compared to the satnav -by around 6km/h. It might not seem much, but the French drive right on the limit and rarely exceed 130km/h, so cars up yer boot were common.

5. The auto lights and auto wipers of the C4 make the Ford look archaic.

6. The Ford's A/C was OK, but not as good as the C4's auto climate control.

7. The C4's boot is a better shape than the Focus's, and our suitcases fit in more easily.

Driving around France.

1. Diesel (Gazole) at the big supermarkets (Intermarché, E Leclerc, Carrefour) is €1.10-€1.13 per litre, which is about 93p. Diesel on the autoroute can be over €1.30 per litre. Petrol (sans plomb 95) was around €0.20 per litre more.

2. There were lots of Berlingos! The owner of our gîte, who was a Brit, had a Berlingo, but it was RHD he'd bought in the UK and had registered in France. Other than the basic paper work, all he had to do was a certificate of compliance from Citroën after changing the headlamp shells to French spec. He'd also done the same with a Transit van for his "Man and Van" sideline. The prime reason was that new cars are much cheaper in the UK than in France.

3. C4s. I saw lots. White seems a popular colour. I couldn't work out the specs, as several which had VTR+ interior had basic steel wheels. All the ones I heard drive past were diesels; I can't recall hearing a petrol. I saw a few brand new ones, with the new shiny curved chevrons on the bonnet. I took a few photos, including a new black "by Loeb".

4. C4 Pics. The 5 seat pic seemed to out number the 7 seat. I suspect Citroën are having a hard time dislodging the Renault Espace - which is popular and often used as a taxi. I took a photo of a C4 5 seat Pic whose colour I didn't recognise.

5. C5s were pretty common, and are obviously the car of choice as a large saloon or estate.

6. C6. I saw one. I saw two in the UK between Dover and home; 3 if you include the lad who parks his up the road every morning.

7. Other Citroëns. Loads of Xsaras, Xsrara Pics, Xantias, C1s, C3s and C3 Pluriels. I don't recall seeing any C2s and I saw 1 DS3 with its distinctive daylight LEDs. It had a certain chic which the Audis and BMWs didn't have, but then we were in France. There were a few XMs and a couple of 2CVs, but I didn't see any GSs, DS/IDs or CXs.


If you're going to France by car, at least go in a French car, preferably a Citroën which is designed for French roads and speed limits.