Citroen C4 1.2 Hybrid 136 Max 5dr e-DCS6

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 107 g/km CO2
  • 107 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 8 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 136 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Citroen C4 range is usefully embellished by the addition of this Hybrid 136 e-DCS6 version. For a full family hatch customer looking for something comfortable and characterful as an interim step towards an EV, it might be just about right.

Background

Even quirky people have a sensible side. In the purchase of an ordinary family hatch, you'd have to be just a little unusual to prefer a Citroen C4 against the usual Golf and Astra fraternity. But you still want efficiency - and to do your bit for the environment. To begin with, with this generation C4, Citroen encouraged you to meet those goals by paying more for the all-electric E-C4 version. But that variant costs considerably more than its conventional petrol counterpart and right at present, the EV market is stalling - for very good reasons. So another C4 electrified alternative was needed - and this is it, the Hybrid 136 e-DCS6 version, offered in hatch and C4 X saloon forms. You have to put fuel in it and you can't plug it in, but it claims to be able to take care of a lot of town travel on battery power alone. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experience

The 48V Hybrid system in use here is based around the conventional C4's familiar 1.2-litre three cylinder petrol engine mated to a bespoke 6-speed e-DCS6 dual clutch auto transmission. Bespoke because that gearbox's casing houses the DC inverter, the Engine Control Unit and a little 28hp electric motor powered by a tiny battery secreted beneath the front passenger seat. On the move, there's 136hp of total power output and the petrol engine and the electric motor can operate together - or separately. And, unlike with a mild hybrid system like that fitted to say, a Golf eTSI, here the car can be driven for short urban distances (under 18mph) on electric power alone. The motor also assists the engine under acceleration - such as from standstill to 62mph, which (helped by 230Nm of torque) takes 8.0s en route to 128mph. Mind you, those figures are only 1.4s and 4mph faster than the equivalent un-electrified auto derivative. During deceleration, the petrol engine stops and the e-motor acts as a generator to recharge the Hybrid system's 48V battery. The battery also stores the energy recuperated by the regenerative braking system. As with any other C4, this car features a clever Progressive Hydraulic suspension set-up. Here, the springs and shock absorbers work in concert with hydraulic compression and rebound stops, which are supposed to slow body movement over bumps and tarmac tears.

Design and Build

Apart from the badgework, there are no visual changes to differentiate this Hybrid variant, which like any ordinary C4 is offered in hatch or C4 X saloon forms. What this MK3 C4 does beyond any doubt is to confirm that the delineating line between family hatch and compact SUV design is being ever more blurred. Which many folk in search of a compact hatch will think to be no bad thing. Citroen says the crossover cues aren't for crossover purposes. The higher-than-Focus-class-average 156mm ride height is there to offer a high vantage point and better all-round visibility. The matte black-finished wheel arches aren't for arduous tracks but to prevent supermarket car park dings. And there's plenty of signature Citroen design, with stylishly-shaped signature lights and chromed Chevrons that stretch across the car's width. Plus there's and an air intake grille featuring a pattern first seen on the brand's 19_19 concept car. The major cabin change with the most recent version of this model is the installation of a much more up-to-date 10-inch HD centre infotainment touchscreen. This is a more responsive, intuitive, and ergonomic interface than the 10-inch display previously used and features customisable widgets as standard. The system also supports HD-quality images from the reversing camera and simultaneous connection for two Bluetooth devices. As before, through the oddly-shaped three-spoke wheel, you view a pared-back version of the quite innovative digital instrument panel used in the brand's C5 Aircross SUV, whose read-outs you flip through here by jabbing the left indicator stalk. For the rear seat, the brand claims best-in-class knee room and offers a wide range of storage compartments. Plus there's a decently-sized 380-litre boot in the hatch version; the C4 X saloon's boot is a big 510-litres in size.

Market and Model

From launch, pricing for this Hybrid 136 e-DCS6 variant in either hatch or C4 X saloon form started from just over £26,000; that's with base 'Plus' trim. You'll need nearly £2,000 more for plusher 'MAX'-spec. You'll need to factor in a £1,345 premium over the equivalent un-electrified conventional C4 PureTech 130 EAT8 variant. To take on key compact similarly-sized EV rivals in the same price bracket, all versions of this C4 need to be well equipped. They are. Nice touches the include LED ambient lighting on the digital instrument panel. Front passengers benefit from access to Citro├źn's Smart Pad Support, a retractable tablet holder built directly into the dashboard, which enables the front passenger to make the most of time spent on the move. Below this is a Dashboard Tray, a large sliding drawer with a cushioned action. A popular option will be the large electric opening panoramic sunroof. A 10-inch central infotainment screen comes with all C4s, as does wireless 'phone charging and 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring connectivity. A superb sound system can be specified too, with Arkamys digital sound processing and 8 speakers. A nice optional touch you might well want to consider is a full-HD camera built into the rear view mirror which can take photos or video stored on a 16GB memory card. Safety-wise, there's no fewer than 20 different driver assistance features, including Highway Driving Assist and a 'level 2' semi-autonomous drive system incorporating Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist.

Cost of Ownership

This C4 Hybrid 136 e-DCS6 manages up to 62.1mpg on the combined cycle (2mpg better than the equivalent Astra Hybrid) and up to 107g/km of CO2 (1g/km worse). To give you some perspective, an ordinary non-electrified C4 PureTech 130 Turbo auto hatch manages up to 50.7mpg and up to 131g/km. But that variant's BiK-rated at 31% - compared with 26% for this Hybrid. This C4's Hybrid petrol engine has been optimised for efficiency and operates in the Miller combustion cycle. This thermodynamic cycle is enabled by the variable geometry turbocharger, which enhances performance at low rpm, and variable valve timing. A belt-driven starter combines with the e-motor to start the petrol engine from cold. The belt-starter also restarts the engine quickly and seamlessly while driving. As for peace of mind, well there's the usual unremarkable Citroen three year 60,000 mile warranty. As with any C4, you'll properly want to keep garage costs in check by opting for the affordable 3 year servicing plan that is available at point of purchase. Finally, there's the usual Citroen three year / 60,000 mile warranty.

Summary

There needed to be another reason to choose a Citroen C4 and this Hybrid powertrain provides it. It's not quite as electrified as, say, a Toyota Corolla would be, but the petrol/electric set-up does much the same thing and the overall package costs a little less money and has a little more charm. Which might also make it stand out from the increasing number of other Stellantis Group models also now using this same e-DCS6 powertrain. The C4 Hybrid isn't really the kind of family hatch that five years ago Citroen and the Brussels bureaucrats thought we'd now be buying. But more than an equivalent EV, it's more the kind of car we need right now.

  • Tailgate
  • 6 speakers
  • Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Body colour door handles
  • Boot spoiler
  • C-Series badging on front wing
  • Gloss black rear skirt
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Shark fin roof aerial
  • 12V power outlet, 1x USB Type-C socket & data connection, 1x USB Type-A socket at 1st row + 1x USB Type-A socket , 1x USB Type-C socket in 2nd row
  • Alcantara and black leather effect textile seats
  • Dashboard tray in front cabin
  • Deluxe leather steering wheel with two command blocks
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • Raised centre console with armrest and two cup holders
  • Rear central folding armrest with cupholders and ski hatch
  • Two position boot floor
  • XXL storage in front cabin
  • High level acoustic insulation pack - C4/C4 X/e-C4 X
  • Safety pack plus - C4/C-Series Edition/Max
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Driver and front passenger airbags
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Manual child lock in second row
  • Manual deactivation of front passenger airbag
  • Row 1 and 2 curtain airbags
  • Row 1 side thorax airbags
  • Seatbelt unfastened on the move warning
  • Tyre underinflation detection
  • Anti-theft alarm (volumetric protection)
  • Immobiliser
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Remote locking with deadlocks
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 107
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 107
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1199
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 75
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 90.5
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 4.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 6.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 5.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 4.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 4.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 4.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 4.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 3.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 51.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 62.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 42.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 55.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 67.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 60.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 68.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 61.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 71.9
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.2
  • Badge Power: 136
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: Hybrid [136]
  • Coin Series: Max
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 22E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 80
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 83
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 4
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 57
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 63
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8
  • Engine Power - BHP: 136
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 170
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 23.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 230
  • Top Speed: 128
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 195/60 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear: 195/60 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: DIAMOND CUT AEROBLADE
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Height: 1525
  • Length: 4360
  • Wheelbase: 2670
  • Width: 1800
  • Width (including mirrors): 2032
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1810
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1250
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 380
  • Max. Loading Weight: 475
  • Max. Roof Load: 80
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1200
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 705
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1335
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.9