Product Type: CitroŽn cars
Newest Review: ... to say that I am really happy with this purchase. The space inside is quite generous and getting the kids in and out is a breeze. The car... more
French Style over Substance?
Member Name: mouette
Date: 06/10/10, updated on 06/10/10 (595 review reads)
Advantages: Good looking, Economical
Disadvantages: Depreciation, Irritating niggles
After a fair amount of research I settled on 2005 (55) Citroen C4 VTR+ 1.6HDi, and after doing the rounds to see what could be done I settled on one being sold on eBay. I made an offer subject to seeing the car and then set off to Mansfield to get it.
It's a good looking car with alloy wheels and enticing lines. I bought it when it was 18 months old with 19,000 miles on the clock. Now it is 5 years old with 72,000 miles. So how has it done? Does it have style and substance?
In a driving position it is very comfortable - plenty of leg room, an adjustable steering wheel and adjustable lumbar support. The passenger seat is equally comfortable. The back seats are spacious enough to accommodate a travel cage for our dog, and he seems to appreciate the comfort when in it, but as with many cars the back seats lack leg room for adults and are best for children. All seats have a head restraint.
It's mostly a pleasure. The car has 5 gears which work smoothly, and engine and tyre noise is ok. It has excellent acceleration and is happy at all speeds I've achieved - a 70 mile speed is very comfortable and it has no trouble going faster. Of course your pocket will be happiest if kept to the economy high point of about 50 mph. The power steering is light and responsive.
The steering wheel gives me quite a lot of pleasure (sad I know), as the central part doesn't move which makes it easy to access controls, and the instrument panel is displayed on the consul - all of which is pleasingly different.
The car has cruise control and a speed limiter, which is handy if you find it difficult to keep to variable speed limits on the Motorways. There is a drink holder and a central sliding arm rest in which you can store CD's and the like, and it has 2 lighter points, which I find helpful as I can charge my SATNAV and mobile phone at the same time. Air conditioning comes as standard which is useful on the occasional summer, and there is a good remote control key which also enables you to turn the headlights on. Useful if you are returning to your car late at night.
The Citroen has an airbag for driver and passenger, and an ABS linked Electronic Stability Programme as standard, all of which helps if you lose control of the vehicle. This hasn't happened to me so I can't judge their effectiveness. I can report that the ABS really works. The wipers have an automatic rain setting, and they go operate from centre outward which gives you good front visibility. Windows and mirrors are electric and all round visibility is good. The headlights lights have a setting so that they come on automatically when it gets dark (or you are in a tunnel), or rains. All of which adds to a safe driving experience.
Generally it is good. I've had no major problems, however there are niggles. The fan system does not always work which affects the air conditioning and my ability to clear the windscreen when you get that sudden change in weather. Another disappointment is the glove box. I had to have a warranty repair as it got stuck shut, and it still occasionally gets caught - a very poor flimsy piece. Lots of the internal components in the car are on the flimsy side. The windscreen washer unit has also had to be replaced.
Costs overall have not been too bad. I get it serviced at a local garage rather than a Citroen dealer which saves considerably, and it has been much cheaper to run that the Volvo. A service usually costs around £150. Road tax has even decreased to £90 a year, thanks to the 125 CO2 rating. With my previous Volvo a regularly taken trip from Shropshire to Sussex took one full tank of petrol. The Citroen gets there and back with one 60 litre tank. It currently costs over £70 to fill the tank and fuel economy is a good 50-60 miles a gallon. I paid £8,600 for it when it was 18 months old, and there is currently a similar 54 registered car for sale on eBay for £4750 so on that basis I have lost about £1100 a year in depreciation. Ouch.
Other bits I like
- It's a hatchback - so the seats go down creating lots of extra room
- My 15 year old nephew thought it was a cool car. That's as close as I get to cool.
- It has somewhere to keep coins
Other bits I don't like
- The boot is a bit too small
- It's almost impossible to change front light bulbs - you need child sized hands
- It is difficult to get access to the battery - so helping anyone out with a charge is not on
Style over substance? Not quite. There is enough to impress but build quality could certainly be better. So, who might buy this car? Anyone who likes a car that is slightly different with a few added frills for its cost. Or someone that wants a car that is economical to run and has a low road tax. It would be ok for a family with 2 children, but if you also have a dog, and / or carry sports equipment and the like it will be a bit tight inside.
Thanks for reading
Summary: An economical fun car