Saturday, 15 May 2021

Comfort and innovation without hefty price tag

Comfort and innovation without hefty price tag

THERE was a time before mobile phones when it was considered cool to have a telephone in your car.

A friend of mine back then had one in his Porsche that resembled a large house brick. But technology has of course moved on.

So much so that I discovered on closer inspection of this week’s drive, the new Citroën C4, something called Smart Pad Support.

This was a dedicated tablet mount for Apple iPad Air 2 found near the glove compartment.

Actually, it comes as an optional extra. The customer can order either the Citroën Smart Pad Support for Apple iPad Air 2 (£100) or a similar tablet mount for Samsung Galaxy Tablet A 10.5in (£100).

Driving new cars in 2021 you realise connectivity is an integral part of any motorist’s life today.

So your car is connected to your home computer, tablet and phone and any other electronic device you might favour.

The new C4 and its all-electric counterpart, the new ë-C4 (more of which at a later date) represent Citroën’s new-generation compact hatchback.

Citroën’s compact cars have been continuously successful for 92 years, covering 10 generations since the first C4 in 1928.

The C4’s all-new body shape, says Citroën, combines classic hatchback features while “adopting SUV design forms for added strength and character”. The LED V-shaped front and rear lighting is new, and the high-tech interiors are aimed at expressing “well-being, comfort and modernity”.

Certainly, the C4’s interior exudes comfort and luxury you might associate with bigger and more expensive cars.

Overall, I found the new design smart and sleek with the test car’s red livery adding sophistication not normally associated with a hatchback.

The choice is extensive: customers are able to choose from 31 exterior colour combinations and six ambient designs inside the car.

On-board you have Citroën’s Advanced Comfort programme. The trim employs warm materials, there is light-coloured roof lining and interior ambient lighting features brighter hues such as Metropolitan Blue or the Hype Red.

In addition to the side windows and quarter-lights, the C4 has a large electric panoramic sunroof. There is also a sunblind to adjust the desired level of brightness in the cabin. At night there is LED ambient lighting on the digital instrument panel, which is matched to the white backlighting of the driving and on-board comfort functions and the front and rear lights.

Citroën offers three types of C4 powertrain: 100 per cent electric 100 kW (136hp) with a WLTP range of 217 miles (350 km); Euro 6d petrol engines from 100hp to 155hp; and diesel power from 110hp to 130hp.

The new C4 has heated windscreen and steering wheel (for selected markets, new in the Citroën range), and heated seats, front and rear.

There is a dual-zone automatic climate control system with physical controls on the central front panel and digital controls on the touchscreen.

Citroën has always been famous for the suspension systems it puts in its cars. Here, in the C4 there is suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions and Advanced Comfort seats deliver driving comfort. Travelling comfort is enhanced by generous interior space for a hatchback, including “Best in Class” rear knee room, storage compartments and Smart Pad Support Citroën.

There are 20 driving assistance technologies, including Highway Driver Assist – a level two semi-autonomous driving system – and six connectivity technologies.

These include: Active Safety Brake: This system automatically brakes the vehicle if there is the risk of a collision, by detecting and analysing obstacles, whether fixed or moving, pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles, including at night.

Collision Risk Alert and Post Collision Safety Brake: Warns the driver that the vehicle is in danger of colliding with the vehicle in front, from 19 mph (30 km/h) upwards. Post Collision Safety Brake activates automatically after a collision to avoid further movement.

Coffee Break Alert: The driver is warned with an indicator on the dashboard that it is time to take a break after a two-hour drive at speeds above 43 mph (70 km/h).

Driver Attention Alert: The system evaluates the driver’s state of alertness by identifying deviations in trajectory from the road markings and warns them if their level of alertness is reduced.

Never let it be said that Citroën above all does not let the grass grow under its feet, technology and comfort-wise.

The new Citroën C4 is packed with both and sets a new standard for the hatchback — one of the most popular types of car on the road today — for 2021 and beyond.


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