Not quite as big as the car it replaces (the C4 Picasso), the new Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate is still a top-notch that’s got space for five people in its huge interior.
For such a large car, it’s remarkably economical, and it’s versatile and – mercifully – not as van-like as its origins would suggest.
Citroen have been making cars since the end of the First World War and their name lit up the Eiffel Tower for ten years over the 1920s and 1930s. Find out more about this iconic French brand in our brief history of Citroen.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate review.
Overview of the Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate
On the Road
Buyers everywhere must hold their breath when they first fire up a large car like this, and it’s easy to expect the worst. However, the Space Tourer isn’t as awkward and cumbersome to drive as its hefty frame would have you believe.
Whilst it can’t drive like a saloon, it’s capable and you always feel confident, no matter where you are.
A raised driving position really helps, offering good visibility of the road before you. It’s fairly easy to place the C4 in bends, and a tight turning circle ensures that it isn’t too difficult to park.
Light steering, meanwhile, means the Space Tourer doesn’t present you with too many problems in the towns and cities, although it does mean that it can feel a bit vague out in the country.
Ride quality is decent, with the car doing a good job of smoothing out poor road surfaces. And while the C4 shares its suspension with the Dispatch van, Citroen reassure us that they’ve modified it extensively so that your passengers are as comfortable as possible.
In terms of its engines, there are no petrols available, which means your selection consists entirely of diesels. Sitting at the bottom of the range is a fairly small BlueHDi 95 model that we think most buyers will overlook. It’s followed by a punchier BlueHDi 115 variant that’s more flexible, smoother, and which comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, which itself is super precise and easy to live with.
Rounding off the range is a BlueHDi 180 model that can’t be paired up with a manual ‘box. Instead, it comes with a 6-speed automatic.
Grip Control is available for all models as an optional extra except the Rip Curl model, which gets it as standard. It’s well worth adding if you’re planning to spend time in tougher conditions, as it arms your car with grippier tyres and an enhanced traction control system.
Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate Interior, Design and Build
The Space Tourer isn’t the quietest vehicle you’ll ever travel in, despite Citroen’s best efforts to quell the noise by adding sound deadening.
On the plus side, it’s a lot smoother than many rivals, and you and your passengers should feel comfortable in the main.
Moreover, this cabin is definitely an upgrade on an out-and-out van. Fit and finish is good, a neat seven-inch widescreen display is available and all models are generously equipped.
Is the Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate practical? A Hands-Free Access facility is a very handy addition that lets you open the doors and boot without your hands. A central overhead console in the passenger compartment, meanwhile, is just one of a number of clever touches that make the car so appealing.
Legroom is excellent for all, while headroom is acceptable. The boot meanwhile, measures 540-litres when all the seats are up and can extend to as much as 1,851-litres when you fold the rear seats. All models come with no load lip and a flat boot floor.
Can you rely on a Citroen? Read our unbiased and honest assessment of the French manufacturer to find out more.
Equipment and Safety of the Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate
Standard kit across the range is good, with all models coming with hill-start assistance, ISOFIX child seat mounts, LED daytime running lights, parking sensors, cruise control, sat-nav and a digital radio.
The Rip Curl model adds keyless entry, a colour head-up display, a seven-inch touchscreen, a 3.5” colour display in the instrument cluster and a laser-etched design on the dash.
Safety-wise, the Space Tourer enjoys a 5-star safety rating, awarded to it for its crash test performance. Standard safety kit includes driver drowsiness monitor, road sign recognition, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
Costs of the Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate
Prices for the new car start at £20,900. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, there’s nothing to separate the 99 and 118bhp BlueHDI diesel engine on the economy front. Both are good for 74.3mpg on a good day, and both emit 100g/km of CO2. This gives them a BiK rating of 25%. However, if you decide to specify the 6-speed automatic gearbox, economy dips by 2mpg.
The bigger 2.0-litre 150bhp BlueHDI engine adds more power and returns 65.5mpg at best. It emits 111g/km and has a BiK rating of 28%.
Insurance-wise, the C4 occupies groups 16 to 25.
Pros and Cons of the Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate
Solid choice of engines
There might not be a petrol power plant in sight, but there’s a good and varied selection of diesels on offer here.
It’s less expensive than a number of its rivals.
Citroen know a thing or two about style and they’ve injected some much-needed flair into this sector.
Question marks around reliability
The Picasso had its fair share of reliability issues and questions will remain.
Slow basic engine
The smallest diesel engine is slow off the mark and will lack the required power for most buyers.
Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate vs SEAT Alhambra vs Volkswagen Touran
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate review.
Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate vs SEAT Alhambra
The new SEAT Alhambra is a spacious and versatile people carrier that comes with useful sliding rear doors.
SEAT are known for producing cars that are fun to drive – but surely they couldn’t transfer their blueprint to this massive MPV? Well, it turns out that they could. The Alhambra might be a king-sized seven-seater, but it drives like something a lot smaller.
With precise, well-weighted steering and good ride quality, the Alhambra is both comfortable and fun. Body lean is kept to a minimum, and the car feels safe, predictable and grippy.
Overall, this is one of the sharpest – if not the sharpest – cars in this sector.
In terms of its engines, there’s just the one petrol available. This is a 1.4-litre TSI unit that’s only available with the entry-level S and SE models.
For diesel buyers, there’s a 2.0-litre engine on offer that’s available with either 148bhp or 182bhp. The former might be a tad on the slow side for some of you, while the latter offers plenty of pulling power and can cope with the car on a full load with ease.
Running costs? The 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel is the most frugal in the range, returning as much as 56.5mpg on a good day and emitting 130g/km of CO2. That qualifies it for a BiK rating of 28%.
The bigger diesel isn’t too far behind and can return 53.3mpg at best.
Inside, the SEAT is smartly designed, well-built and comfortable. Ride quality isn’t an issue despite the firmer suspension setup, while the steering wheel adjusts for both reach and height.
The dashboard meanwhile, is a straightforward affair. The layout is clear and fuss-free, the dials are large and clear, and as a bonus SEAT have used lots of soft-touch materials.
Is the SEAT Alhambra practical? It’s one of the most usable cars in any market and stands out in this one. Functional and roomy, it comes with a super flexible seating layout that makes it easy for anyone to get comfortable.
Sliding rear doors, meanwhile, ensure that accessing the car is as simple as it should be, and there are lots of storage solutions. Go for the highest spec version and you’ll also benefit from powered sliding rear doors.
The boot measures 268-litres with all seven seats up, but extends to 658-litres when you fold the third row of seats. Fold all the rear seats and it has a total capacity of 2,298-litres.
Citroen – £20,900
SEAT – £25,925
Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate vs Volkswagen Touran
The new Volkswagen Touran is smart, superbly built and easy to live with.
It’s also easy to drive, with VW offering a slew of solid engines to complement a decent driving experience. It’s smooth, works well with the 7-speed DSG automatic transmission, but it won’t entertain you. It also gets a tad loud on the motorway, but ride quality is good.
It also weighs less than last time, which contributes to a better driving experience.
In terms of its engines, diesels make up the core of the Touran’s range, and they’re the most popular with buyers. A 1.6-litre diesel kicks things off, and despite being the entry-level model a power output of 113bhp and a 0-62 time of 11.4 seconds makes it our top pick.
That said, if you have the cash the 2.0-litre diesel is a good shout, too. It’s available with either 148 or 188bhp and works well with the car on a full load.
There are also two petrol options to choose from. The smallest of the two develops 108bhp but can’t be paired up with the DSG automatic ‘box – unlike the rest of the Touran range.
A 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine rounds things off with 148bhp and a choice of automatic or manual transmissions.
Running costs? The 1.6-litre diesel engine is the cheapest to run and can manage returns of 65.6mpg on a good day. Emissions are pegged at 113g/km of CO2, which gives it a BiK rating of 24%.
The most frugal petrol engine is the 1.2-litre 108bhp variant, which has the same BiK rating, but which returns 52.3mpg at best.
Inside, the Touran is able to boast a top-notch, even classy interior that’s rich in quality. It’s modern, comes with a brand new intuitive infotainment system, and its plush seats offer lots of comfort.
Go for the higher spec models and you’ll even benefit from a massage function.
The dashboard, meanwhile, is lighter coloured than Touran’s of old, which really brightens things up. On the whole, the cabin looks and feels like an upmarket product, and fit and finish is excellent.
Is the Volkswagen Touran practical? It’s a very practical seven-seater that’s roomy and loaded with lots of smart touches to make your life easier. A high roofline means headroom is excellent, and while the third row is aimed at kids, adults can squeeze in there on longer trips.
The second row of seats slide backwards and forwards with ease, the car contains as many as 36 storage solutions, and the boot measures 136-litres with all seven seats up. That’s a bit small, but when all rear seats are folded, it has a total capacity of 1,856-litres.
VW – £23,395 – £32,910
Verdict of our Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate Review
It’s almost the same as the old C4 Picasso in everything but name, and this means another stylish and practical effort from the French brand.
The new Citroen C4 Space Tourer Diesel Estate ticks a lot of boxes, from comfort to space, and should find plenty of new homes this year.