So, is it a saloon, a coupe or a crossover? Or all three? That’s the question you may ask yourself at first sight of Citroen’s new all- electric car – the e-C4X fastback – especially when viewing its aerodynamic silhouette.
At 4.6m and a longer alternative to the e-C4 hatchback, this saloon has a traditional boot, instead of full lift-up rear hatch.
Fine for shopping and long, low items, but high loads will be challenging.
Personally, I like its sleek and distinctive shape. But I suspect the bold stand-out looks may polarise opinion. Out on the road running on 18 in alloy wheels, the four-door, five-seater fastback is big on comfort, but also no slouch on performance and stability.
And its electric zero-emissions power has the added advantage of serene, silent running.
Sleek but also big on comfort: The distinctive new all-electric e-C4X
There are three driving modes — eco, normal and sport — and I kept mine in the latter for most of the time.
It’s a much sprightlier drive than the performance figures suggest, with official 0 to 62 mph acceleration of ten seconds from the 100 kW (136 hp) front-wheel drive electric motor, with a top speed of 93 mph and a range of 221 miles.
On sale now, there are three trim levels: entry level Sense, from £31,995 but with decent levels of kit and safety features; Shine from £34,495; and Shine Plus, which I was driving, from £35,495.
However this was bumped up to £37,140 because of extras. These included metallic paint (£595), wireless smartphone charging, a tablet cradle (£100), and the Hype Black interior package including Siena leather and leather-effect seats, four-way electric driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment and massage functions, and a rear folding armrest with ski hatch and cup-holders (£800).
The car has a smart interior with a 10 in HD screen, voice command, and proper knobs and switches for its climate controls, making it easy to change on the move.
The Citroen system can store up to eight driver and passenger profiles, with each profile paired with up to two smartphones
Its electric zero-emissions power has the added advantage of serene, silent running
Out on the road running on 18 in alloy wheels, the four-door, five-seater fastback is big on comfort, but also no slouch on performance and stability
The car has a smart interior with a 10 in HD screen, voice command, and proper knobs and switches for its climate controls, making it easy to change on the move
The Advanced Profile Management system wirelessly identifies smartphone profiles as their owners enter the car
The Hype Black interior package includes Siena leather and leather-effect seats
At 4.6m and a longer alternative to the e-C4 hatchback, this saloon has a traditional boot, instead of full lift-up rear hatch
Advancing through the trim levels:
Sense entry-level models come as standard with 18-inch ‘Crosslight’ alloy wheels, advanced comfort seats, keyless entry and Start, a 10-inch touchscreen equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Rgey also feature active safety brake, speed limit information, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning and driver attention alert.
Shine mid-range models gain in addition Citroën’s next-generation infotainment and navigation system with integrated natural voice commands called My Citroën Drive Plus .
They also feature head-up display, a reversing camera with top rear vision, automatic intelligent beam headlights, a heated steering wheel, advanced active safety brake with night-time and cyclist detection, and extended traffic sign recognition.
Shine Plus versions add as standard Alcantara seats that are heated for the driver and front passenger, and highway driver assist which includes adaptive cruise control.
The Citroen system can also store up to eight driver and passenger profiles, with each profile paired with up to two smartphones.
The Advanced Profile Management system wirelessly identifies smartphone profiles as their owners enter the car. It also features over-the-air map updates via TomTom to ensures navigation maps are automatically updated monthly. This service is provided free of charge for three years.
Will it fit in my garage? Citroen e-C4X Shine Plus
On sale: Now
Trim level price from: £35,495
Price as driven with extras: £37,140
Length: 4600mm Width: 1834mm Height: 1525mm
Kerb weight: 16211kg
Gross weight: 2040kg
Power: 100kW/136 horse power
Battery: 50kWh (46.2kW useable)
Drive: Front wheel drive
Transmission: Single speed automatic with brake mode
0 to 62mph: 10 seconds
Top speed: 93mph
Range average: 221 miles City range: 303 miles
CO2 emissions: Zero
Doors: 4 Seats: 5
Wheels: 18 inch diamond cut Crosslight alloy
Charging times: Home charging wall-box: 7 hours 30 minutes; Rapid public charger (100kW): 30 minutes to 80 %
Luggage capacity: Rear seats up: 510 litres; Rear seats down: 1360 litres
Don’t hang around for a Grandland
If you fancy a plug-in hybrid Vauxhall Grandland (like the one I’m currently enjoying driving), don’t hang around.
A successor to the popular compact, practical and flexible SUV, on sale next year, will be be fully electric, says Vauxhall, now marking its 120th anniversary.
Don’t hang around: The current range is priced from £29,145 up to £43,700
The original Grandland, launched in 2017 at Frankfurt, was Vauxhall’s first-ever plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which received a significant facelift in 2021.
The current range is priced from £29,145 up to £43,700 for the 300 hp GSe PHEV. My sharply designed PHEV, from £38,805, has a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 13.2 kW battery. After a home charge it gives me a 28-mile electric-only range, plus the energy generated en route.
Following a £115 million investment, the successor will also be built in Germany and is expected to have a range exceeding 400 miles.
Tesla launching ‘remote’ test drives
Electric car pioneer Tesla — whose vehicles can only be bought online — is now launching 30-minute ‘remote’ DIY test drives in the UK at places well away from traditional showrooms and without any staff advisers being present.
To organise one for the Model 3 or Model Y, prospective customers must first do their ‘paperwork’ via email, after which they will be directed to a location where Tesla will remotely unlock the pre-assigned test car for them.
‘Remote’: The first location is at Taste Perthshire, near Perth, Scotland, where motorists can park for free or charge up
The first remote location is at Taste Perthshire, near Perth, Scotland, where motorists can park for free or charge up.
Drivers are also offered a ‘virtual consultation’ before, during or after their appointment, covering controls, product features and purchase options.
Tests run from 10.30am to 5pm every day. Details at: tesla.com/drive.