By the time the 2008 restyle rolled round, Citroen had managed to shift over 900,000 C4s, so the Alive With Technology theme was certainly chiming with some. The refettle involved restyling the front end to look more like the C5 and launching the 1.6-litre VTi (Variable Valve Lift & Timing) petrol engines. The mainstream C4 range is split between Coupe and Hatchback models. 'Coupe' is Citroen-speak for 3-door, the family-orientated 5-door derivatives being called simply 'Hatchback'.
The engine range opens with Citroen's older 90 and 110bhp 1.4 and 1.6-litre 16-valve petrol units. Best, however, to try and stretch either for a diesel or for one of the more modern petrol engines. Many will choose the 120bhp 1.6-litre VTi option, attracted by its 120mph performance and 42mpg combined fuel economy.
Interiors are spacious with the Coupe providing similar amounts of rear legroom and boot space to the Hatchback. The boot opening is narrower, though, and the levers that fold the front seats forward allowing access to the rear have a habit of sticking up to catch the shins of passengers climbing in.
All Citroen C4 models get ABS with EBD and brake assist, twin front and lateral airbags plus side window airbags. There's a multi-function trip computer, a CD stereo, remote central locking, electric front windows, electric door mirrors, power steering and cruise control with a speed limiter. This is a well equipped car and it becomes even more so as you ascend the trim level range. Citroen's Europe-wide navigation system, MyWay, was introduced, which features a high-resolution 7-inch colour screen, Bluetooth and USB connectivity as well as an audio system with a built-in 10GB hard drive.
Ensure that your C4 has conformed with all product recalls as there were call backs for a brake master cylinder and a front seatbelt issue, and new parts should have been retrofitted. The niggling problems of panel fit, detaching floor mats and intermittent electricals of the first C4 models were well and truly excised in the facelifted cars. Check that the rear wiper works, as the cable routing can lead to fraying and the cruise control is prone to going on the fritz. The EGS automated manual gearbox is one to watch out for as clutches often give up the ghost after about 25,000 miles. Head gaskets have been an issue on the 1.4-litre petrol engine. The 1.6-litre HDi diesel 110 is deemed the most reliable powerplant.
(approx based on a 2008 C4 1.6 VTR+) Consumables for the Citroen C4 are reasonably priced. An air filter is around £10 with an oil filter retailing at approximately £15. Spark plugs are £9 each with a timing belt setting you back around £30.
The C4 rides with impressive smoothness and composure but it doesn't quite offer the level of feedback you sometimes want from a sporty hatchback. The variable assistance power steering has an accurate feel and the car is nicely balanced through corners.
The engine range opens with Citroen's older 90 and 110bhp 1.4 and 1.6-litre 16-valve petrol units. Probably a better bet is either a diesel or one of the more modern petrol engines. Many will choose the 120bhp 1.6-litre VTi option with its 120mph performance and 42mpg combined fuel economy..
In general, these high-revving petrol units are not without their charm but many buyers will be swayed by Citroen's impressive HDi common-rail diesels. The 1.6-litre HDi oil-burner is remarkably quiet. In 92bhp form, it will reach 62mph from standstill in 12.5s and if you upgrade to the 110bhp option there's a 11.2s time for the sprint and the option of Citroen's 6-speed electronic gearbox.
It's fair to say that when the Citroen C4 was first launched, its new and relatively untested technology deterred quite a few used buyers. Neither was it a car without reliability issues. The quality control process tightened up notably over the life of the car and the post-2008 models represent a decent bargain. Far more adventurous than its Peugeot 308 sibling, the C4, especially in Coupe guise, remains a great looking car. If you hanker after a bargain nearly-new that's not going to look old for quite some time, this is a good place to start.