EV choices are tricky, so is the ë-C4 easy for you? Before Alex Grant handed me the keys, an RAC verdict caught my eye: “If you’re fed up with clinical family EVs, here’s one that might charm you.” That sounded promising, since charm and family can be strangers. As a typecast dad driver, I’m used to embracing mobile bricks, my only thrill (if you ask my kids) being mastering seat adjustment levers and those ridiculously tight corners at the McDonald’s drive thru.
Nevertheless, I’m a massive Cit-head. As a rookie reporter, I owned a 2CV and adored its spartan romanticism. The glossy ë-C4 is obviously a far cry from that, but a few months’ escape from school bussing to recline in a mobile lounger… what’s not to like? Even better, Alex had already waded through the menu, so I could get stuck into the buffet.
One month in, to borrow that fast food slogan, I’m loving it. As per its deceptive outline, the ë-C4 is a crossover that’s fluent in coupé. Initially, I braced for sciatica-flaring gymnastics, complaints of dire visibility from the back and, by virtue of that panini tail end, a boot that might burst into tears at the mere sight of a sign for Ikea. So far, such worries have been bypassed. Despite the sleek roofline and shapely haunches, to sit in and actually drive, the ë-C4 sets you in a driving position that feels connected with the road. Indeed, I’m relishing the car’s non-SUV, road-hugging nature. Direct steering helps, as does the ride’s hydraulic cushions. To top it off, at the risk of typing the obvious, there’s no engine noise to dial out, with chat from the tarmac barely more than a murmur.
Getting in and out triggers no more than light grunting, while what might be sacrificed in the back seat, given that scenery-eating waistline, is more than compensated for by limb-friendly space. Last weekend, I ferried three lanky teenagers on a 200-mile round trip. They offered zero negative feedback.
Any caveats? That shapely rear end doesn’t come free: yes, the tailgate is light work, yes, the boot’s flat floor is practical, but the load height (even with the false floor panel removed) isn’t too clever and rear vision is intersected by a spoiler at the tailgate edge. After a few weeks’ interminable rain, I may also commit murder for a rear wiper.
None of these niggles outweighs the feeling that this is catnip for driving dads. If your other EV were some workaday omnibus for domestic duty, this is the kind of grand-hatch gadabout you can frolic off in for a restorative escape. So is it really a family car? That’ll depend on whatever your family is. For me, this side of a holiday escape, I’d offer a tentative yes. Maybe it’s so decent to drive I don’t want to say no?
Arrived 17th October 2022
Price when new £30,995
Price as tested £32,340
Range 219 miles
Costs None Faults None