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Is it an SUV? Or a sedan? Or both? Citroen C4 X challenges the norm, but it's not the world's first jacked-up sedan

The unusual C4 X will slot into Citroen’s line-up between the C4 and C5 X.

Citroen has always been known for breaking rules with left-field design, starting with early models like the 2CV through to more recent models like the C6 sedan from 2005.

While its current design direction might not be as groundbreaking as some of its past efforts, the French brand is entering new territory with the C4 X revealed this week.

Essentially a jacked-up crossover-style sedan, the C4 X might be a new concept for Citroen, but the high-riding booted body style has been seen before.

A handful of models in history have tried this combination of SUV ride height and sedan shape, and we have detailed them in this article. But first, more on the new Citroen.

It is mechanically related to the new-generation Citroen C4 small car that went on sale in Australia late in 2021, and it is a twin under the skin of the recently revealed Peugeot 408.

The new four-door C4 X adds a boot to the C4, giving it a fastback silhouette, according to its maker. At 4600mm long, it slots into the Citroen line-up between the regular C4 (4360mm) and the C5 X (4800mm) that is expected to be offered in Australia later this year.

The addition of the longer boot also means the C4 X can swallow more cargo than the C4, offering 510 litres compared with 380L.

It features a clean rear boot panel housing Citroen and model badges and unique LED tail-lights, while the front end is familiar from the regular C4.

In Europe Citroen will offer a number of powertrains, including petrol and diesel, but many Euro markets will exclusively sell the e-C4 X EV that packs a 100kW all-electric powertrain capable of a 360km driving range.

However, A Citroen Australia spokesperson told CarsGuide that there were “no current plans” to add the C4 X or e-C4 X to the local line-up at this stage.

Before the C4 X, there was an exclusive group of jacked-up SUV-like sedans, but they didn’t last long.

Subaru Liberty X sedan. Subaru Liberty X sedan.

Subaru Liberty X

The Liberty X - also the name of a short-lived girl band from the early 2000s - was a limited-edition variant of the fifth-generation Liberty sedan and went on sale in Australia in late 2012.

It added an extra 50mm of ground clearance compared with the regular Liberty sedan and was available with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder and 3.6-litre V6 petrol engines both driving all four wheels.

It mustn’t have been too successful because Subaru never repeated the experiment.

Volvo S60 Cross Country. Volvo S60 Cross Country.

Volvo S60 Cross Country

Volvo has had success with its Cross Country models - jacked-up versions of wagons like the V60 and V90 as well as the discontinued V40 hatch.

But briefly in 2015, Volvo released a limited production run of its S60 sedan for the United States only.

It rode 65mm higher than standard S60 sedans and was another experiment that was not repeated.

Suzuki X90. Suzuki X90.

Suzuki X90

Another short-lived oddball was the Suzuki X90 that sold in Australia from 1996 to 1998.

The X90 was an SUV, but it was a two-door and a sedan. Was it the world’s first and last coupe-convertible-sedan-SUV?

Based on the ageing Vitara of the time, it had two seats, a 70kW 1.6-litre engine, four-wheel drive and a removable T-bar glass roof.

AMC Eagle sedan. AMC Eagle sedan.

AMC Eagle

One of the earliest examples of this design is from defunct US manufacturer, American Motors Corporation (AMC).

The Eagle was a four-wheel drive passenger vehicle offered in sedan, wagon, hatchback, coupe and convertible guise. The sedan was based on the AMC Hornet and had a much higher ride height than many of its contemporaries, but it was clearly ahead of its time.

It was built between 1979 and 1987 but didn’t set the US market on fire.