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Citroen C4 VTS Coupe 2005 review

It dares to try new ideas and explore different ways of achieving the same result where other manufacturers are content to follow the tried and tested path.

Sometimes Peugeot's inventive cousin gets it right (they're part of the same parent company) but at other times the results have left people scratching their heads in wonder?

In the case of the new C4, however, we're happy to report that the French car marker has not only got it right but has finished near the top of its class.

School, my friends, is in, the subject is French automotive engineering and Citroen is delivering the lecture on how it should be done.

Interestingly, one of the hallmarks of Citroen design is that cars must be instantly recognisable from a distance of 200 metres.

The company actually drafts members of the public to ensure this, work-shopping designs against those of competitors.

The C4 combines stylish, appealing, you might even say head-turning good looks, with sparkling performance and an impressive array of technology designed to make the car safer and easier to operate.

Australian importer Ateco Automotive has high hopes for this one and from what we have seen so far, these aspirations are justified.

Based on the same platform as Peugeot's 307 model, C4 comes in two body shapes _ a three-door coupe and five-door hatch with four engines from which to chose.

Of the pair, the dormer windowed coupe with its high mounted rear wing and rally bred performance is the standout.

The lower rear glass window panel looks opaque from most angles, but provides a clear view from the driver seat, with a tiny wiper to keep it clear.

In terms of construction, the two are completely different from the windscreen pillar back.

The entry level C4 is powered by a 1.6-litre, four cylinder petrol engine, followed by 2.0-litre and high performance 2.0-litre petrol variants plus a 1.6-litre turbo diesel.

We had the chance to sample the 2.0-litre auto and potent 130kW VTS manual coupe.

The 2.0-litre engine delivers 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque, while the VTS with a different engine management system pumps out 130kW and 202Nm.

Note the difference in torque is just 2Nm and in the case of the 2.0-litre auto, this torque is delivered lower in the rev range _ 4000rpm as against 4750rpm.

As a result, it offers the same sort of punch down low, coupled as it is to a four-speed tipshift style auto.

However, the hatch is no match for the five- speed VTS which quickly finds its legs on the open road.

The VTS sprints from 0-100km/h in 8.3 seconds. Handling is excellent with electronic stablity control on these two models but the ride can become choppy on anything but smooth roads.

The VTS is not the fastest car out there but offers high levels of performance and isa very satisfying car to drive.

The C4 has a maximum five-star safety rating. and is specifically designed to minimise injury to pedestrians in an accident.

Inside, passengers are protected by six airbags.

Apart from distinctive design, a number of unique elements have been included in the car.

The centre hub of the steering wheel is fixed, for instance, and only the outside allowed to turns.

This allows more controls to be mounted on the wheel were they are more easily reached.

The speedometer meanwhile is located high atop of the dash, with a large easy to read translucent LCD screen.

A tacho is mounted on top of the steering wheel and lights up like a beacon when redline is reached.

An air fragrance dispenser is incorporated into the airconditioning system, with a range of 12 scents from which to chose.

Citroen's Lane Departure Warning System will be offered later in the year as an option, with its ability read linemarkings and warn drivers when they stray from the lane in which they are travelling.

Standard equipment includes ABS, aircon- ditioning and cruise control with a speed limiter. A full size spare is included.

C4 is priced from $25,990 up to $36,990 for the VTS coupe.

Any colour but white will cost you $700.

Pricing Guides

$4,180
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$2,640
Highest Price
$5,720

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
VTR 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $3,080 – 4,840 2005 Citroen C4 2005 VTR Pricing and Specs
VTS 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $3,850 – 5,720 2005 Citroen C4 2005 VTS Pricing and Specs
Exclusive 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,970 – 4,620 2005 Citroen C4 2005 Exclusive Pricing and Specs
SX 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,640 – 4,070 2005 Citroen C4 2005 SX Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$2,640

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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