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Citroen C4 VTS 2005 review

The week immediately preceding a test in the C4 VTS was spent clocking up some swift kilometres in Volkswagen's brilliant Golf GTi.

The Golf is a dazzling, brawny little four-door which delivers performance in spades.

It is a giant among hot fours and the latest model is destined for greatness.

The VTS is not a direct competitor in that it is not as hinged on pure performance.

It is a warmed-over version of the smart and tidy C4.

The Golf and Citroen are wildly different cars which attract different customers.

From a standstill the VTS is not likely to get you into any kind of trouble.

There are not a lot of horses low-down but that is offset to a degree by the engine's willingness to gather pace quickly.

Its agility from take-off is rather innocuous through lack of immediate punch.

The engine note sings with purpose and it is a more than credible performer once it's working.

One of three petrol engines offered in the C4 range, this naturally aspirated 2-litre four cylinder cranks out 130kW of power.

You need to maintain a reasonable amount of revs before releasing the clutch, letting first gear drive the car cleanly off the line.

Chassis feel is confident as one would expect from a model which shares some of its underpinnings with PSA stablemate Peugeot's 307. Try to belt into a corner too hard and the VTS will develop a fair degree of understeer.

Otherwise steering and handling remain predictable while the package retains a sweet rideability balance.

The VTS is quite a frugal proposition, finishing this week-long test which covered about 700km with the attractive figures of 7.7litres/100km.

Cabin ergonomics is where the C4 excels — everything is explicitly laid out and the multi-function steering wheel is a snap to decipher first-up and fun to navigate.

While this is not a WRX or even in the same league of the extraordinary turbo assisted four-potters, there is much to like about the VTS if you're not into a rip-snorting ride.

The fluency of the architecture, the readability of the large LCD instrument panel mounted centrally on top of the dash, the build quality and the high levels of standard kit make the VTS a compelling option at around the $37,000 mark (think similar price to Holden's Astra Turbo and the Toyota Corolla Sportivo).

There is a uniqueness with the creamy, smooth elegant lines offering a genuine point of difference in a tasteful exterior form.

Some similarities can be drawn from models long gone.

The large rear glass which is divided and squared off gives some hint to Ford's special Laser Lynx model of the mid-1990s.

But as far as borrowing any design from any previous or existing model, the C4 is pleasingly not guilty.

While the VTS is not the volume player of the range, the C4 family is expected to account for about one third of Citroen's total Australian sales next year.

So it belongs to a very important nameplate.

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 $2,860 – 4,510 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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