Citroen: Diesel option to be strong seller for new C4 hatchback

Citroën plans for the new C4 – available with fully electric, petrol and diesel powertrains – to become its joint-third-best-selling model in the UK when it launches in 2021.

Head of product marketing Robert Clark expects sales of the new car to match the C5 Aircross SUV, which is currently outsold by just the C3 hatchback and C3 Aircross crossover. He insisted that sales of the new C4 will be “additional volume for the brand, compared to where we are today”, rather than merely filling the gap left by its C4 Cactus predecessor.

Citroën expects the ë-C4 electric version to account for 10% of the model’s sales, with diesel making up a relatively high 17% of the combustion car’s sales.

“We’ve noticed a bit of a shift [towards diesel] from the beginning of this year,” explained Clark, “which has come from the fact that we’ve helped explain to our dealers the benefits of diesel for customers. The CO2 is a lot lower than petrol and that’s become such a big focus for the industry, because of the fines levied on manufacturers.”

The uptick in demand for diesel powertrains was most prevalent in sales of the C5 Aircross, which have been 70% diesel year-to-date, compared with just 30% in 2019. Citroën has achieved a maximum fleet CO2 average of 95g/km across Europe and the UK every month so far this year, meeting the new target imposed by the EU.

Clark compared this with other manufacturers “hoping to get there by actions taken in the second half of the year”. He added that the new ë-C4, Citroën’s first fully electric passenger car, “will only help with that”.

Diesel engines available on the new C4 include a BlueHDI 110 unit paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and a BlueHDI 130 option with an eight-speed automatic. Citroën’s larger diesel engines – the BlueHDI 160 and 180 – are gradually being phased out of the UK market, the larger having been dropped from the C5 Aircross line-up earlier this year.