Which C4 to buy? 1.6L VTi petrol or HDI?
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Which C4 to buy? 1.6L VTi petrol or HDI?

    Hello Citroen enthusiasts

    I'm having to reluctantly farewell my little Pug 306XT which has served me faithfully since 1998.
    Am considering a C4 and I need some honest feedback to help me decide. Will prob buy before Easter, or the week after.

    Citroen are running out the 1.6L petrol model (VTi) at a very appealing $22,990. But I'm wondering whether I should try to get a 1.6L HDI instead (have found a Canberra dealer with a couple at $25,990).

    What are the pros and cons of each? Have never driven a diesel and I know the HDI has the 6-speed EGS system, which gives it a different drive altogether, even when in "auto" mode.
    Are there downsides to the EGS system? (I'm guessing greater fuel economy is the primary upside). More complex and costly maintenance, perhaps?

    I've been trawling around drive.com and carsales.com and it seems there are a few C4 variants (not at run out prices, of course!). The "Exclusive" appears to include leather and a few more options. But what's an SX and an MY09 in terms of features over and above the standard C4 VTi 1.6L petrol? Tempted to buy the VTi new, but the added features of these other variants are appealing if I can locate a good 2nd hand with low Ks. Not so confident about buying 2nd hand. Dealers schmealers. I have a good feeling about Bill Bunting at Continental Cars in Lakemba, though. Anyone second that?

    I've seen a few posts about the C4's aircon not being up to really hot days. True, or just an unlucky few? (The Pugís air wasnít much chop either).

    I'm also used to the incredibly generous and wide boot of the 306 Pug for its size, but a girl can't have everything!

    Any other glitches or negatives on the 1.6L petrol and the 1.6L HDI? The dash-mounted speedo looks a little unsleek and clunky in my view (aesthetics are important to me!), but I could live with it I guess.

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    Grateful for comments from C4 owners.

    Thanks

    Catherine

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts bigkev414's Avatar
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    Hi - I've been going through the same process and have driven both a diesel 'auto' and a petrol 1.6.
    I've had lots of cars and the 1.6 diesel with the auto mode has paddles behind the steering wheel and you can use those to drive it as a clutchless manual, and I found that not too bad, but in auto it drove me crazy! Big hesitation when you start off and it rolls back if you are on a slope before the transmission 'kicks in' , and when it changes from 1st to second it 'flops and almost dies' violently and then surges away and I thought something was wrong with it, but that's how they are. It pushes you forward and then back in the seat it's so bad. I couldn't have one. The petrol version is very underpowered, and you really notice it with the a/c on and on any kind oh slope or with passengers in it. .The petrol version also needs premium unleaded, and both have to be serviced every six months and it's not cheap. I was disappointed and won't be buying either. Haven't driven a 2l petrol. but the premium fuel and 6 monthly service costs turn me off. I have a Citroen C5 and like it, but not the C4. BUT.....I did drive a real surprise and suggest you do the same - new Renault Megane hatch. More money but you get heaps of stuff and it goes like anything, is great to drive and handles as well as my 07 BMW 3series . No kidding. Service once a year for about $280!
    Do yourself a favour and compare them before you buy. Lets all klnow what you decide

    good luck, Kev

  3. #3
    UFO
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    Catherine, go the HDi. The gearbox (well computer) learns your style and gets better the more you drive it.

    It's easily capable of well over illegal speeds and the lazy tractability of a diesel is great.

    See if you can find the Chevrons copy from when I did that report in 2008.

    Cheers from UnZud
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  4. #4
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    have had no problem with my '08 C4 HDi bought 6 mths ago
    you certainly have to get to know the AUTO but it's a fabulous car and with 1300 kms a tank of diesel and the ability to drive it manually with the paddles, and it has more power than I have ever had in past 2nd hand cars

  5. #5
    Tadpole
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    Tnanks for that feedback, Kev. Guess I need to get behind the wheel of a 1.6L HDI and perhaps a 2L petrol to compare. All I've driven so far is the 1.6L Petrol VTi. It seemed fine, although the streets around both dealers where I test drove it were flat, so no ability to test its grunt, so to speak.
    A dealer with a good rep quoted me $425 for a regular service and $785 for a service where they change all the filters etc. every 30K or 40K. As I said, it's really tempting just to go out and buy the 1.6L VTi new (especially as one dealer has offered to throw in my choice of leather upholstery free! Not the most important aspect of one's voiture, I know, but appealing nonetheless!), because the deal is so good.

    I went out during the week to the dealer nearest me who has both Renault and Citroen specifically to drive the new Megane. They walk almost as soon as they hit the floor apparently. He said he'd ordered 6 in January and was expecting just 1 next week, but it's the fully optioned glamour "Privilege" model, though, at $36,990. Not what I want to spend. The lower Dynamique seems to be around at about $27K. Have just located 2 dealers who have a couple each. Hope to test drive early next week.

    Cheers

    Catherine

  6. #6
    Tadpole
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    Thanks, UnZud. Looks like I need to test drive a 1.6 HDI if I can find one! Not so confident about buying 2nd hand. There's a Canberra dealer who has the 2011 C4 1.6L HDI new at $26,990. http://www.gulson.com.au/VehiclesLis...?Stock_No=C860
    Is the current model as good as older 1.6L HDIs I might find 2nd hand?

    Cheers
    Catherine

  7. #7
    Tadpole
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    Thanks, Peter. I better test drive an HDI quickly to get the feel of it. As I said, I'm a little nervous about buying 2nd hand though. I know I'll pay more 2nd hand via a dealer, but if they're a good one, they should be able to sort out any probs I find in the first 3 months.

    Do you have any point of view about the 2011 C4 1.6L HDI versus earlier models?

    Cheers
    Catherine

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Definitely buy the diesel. Will outrun the 1.6 petrol no problem, and give the 2.0 litre petrol a run for its money. The reality is more power than you really require, Will use less fuel than either, a lot less if you are prepared to be gentle.

    The thing that makes a car accelerate is torque and the diesel has a lot more than either petrol and low down in the rev range as a bonus. It will take a little time to get used to it but learning something is a good thing. I once took a guy for a test drive in the 1.6HDi EGS. He had discounted it because it was a 'gutless diesel'. It took me some time to talk him into it but he came back with a big smile on his face.

    Greg
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  9. #9
    TRT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg C View Post
    Definitely buy the diesel. Will outrun the 1.6 petrol no problem, and give the 2.0 litre petrol a run for its money. The reality is more power than you really require, Will use less fuel than either, a lot less if you are prepared to be gentle.

    The thing that makes a car accelerate is torque and the diesel has a lot more than either petrol and low down in the rev range as a bonus. It will take a little time to get used to it but learning something is a good thing. I once took a guy for a test drive in the 1.6HDi EGS. He had discounted it because it was a 'gutless diesel'. It took me some time to talk him into it but he came back with a big smile on his face.

    Greg
    Like Greg I'm a diesel convert, but essentially your decision can be made by asking a simple question. Do you do a lot of short trips (less than 10 kilometres)? If the answer is yes then you should buy a petrol engined car. If most of your trips are over 20 k then buy a diesel. I'm sure others will disagree with me, but my experience is that for multiple short distances, the petrol engine does much better. For longer trips, the diesel is far superior. And if you do a lot of very long distance trips then diesel is ahead by a long way.

    My

    TRT

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts bigkev414's Avatar
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    Default Renault V C4

    Hi Catherine - you will be able to buy a top model Renault Megane for about $33,000. They are discounted and the dealer is trying you on. I know it's still more $ but you just wait till you drive it - PLEASE do so. You get leather, sunroof, sat nav, bluetooth with voice recognition and on and on for the price. I must admit I'm a diesel convert but I want to buy one of them, just can't afford to and keep my C5 which I am attached to.
    see ya

  11. #11
    jmn
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    I am a diesel owner also, I would agree with TRT here but would have to add that if you can find a good deal on the turbo petrol 1.6 then at least have a drive.

    Why so? For starters, last time I looked they had a proper 6 speed Aisin auto. For seconds, since the petrol turbos now feature direct injection they actually have superior torque characteristics to the turbo diesel 1.6 litre. Peak torque is developed 300 rpm earlier and lasts until 4000 rpm. Diesel afficionados might bridle but them's the facts. Not to mention that the petrol has more Kdubs as well and would be more fun to actually drive.
    Previous:
    2009 C5 2.7 HDi Exclusive
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmn View Post
    Why so? For starters, last time I looked they had a proper 6 speed Aisin auto. For seconds, since the petrol turbos now feature direct injection they actually have superior torque characteristics to the turbo diesel 1.6 litre. Peak torque is developed 300 rpm earlier and lasts until 4000 rpm. Diesel afficionados might bridle but them's the facts. Not to mention that the petrol has more Kdubs as well and would be more fun to actually drive.
    The PSA/BMW turbo petrol engines have always had direct injection, but jmn is right - the torque characteristics are diesel like, with a broader rev-range. If you drive the petrol somewhat like a diesel (keeping the revs low) they are very very economical.

  13. #13
    Tadpole
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    my , 3 months on with my C4 HDI and I still enjoy my car, yes the EGS does take some time to get use to, more time than a short test drive can do, what I have figured out with the "box" is,
    A: general stop/start and lazy drive let the car do it's thing
    B: if I want more driving control around corners, roundabouts etc I change down using the paddles.
    C: for quick get away, not thinking bank robber stuff, just traffic I use the manual stick shift as the gear change from 1st to 2nd is without any delay.
    There was a comment about the car rolling back at hill starts, well the box is made to hold the car for a short time, while you move the foot from break peddle to go fast peddle as the little diesel has heaps of grunt for a small car
    Enjoy the 1000Km per 50L diesel for my driving style/type. No problems with aircon, I don't have sunroof and the colour is goldie, what i do find for some reason is it works better with fan on 3 than on 4, I don't have climate control.
    What would I change, the seat, I have cloth, what I found (so I think) there are 2 leather version, one you slipped out of and the other really hugged you and I think that was the one where the seats are electrical adjustable.
    I too had the "voohoo Citroen what am I thinking" thoughts BUT I really like the car

  14. #14
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    Chipping in here I'm also looking at C4s and wonder how similar they are to driving say a Peugot 308 which we've had in France as a rental car and positive it was a manual diesel and probably a 1.6.

    How much better is the C4 auto? Only other diesel experience was a Peugeot 1007 also in France with the sliding doors. That was kind of cute. Most of my running is short distance urban. I'd love something economic as long as it was still fun to drive. The 308 Peugeot was (kind of) bland.

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