Live from the launch: Citroen C4

Like many in the highly competitive family hatchback segment, Citroen's C4 is playing it safe. We're currently trying the car in Sweden, but we've spent most of the time trying to work out what the car's styling reminds us of.

Almost every name in the sector has come up, including Audi's A3, the VW Golf, the new Renault Megane, Vauxhall Astra and even the old Fiat Stilo. The only conclusion among the assembled motoring hacks seems to be that it looks like not one of these, but a combination of all of them, as though Citroen has fed all of the designs into a computer program and demanded it take elements of each.

It's a distinct improvement inside though, with a much higher quality feel compared to the last C4 and even some of its rivals. The soft touch dashboard goes well with the comfortable seats, which even comes with a massaging system on the top level trim. Don't expect a
full muscle relaxing experience - it really only gently paws at your lower back - but it's still a nice touch at this level.

However, the best change in our mind over the old car is what Citroen has taken out rather than adding in. The fixed-hub steering wheel has been quietly dropped in favour of a standard affair, and the big digital speedo in the centre console has been replaced by a smaller digital affair actually in the driver's eye line.

The softness of that interior also extends to the ride, with the C4 wallowing a lot on our test route. The new Citroen will does not offer a spirited drive, even if the larger diesel engines are eager to press on. The C4 is likely to appeal to customers who prefer to take life at a more sedate pace.

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