Citroen’s new small hatch-turned-SUV has fallen short of full marks in crash testing, with ANCAP highlight a lack of a centre airbag and sub-par pedestrian protection for the four-star rating.
The new 2022 Citroen C4 has received a four-star safety rating from Australian independent safety body ANCAP, making it the second vehicle tested under ANCAP’s latest test protocols to miss out on a full five-star score.
Launched in Australia earlier this month – but introduced in Europe late last year, where the crash testing was conducted – the new C4 scored 76 per cent for Adult Occupant Protection, 81 per cent for Child Occupant Protection, 57 per cent for Vulnerable Road User Protection (pedestrians and cyclists), and 62 per cent for Safety Assist (active safety systems).
Only the Child Occupant Protection score broke into five-star territory (above 80 per cent), ANCAP says, with the safety body highlighting the Citroen’s poor performance in the far-side impact test – scoring just 0.12 out of 4.00 points – thanks to a lack of a centre airbag, as employed in other new cars (including the Toyota Yaris Cross) to meet the criteria.
The C4 recorded its lowest score in the Vulnerable Road User Protection category, due to ‘Weak’ or ‘Poor’ pedestrian protection at the base of the windscreen or the A-pillars, and a ‘Weak’ camera-based autonomous emergency braking system with ‘Marginal’ night-time pedestrian protection, and a lack of cyclist detection.
While a full suite of active safety technologies are standard – including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring – the car-to-car AEB system was only rated as ‘Marginal’, and lacks support for turning traffic in intersections.
“Unfortunately, the Citroen C4’s scores fell short in three of our four key areas of assessment meaning it was unable to meet the five star safety standard consumers and fleets have come to expect,” said Carla Hoorweg, ANCAP CEO.
“21 of the 23 new models rated by ANCAP to our current 2020-2022 criteria have achieved five star ANCAP safety ratings, and this highlights the great work vehicle manufacturers are doing to provide their customers with the safest vehicles they can.”
On paper, the Citroen C4 is one of two models in the small SUV under $40,000 class with a four-star safety rating – however the C4 has been tested to 2020-2022 protocols, which are notably stricter than the criteria against which the four-star MG ZS was tested in 2017.
“The safety performance of the C4 suggests the same level of ambition shown by many of its competitors was not a focus for Citroën with this particular model. It is likely that with some small enhancements, Citroën could see the C4 elevated to five stars, and we would strongly encourage Citroën to consider introducing such improvements,” Ms Hoorweg added.
In a media statement, a Citroen Australia spokesperson said: “As with all Citroen vehicles, the C4 focuses on providing safety, comfort and convenience. The single highly-specified C4 variant available in Australia, comes as standard with 18 of the latest generation driving technologies that help ensure a safe and convenient driving environment.”
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.