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Citroen paint a Picasso masterpiece

 
Created on 30/05/2016 @ 10:08
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

The Grand C4 Picasso is the Citroen with the futuristic look and easily the most spacious vehicle I have driven in the MPV class.

There could have been no better choice of vehicle when needing a big and comfortable car for a weekend break for four, which included golfing and shopping. The Grand C4 ticked all the right boxes and proved just why it has been picking up awards from those in the industry who know what they are taking about.

The Grand C4 is the longer, seven-seater version of the C4 Picasso and the resemblance are obvious despite design changes around the windscreen and rear pillars. The changes mean you feel more like you are sitting in a gigantic goldfish bowl than even before.

There’s lots of opposition in this class with the likes of Kia Carens, Ford S-Max and Renault Grand Scenic but really they are all playing catch-up – distinctive looks, a revolutionary cockpit and enough space to handle two electric golf trolleys, two sets of golf clubs, weekend break cases and two days of shopping bags mean the C4 leads the way.

It’s easy to see why the awards have been flooding in. MPV buyers want space and flexibility and the C4 Picasso has all the answers.

All manufacturers beast how easily their folding rear seats work while in reality it can be a nightmare. Citroen have mastered the art and you won’t find a better option. It’s all done at the flick of a switch and you get a completely flat surface too.

On the downside you won’t get much luggage in if you need to make use of all seven seats. With the rear seats in place there really is only room for a couple of small children and a couple of weekend bags – certainly not the golf clubs.

The first thing you notice once inside the cabin is the obvious lack of dashboard buttons with most of the controls contained in the 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system which dominates the dashboard.

More and more manufacturers are going down this road though I am still not convinced it’s the way forward. Personally I find the system more of a distraction when driving than a help, though I would probably adapt after a couple of weeks.

There is a real quality feel inside though and while some might not like the exposure you get from the goldfish bowl style sweeping glass front and roof and huge windows I found it a real plus point.

 

In terms of engines, there's a choice of three diesels – two 1.6-litre BlueHDi units and a more powerful 2.0 BlueHDi. If you prefer petrol power, there are PureTech 130 and THP 165 engines, though a blend of power and economy would suggest the diesels will be the better seller across the range.

Comfort and space is more important than handling in the MPV market but you don’t feel at any risk when cornering at speed with the Grand C4 and you get active cruise control, a quality reversing camera and blind spot warning you help you feel more relaxed.

You can choose between VTR, VTR+, Selection, Exclusive and Exclusive+ trims, and all versions come with remote central locking, LED daytime running lights, alloy wheels, front and rear electric windows and cruise control.

Exclusive models add luxuries like sat-nav, reversing camera and keyless entry, as well as the larger 12-inch digital display in place of an instrument cluster.

For those drivers interested in protecting the planet Citroen has developed a Blue HDi version which produces only 98g/km emissions and returns over 70mpg, which means no road tax, low fuel bills and big benefits for the company car driver.

And there’s probably a price to suit just about every pocket with the range starting at £20,195 and topping out at £28,925.

For me the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso has always been the best seven-seat MPV on the market and this latest model has only widened the gap between the opposition.    

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