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C4 has best visibility in sector

Created on 27/10/2015 @ 12:10
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

It feels a bit like sitting in a fish tank but there’s no denying that Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso offers the best visibility in the MPV sector.

It’s like being in a bubble with the expansive windscreen stretching up and over the driver and front seat passenger, meaning there’s absolutely nothing to obscure your forward view. The top-spec Blue HDi Exclusive120 on test also came with a panoramic sunroof just to add to the greenhouse effect.

At first it’s unnerving and leaves the driver feeling a little too exposed until you get used to the feeling, and it’s important to remember that while you can see everything outside, everyone can see inside the cabin too.

It’s really all about space in this sector and the Grand C4 has been picking up awards all over the country thanks to a huge boot and comfortable seating. You get 790-litres of space with the rear seats down and 2,181-litres with the second row collapsed.

That’s a lot of space and while Citroen label the C4 a seven-seater the rear pair are really only enough to cater for the children. Plans to carry three golfers with clubs and three wives with luggage and shopping on a weekend away had to be re-thought. There just wasn’t enough room, even only using six seats.

But there’s nothing else in the sector that could cope either though with five adults and two children there would be plenty of room for luggage too.

The cabin-like atmosphere up-front is matched with all the latest technology, including a 12” panoramic HD central display which comes on top of the 7” touchscreen control centre. The central display is a dramatic and very useful introduction and the only issue with it was that despite adjusting the contrast it still annoyingly reflected in the side windows at night.

The Exclusive is brilliantly equipped. You get an electrically opening boot, stop-start system, self-parking, cruise control, reversing camera, ABS, Esc with traction control, hill-start assist, automatic hazard lights and blind spot monitoring.

There’s also a DAB radio, Sat-Nav, Bluetooth, automatic lights and wipers, a child observation rear mirror and a guide-me-home headlight function.

Putting the word “Blue” in front of a vehicle’s description means low emissions these days and the Grand Picasso is right up there with the best in class. The 1560 diesel unit produces 120hp, a top speed of 117mph and 0-62mph in 11.6seconds yet still achieves 106g/km in CO2 emissions.

And just as importantly combined fuel figures are an amazing 70.6mpg on the combined cycle and only drop to 62.8mpg on the urban cycle.

On the road there’s a comfortable driving experience, though the driver’s seat could do with a bit more leg support and you do feel the bumps around town. Handling is generally good with the light steering helping you get into those tight space without using the automatic parking system.

This Grand Picasso is not cheap though. The basic on the road price for the Blue HDi 120 Exclusive is £26,145 and the test model included metallic paint and park assist to take the price to £27,115.

Should you buy one? Well if you need space and seats it ticks all the boxes and is also one of the cheapest to run in the MPV sector. The problem could be the price – though the range starts at less than £20,000.


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