There’s a unique and distinctive style to the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso that combines airiness with a feeling of artistic cubism that was characteristic of the Picasso design style. When you look at the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso from different angles you can sometime see a different car each time.
The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso driving experience is also unique compared with many other cars. The new generation of this top-selling seven seat MPV has evolved with a level of comfort and brightness, helped by the panoramic sunroof. You’ll never feel claustrophobic in the car that packs space, comfort and safety on an internally bright package.
Citroen has used the combination of the PSA engineering technology with its own unique design style to create a people carrier that’s modern and distinctive. It doesn’t have the ‘Mammy Bus’ felling to it or boxiness that has pushed many drivers to consider SUVs rather than more practical MPVs.
Citroen’s Grand C4 Picasso will always be distinctive and now with a re-launched brand under a new Irish distributor, the Citroen brand aims to retain and enhance its value. For family drivers, that means a competitive entry price combined with lots of specification value that’s now topped off by a five-year warranty.
Add all of those features and you begin to get more comfortable with the Citroën brand for the right reasons. I took the new generation Citroen Grand C4 Picasso for some lengthy drives and its 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine was able for the job of hauling a big car, and its load, in comfort and with economy.
This engine is used throughout the Citroen and Peugeot ranges and has been behind French group’s success in lowering CO2 emission standards. Out on the road and linked with the six-speed, manual gearbox, the cruising speed of 120km/hr on the motorway was at an effortless 2,000rpm on the engine.
That’s the economy sweet spot and the large dash screen provided a good view of how my driving styled was evolving. I liked the large digital display of my speed, coupled with economy hints based around a subtle but clear alternative rev counter dial.
With some sensible driving, I was less than 20% off the rated economy figure of 23.3km/litre (4.31/100km or 65mpg). That’s a good result from what is a big car and it carried a big load over two long days driving in the mid-west. I liked the fuel filler cap approach with hand-free opening and cap-less cover to keep the taint of diesel from your hands.
This was a car that was easy to get used to despite its large size. The D-shaped steering wheel felt a little unusual at first, but I soon got to see its benefits. The steering wheel is a multi-function one with a nice tactile feel to it.
The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is well equipped to be the dominant family car with its seven seat capacity. One of the especially attractive features for families is the fact that middle row of three seats are all individually adjustable. They also come with ISO-Fix couplings so that two child seats a bolster seat will fit, important for family transport.
The additional two rear seats are easily brought into action and when not needed they fold flat into the floor. Citroen includes a space saver spare wheel with the car and that’s tucked under the boot floor on the outside, but at least it’s there.
The car is well equipped with safety features, including two new optional driver assistance packages are available, which introduce Citroen first active safety systems such as Active Lane Departure Warning and Active Blind Spot Monitoring.
The Driver Assistance Pack One contains active lane departure warning system, active blind spot monitoring system, speed limit recognition, intelligent beam headlights and driver attention alert. Driver Assistance Pack Two includes all of the above, as well as active radar guided cruise control. The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso scored highly in the Euro NCAP crash test programme to add to its accolades.
The make boot opening easier Citroen is now offers hands-free tailgate technology on the Grand C4 Picasso Flair version for an additional €800 to allow the boot to open by simply waving a foot under the rear bumper.
The entry model in the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso range is a petrol engine car competitively priced at €28,995, while I drove the 1.6-litre turbo-diesel version. Peugeot offers a similar MPV in the 5008 but the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso feels so much more spacious and airy.
Other options include the Toyota Verso and the Volkswagen Touran, but for me the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso wins out in terms of comfort, economy and sheer driving pleasure with great front-end visibility.