If you had asked me 24 months ago what car I expected to rate as my favourite in recent times, the last brand I would have chosen from would probably have been Citroen.
Now before any fans of the great French marque start an internet hate campaign against the Gazette motoring pages, let me explain. I have absolutely nothing against Citroen, I both admire and respect a small fleet of 2CVs that are kept on the road in Baltimore, west Cork, every time I’m down there.
I simply don’t have a passion for the brand – well, I didn’t have a passion for it, but things changed a while back.
As soon as I tested the DS5 a year or two ago – no… scratch that – as soon as I SAW the DS5… everything changed.
All my prejudices about Citroen disappeared. This was a car unlike anything else on the road, and I would take it everywhere with me given half the chance.
Citroen went nuts with their design and gave their customers another piece of motoring style history with the DS range.
It would appear that the feedback from elsewhere must have been similar to mine, as the design queues that made the DS range stand out are slowly, and delightfully, creeping in to some of their more mainstream models.
Enter the Citroen C4 Picasso.
While everyone else seems to be making their people carriers, SUVs, MPVs and minivans look like sports coupes, Citroen are calling a spade a spade.
Their larger cars are larger cars – full stop. Big and bold are words that can be used to describe much of the look of this car.
From the unique lighting signature at the front end with strips of LED daytime running lights, to the chrome inserts that emphasise the bulging profile of the roof line at the front seats – very little about this car is subtle.
And tell me the windshield doesn’t raise your eyebrows… you can’t.
Don’t think the designers got lazy around the back either… even features from the original concept car have crept in – in the shape of the 3D rear light clusters, giving a delightfully futuristic feel.
Continuing the futuristic theme, Citroen have moulded two sq m of windshield on to the front of this car, giving an exceptional visibility with fewer blind spots. The rear seat passengers are also set to enjoy more daylight, with a further 1.2m of glass roof overhead – with sunblinds added to keep things comfortable.
The dashboard is a handsome affair, offering clear controls, two large screens and one of the clearest reversing cameras I have used. My only gripe would be some of the touch-panel controls are a little too sensitive for an environment where the operator may be bouncing about a bit.
The upholstery all round is of a very high standard, and in the back, passengers enjoy three individually adjustable seats – not the usual two-plus-one effort.
The drive of the C4 Picasso is also a pleasant surprise – no acceleration at the speed of a boiling kettle here. As a matter of fact, the 1.6-litre e-HDi Airdream engine, coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox, was responsive, spritely and surprisingly quiet.
So, with a price tag of €28,995 for the model I drove, you are getting an awful lot car indeed, well worth considering if you’re in the market for a car, and definitely worth a serious look if you enjoy something more than a little different.
Gazette readers will be interested to know that Koping Motor’s on Naas Road, Dublin 12, are having an open week starting November 7.
Over the course of the weekend, as well as having the full range of Citroen cars including the new C4 Picasso to test drive, customers will have a range of fun family activities and competitions to enjoy.
To find out more about this open week at the Naas Road location, contact 01 460 7299.