Citroen C4 Picasso review
The Citroen C4 Picasso is a stylish five-seat MPV that rivals the likes of the Ford C-MAX and Kia Carens
The new Citroen C4 Picasso follows the lead of the Nissan Juke and Range Rover Evoque by opting for a seriously eye-catching design. Look underneath the skin, though, and you’ll find that the new C4 Picasso rides on a completely new platform that helps shed 140kg from the old car’s kerbweight. What’s more, it’s shorter and lower but with a wheelbase that's 57mm longer to increase the amount of space in the cabin and a bigger boot than ever. A 1.6 e-HDi 90 engine provides amazing 74.3mpg fuel economy, but we think the pick of the range is the e-HDi 115 unit, which provides reasonable performance while still claiming 70.6mpg.
Our choice: Exclusive e-HDi1 15
Citroen has certainly made sure that the new C4 Picasso stands out, with razor-thin daytime running lights flowing in to a full-width chromed double chevron grille. It’s got sporty new proportions, too, at 40mm lower and 40mm shorter than before, while keeping the same width. The squat, ground-hugging stance is more reminiscent of a hatchback than of an MPV, making the C4 Picasso look like nothing else in this class. The interior also looks stylish and upmarket, with all models getting a seven-inch colour touchscreen in the centre console. There are classy Citroen ‘DS’-inspired touches, too, like dual-colour leather seats.
So far we’ve driven the 1.6 e-HDi 115 and petrol-powered THP 155. Clearly the diesel model makes more sense, with its reasonable acceleration, quiet engine note and seriously impressive running costs. That’s not to say the petrol isn’t without its benefits, though, offering a 0-62mph time of 9.0 seconds – that’s significantly quicker than any other model in the range. It’s a nice, smooth engine, with less rattle and vibration than the diesels. Handling is reasonably good, with far less body roll and more direct steering than the old Picasso. It’s far from perfect, though -the Ford C-MAX is still the car to have if dynamics are high up on your list of priorities.
The Citroen C4 Picasso rides on an entirely new platform called EMP2. It has been developed with Peugeot and will underpin the majority of all their future models. With that much invested in this platform, it’s certain to have been extensively tested for reliability, as have the range of engines used in the C4 Picasso. Most have been used elsewhere in Peugeot and Citroen models with little issue. Thankfully the interior feels more solid than Citroens of the past, although the two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty (and a third-year dealer warranty that's limited to 60,000 miles) seems a little shabby compared with Kia’s seven-year warranty.
Despite being shorter and lower than before, Citroen’s engineers have been smart with the interior packaging to make the C4 Picasso a more practical car than the outgoing model. The wheelbase has grown by 57mm, freeing up more legroom in the rear seats, and each of the three chairs is the same size. That’s useful for carrying three tall adults and also makes it easy to fit three baby seats. Each slides and folds flat individually, while boot capacity is up from 500 litres to 537 litres. If you slide all the seats forwards you can increase this to 630 litres, and folding them all flat pushes the total luggage space up to 1,709 litres.
If you’re after the most economical C4 Picasso, then you’ll want to go for the e-HDi 90 model. It boasts fuel economy of 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 95g/km but feels a little slow from behind the wheel, with a 0-62mph time of 15.3 seconds. It’s probably better to go for the e-HDi 115, which is much quicker but still claims 105g/km of CO2 and 70.6mpg. Citroen offers a three-year, 35,000-mile servicing package for just £449 or 36 monthly payments of £12.49.