Citroen Grand C4 Picasso review
Stylish Grand C4 Picasso MPV that’s strong on economy, safety and practicality, with a surprising amount of quality and tech on board
The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso has always been one of the best MPVs and this latest model takes things even further. It has strong economy credentials with the Airdream model promising superb mpg, while top-spec models have the sort of equipment that you’ll struggle to find from premium brands of a similar price. Practicality is superb with one of the best folding seat arrangements we’ve seen, while room in the most often-used middle row is truly capcious. On top of all that, it looks great – unusual for an MPV – with a mix of French flair and Germanic solidity.
Our pick: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 HDi Exclusive
This is a seriously smart looking car. You may not lust after its looks, but it takes a modern and upmarket approach that makes the Ford S-MAX look old-hat. It’s certainly way better to look at than a Kia Carens, Vauxhall Zafira Tourer or Toyota Verso – all reasonably stylish MPVs in their own right. At the front, faux headlights sit low beneath the wide, narrow grille that cleverly incorporates LED driving lights. Contrasting roof rails start at the base of the windscreen, flowing up the A-Pillar, along the roof and curl around the rear window. Crisp, taut lines along the side give a high-quality Germanic look, while the inside is minimalist, stylish and high quality.
MPVs are no sports cars, but Ford has managed to make the S-Max quite an appealing drive. The new Grand C4 Picasso doesn’t quite go that far, erring on the side of comfort and safety instead. In fact, the flat-bottomed steering wheel is about as sporty as the Citroen gets. The steering is nicely weighted, but with not much feedback, while the ride is nicely firm yet comfy. The new BlueHDi engine is punchy yet efficient, but a bit unnecessary in an MPV – we’d prefer one of the other, more sedate diesels that are just as refined, cheaper to buy and more frugal. Petrol MPVs are rare and in low demand used, so best avoided.
Citroen hasn’t exactly been a byword for reliability in the past and in the 2013 Driver Power survey, it came 24th out of 32nd in our list of car makers, which doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence. However, the C4 Picasso models tend to buck the trend and perform better than other Citroens – owners always seem happy to recommend their cars. The Grand C4 Picasso hasn’t been tested by safety specialists Euro NCAP, but the five seat C4 Picasso has and scored well: a full five stars with 86% for adult protection and 88% for child protection. With plenty of safety gadgetry on board like line keep assist and an array of cameras, this models should be a sound safety choice.
The Grand C4 Picasso isn’t short of luggage space, unless you have all seven seats in use. But fold the rear-most seats into the floor and you get a usefully long, wide and flat boot with a low opening. The three middle row seats fold easily into the floor, too, for a quick transformation into van mode. Space right at the back is tight, but this latest Grand C4 Picasso has a stretched wheelbase meaning 11cm more space in row two, making it easier to spread the leg space between the two back rows. As expected, there are plenty of neat practicality touches for odds and ends, too.
Citroen has managed to offer a seven-seat MPV that comes with CO2 figures below the magic 100g/km figure – 98g/km to be precise. The 1.6 eHDi Airdream model also claims average economy of 74mpg, while even the most powerful diesel, the new BlueHDi, claims 67mpg and 110g/km. So you’ll be able to buy a Grand C4 Picasso and not have to pay any road tax, while company car tax bills for family-orientated company car drivers will be temptingly low, too. All models come decently equipped, too, with prices set competitively against MPV rivals.