Citroen Grand C4 Picasso vs rivals: Style and substance

8 Jan, 2014 10:00am

Hi-tech new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso goes head-to-head with seven-seat rivals from Renault and Kia

It wasn’t long ago that MPVs like the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso were little more than boxes on wheels, designed to deliver as much interior space as possible.

However, the family car class has become hugely fragmented, with buyers able to choose from traditional hatches, rugged off-roaders, practical estates and trendy crossovers. So the latest people carriers are out to prove they have style as well as substance.

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso review

Kia Carens review

Renault Grand Scenic review

Citroen’s new C4 Picasso is already a road test winner in five-seat guise. With its bold styling, the new seven-seat Grand C4 aims to inject desirability into the sensible MPV market. But it faces tough competition from the latest Kia Carens. All-new from the ground up, the Kia has impressed with its quality and value.

The newcomers also have to take on the recently revised Renault Grand Scenic. Still a strong contender, the Scenic is the cheapest car here and has the biggest boot. So which of this trio is going to start 2014 in winning ways?

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso group test photo 3

Seven up

Most buyers in this class only use the third row of seats occasionally. None of the cars in this test has space in the back for adults to sit comfortably – for that you’d need a SEAT Alhambra or Ford Galaxy.

However, the extra flexibility is a big part of this trio’s appeal. The Renault has most room, but the Citroen isn’t far behind. The Kia is a bit tighter, although there’s enough room for kids.

Fold or remove?

Rather than folding flat, the Scenic’s middle-row seats tumble forward and can be removed altogether. This gives you a bigger van-like space, but they’re heavy to lift out and you’ll need somewhere to store them.

Premium features

The Grand Picasso features hi-tech kit normally found on luxury cars. Exclusive+ models get collision warning and blind spot monitoring, plus radar cruise control – although the adaptive cruise regularly shut down when traffic in front slowed on test.

The Carens 3 comes with some luxury kit, too, including a heated steering wheel and heated electric front seats. Opt for Renault’s £650 Technology Pack, and you get a rear parking camera and lane departure warning.

The Verdict


Citroen Grand C4 Picasso group test photo 4

1st place - Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The C4 Grand Picasso’s innovative looks and cabin combine with a practical seat layout and decent luggage space to create a compelling MPV. A comfortable driving experience and clean engines are the icing on the cake, however Exclusive+ trim is expensive and electrical glitches remain a concern.

The 1.6-litre eHDi 90 Airdream emits just 98g/km of CO2 and Citroen claims average economy of 74mpg. Fitted with the company’s ETG6 automated manual gearbox, it costs £20,595 in VTR trim. 

2nd place - Renault Grand Scenic

With lots of passenger space and plenty of clever storage, the Grand Scenic’s cabin is just as practical as the Citroen’s, while the dCi engine blends strong performance and low emissions.

It’s good value, too. But the slightly dated cabin and non-fold-flat seats consign it to second place.

3rd place - Kia Carens

Like the Renault, the Kia wasn’t far behind our winner. It’s slightly smaller than its rivals, but with loads of standard kit and a well built, functional cabin, it should be your choice if ultimate space isn’t priority number one. What also pegs it in third place are relatively high emissions.

Figures

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Exclusive+ Renault Grand Scenic 1.6 dCi Dynamique Kia Carens 3 1.7 CRDi SatNav
On-the-road price/total as tested £26,855/£28,425 £23,395/£27,820 £24,845/£24,845
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000) £10,527/39.2% £8,984/38.4% £7,876/31.7%
Depreciation £16,328 £14,411 £16,969
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £911/£1,822 £794/£1,587 £1,036/£2,072
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £2,176/£3,626 £1,896/£3,160 £2,133/£3,554
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 25/£400/C/£3 0 24/£417/C/£30 16/£/E/£125
Service costs £499 (3yrs/35k miles) 4yrs free £329 3yrs
Length/wheelbase 4,597/2,840mm 4,573/2,770mm 4,525/2,750mm
Height/width 1,638/1,826mm 1,671/1,845mm 1,605/1,805mm
Engine 4cyl in-line/1,997cc 4cyl in-line/1,598cc 4cyl in-line/1,685cc
Peak power 148/4,000 bhp/rpm 128/4,000 bhp/rpm 134/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 370/2,000 Nm/rpm 320/1,750 Nm/rpm 330/2,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission 6-spd man/fwd 6-spd man/fwd 6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 55 litres/sealant 60 litres/sealant 58 litres/space-saver
Boot capacity (7/5/2 seats) 165/632-793/2,181l 464/564-702/2,063l N/A/492/1,650 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,705/545/1,700kg 1,563/560/1,300kg 1,591/544/1,500kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient 10.8 metres/N/A 11.3 metres/0.32Cd 11.0 metres/0.30Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs(60,000)/3yrs 4yrs(100,000)/4yrs 7yrs (100,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers 20,000 miles (1yr)/196 18,000 miles (1yr)/248 20,000 miles (1yr)/170
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 24th/27th 21st/9th 7th/10th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars 86/88/68/5 91/76/42/5 94/76/64/5
0-60/30-70mph 10.4/9.5 secs 10.4/10.2 secs 11.2/11.9 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 3.9/7.4 secs 4.4/6.9 secs 4.4/5.9 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th 8.6/12.4 secs 8.5/10.7 secs 8.0/12.7 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 130mph/2,000rpm 121mph/2,000rpm 119mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 57.6/40.0/9.6m 51.7/36.5/9.1m 51.9/40.0/10.4m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph 72/44/61/72dB 60/43/60/70dB 71/47/59/71dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 34.6/7.6/419 39.7/8.7/524 35.3/7.8/450
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 54.3/74.3/65.7mpg 55.4/70.6/64.2mpg 47.9/61.4/56.4mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 11.9/16.3/14.5mpl 12.2/15.5/14.1mpl 10.5/13.6/12.4mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 219/113g/km/17% 191/114g/km/17% 214/132g/km/21%
Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensors Eight/yes/yes Eight/yes/£275* Six/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seats Yes/part (full £2k**)/no Yes/£1,800**/£1,800 Yes/yes/yes
LED running lights/stability/cruise ctrl Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes Yes /yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go £520/£750/yes £495/£750/yes £495/no/no
Sat-nav/DAB radio/Bluetooth Yes/yes/yes Yes/£220/yes Yes/no/yes
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