Citroen C-Crosser Exclusive 2.2 HDi

Second Report: From SUV to MPV – at a squeeze!

The French firm’s Picasso MPV line-up has a great reputation for practicality –but our long-term Citroen C-Crosser is also a capable people mover!

When our managing director borrowed the SUV for a family outing, I was interested to find out how his two teenage sons would cope in the third row of seats. They gave the 4x4 a big thumbs-up, so I decided to try them out for myself.

I even roped in our work experience student, Luke Madden, to see if there’s room for a pair of adults in the back. As I rarely use the third row, getting them into position was initially a fiddly exercise, but it gets much easier with practice. The seats have neat head restraints which fold up into position – and they use proper three-point belts.

Unfortunately, they’re joined together to form a bench, so it’s all or nothing. For instance, you can’t use the C-Crosser as a six-seater and have more space for luggage.

My concern was legroom, though. While I don’t have the longest legs in the world, even I struggled to get comfortable. They’re ideal for kids – but I’ll stick to the driving seat!

In fairness, the Citroen doesn’t set out to be a genuine MPV, and its fold-flat third row makes it a family car with occasional sixth and seventh seats, which is incredibly handy.

Another aspect of the SUV’s versatility was rammed home to me during the snowfall earlier this year, when the road where I live was turned into a skating rink.

The car’s all-wheel- drive system was called into action when my 19-month-old daughter fell ill, and we needed to make a visit to the doctor.

Selecting four-wheel drive is as simple as flicking a switch, and once I’d done that the C-Crosser took piled-up snow, icy junctions and steep frozen inclines all in its stride.

I can’t think of many cars that would have coped so well – never mind ones with an extra pair of seats in the boot as well!

Second Opinion

Four-wheel drives get a bad press, but the C-Crosser is a good compromise. Most of the time you only ever need its two-wheel-drive setting, which helps save fuel and cut emissions. But when the need arises, you can engage all four wheels and cope with muddy tracks – or six inches of snow. How many drivers would have found that feature useful this winter?

- Ross Pinnock Road test editor

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