Citroen C4 Picasso

We take the C4 on one last trip before we say goodbye to our 12-month old long-termer.

  • Really: the interior. When it comes to space and practicality, the cabin is hard to fault. The car never feels too big or unwieldy to drive, yet it provides nearly as much space as a van! With three individual seats in the back, all your passengers will be comfortable, while that huge windscreen and panoramic roof make the Picasso incredibly light and airy.
  • The optional Navidrive sat-nav system could be easier to use – programming and viewing are more straightforward with rival set-ups. Also, the automatic locking is too keen. After you’ve unlocked the car, it locks again if you don’t get in within a minute or so. Very frustrating.
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Don't rely on garage forecourt air hoses – because our Citroen C4 Grand Picasso proves they’re not failsafe. Auto Express has warned drivers not to trust the accuracy of these devices before, and our long-term MPV provided us with first-hand evidence of this before a recent trip.

A mile after we’d checked the psi at a local garage, the tyre pressure warning system flashed a red ‘STOP’ sign on the dashboard – so we limped to a second forecourt to inspect them again. One of our freshly inflated tyres was at the wrong pressure – and the Citroen’s on-board computer had prevented us from driving more than 200 motorway miles like this.

Not only would this have had serious safety implications, it would have done our fuel economy no good, either, so full marks to the clever technology.

You learn a lot about a car after living with it for a year – and over the past 12 months, we’ve discovered that weekend trips are what our C4 Grand Picasso does best. To say goodbye, we took it on a final road trip, and our last few days together provided a perfect snapshot of our time with the practical people carrier.

Any journey with a nine-month-old baby involves a lot of luggage, but when packing for a few days away you need to cart around even more kit. Luckily, the Picasso swallows just about everything you can throw at it, including a travel cot, high chair and buggy!

The sliding rear seats allow you to maximise boot space, and if you don’t need much rear legroom, large items like a pushchair will fit in the luggage area lengthways.

The car was soon showcasing its talents again, as baby Stella soon got bored of the view from her child seat in the back. At times like this, any form of in-car entertainment is welcome – but the optional DVD system in our model always does the trick. We simply slot in her favourite DVD, and moments later all we can hear are contented giggles!

Unfortunately, a quick stop to refill parents and baby took the wind out of our sails. Body damage has been a theme of the Picasso’s time with us, after it picked up a scrape as soon as it arrived. So you can imagine our delight at finding a deep scratch on the back of the car when we returned from the services.

Someone had obviously misjudged the length of their vehicle, but hadn’t bothered to leave their contact details and just driven off. Repairing the damage is likely to land us with another hefty bill.

Still, when we arrived at our destination, this was put to the back of my mind – because my nieces and nephew were more excited to see the Picasso than they were to see us! Spend time with the car, and this will come as no surprise – kids can’t get enough of the spaceship-style interior and DVD system, or the extended windscreen.

Yet it’s just as popular with adults – and parents in particular. In addition to its hugely practical boot, the C4 Grand Picasso has some neat touches, such as the opening rear window. Finding a replacement to match the Citroen won’t be easy.

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