New Citroen C4 Picasso PureTech 130 2016 review

A drive of the post-facelift Citroen C4 Picasso shows that it's still one of our favourite MPVs

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

The Citroen C4 Picasso is still our favourite MPV even three years after it launched, so this facelifted version simply builds on that success. The new look freshens-up what is still one of the most distinctive designs in the segment, and with a very practical and upmarket interior matched to a comfortable chassis there's a lot to like about the C4 Picasso. It's well equipped too, with the new version getting an even better infotainment system and smartphone integration.

Citroen has updated its excellent MPV range with the Grand C4 Picasso, our favourite seven-seat MPV, benefiting from a few exterior and interior upgrades. Now we've tried the five-seater C4 Picasso on British roads too, the car sporting that new look and with some new kit on board.

The changes are the same as with the bigger model: a new front bumper with C-shaped foglight surrounds and a wider grille. Some new lights at the back, which Citroen calls '3D-effect', and some new colour and wheel options, are the main exterior changes. Inside you'll find an improved infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink for your smartphone. There's an updated sat-nav system on models with that option fitted, too.

We tried a Flair model, which gets a 12-inch central display, plus a 7-inch touchscreen on the dashboard, a reversing camera, sat-nav, blind spot monitoring, rear air vents, keyless go, a panoramic sunroof and a hands-free tailgate that opens with a swipe of the foot under the rear bumper.

There's 630 litres of boot space in the back with the seats set forward, which is less than the 793 litres of space in the back of the Grand C4 Picasso with its rear-most seats down, but it's still a huge amount of space. It's more of a vertical space than a horizontal one, but pop the rear seats down and there's 1,851 litres - an impressive figure, although it's not class-leading.

Best MPVs and people carriers

Set the rear seats back and you'll find 537 litres left, but rear legroom is excellent. There's three seats, rather than a bench, so even the middle passenger has plenty of space, and the flat floor means you're not fighting over space to put your feet. It's perfect for kids, but three adults can get comfortable there too.

In fact everyone will be comfortable in the C4 Picasso, because it rides very well, even on UK roads. It irons out bumps without feeling too bouncy, and potholes don't shudder through the cabin. It's not particularly fun to drive, with the Ford C-MAX being a better bet for an enjoyable drive thanks to its sharper steering, but the Citroen is enjoyable in its own way, cruising smoothly from A to B without any fuss.

The interior is a real highlight of the C4 Picasso, with the large central screens looking very modern, and the quality materials around the cabin give it an upmarket feel. It feels light and airy inside thanks to the huge windscreen and large glass area, helped even more by our car's big sunroof.

Our test car was also fitted with a new engine and gearbox combination, with the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol and six-speed automatic gearbox matched for the first time. It's not a bad combination, as despite being a small engine, the 1.2 turbo feels punchy enough, and the auto gearbox is a smooth shifter. 55.4mpg is a solid figure, and for users who make short trips the petrol could make sense. We'd still say the 1.6-litre diesel version is the top choice, however, mainly because it manages 74.3mpg.

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