MPV of the Year 2016: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is the 2016 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the Ford S-MAX and SEAT Alhambra commended
It’s been a busy 12 months for the MPV sector, with a host of new arrivals. Yet for the third year in a row, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso takes the honours.
That’s all thanks to its clever blend of surprisingly bold looks for such a big people carrier, impressive in-car tech and, crucially in this class, its versatile cabin.
Family-friendly features in this stretched version of the C4 Picasso include five individually folding rear seats, allowing you to adapt the space to suit your needs. If you’re abandoning the school run for a trip to Ikea, for example, these can all be folded flat, to free up a whopping 2,181 litres of load space. Put the seats back in place and passengers benefit from one of the brightest, airiest cabins in the business. Large side windows and a vast panoramic interior play their part, as do the clever packaging and cheery finish.
Despite being a car designed for practicality, there are some luxurious touches in the Citroen, too, like the seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Bluetooth and TFT dials. Exclusive+ models even get a reclining front passenger seat with integrated footrest.
It’s a car built for comfort and convenience – so no one is expecting it to corner like it’s on rails. But soft suspension means the ride quality is good; it absorbs potholes and takes some of the strain out of your daily commute. A decent kit list that includes stop/start, cruise control, hill-start assist and driver’s seat height adjustment helps make it a more enjoyable ride, too.
The Picasso is available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, including the refined 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 turbodiesel. Then there’s the 1.6 HDi that claims 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 99g/km– impressive for a car of this size. Also available is Citroen’s recently introduced EAT6 automatic box, which gives silky smooth shifts. It’s perfectly suited to a car that helps soothe away the stresses and strains of family life.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 2.0 BlueHDi Exclusive+ (£27,575)
If you’re going to make the most of the Grand C4 Picasso’s space and refinement, the luxuriously appointed flagship Exclusive+ model is the version to plump for. There’s a wide range of engines to choose from, but we’d recommend the smooth, torquey and efficient 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel.
The stylish S-MAX is the MPV most likely to turn heads, and combines these sharp looks with a very cleverly packaged, high-quality interior. That’s only going to get more luxurious with the introduction of Ford’s new flagship Vignale trim.
With its huge interior, seven full-size seats and handy sliding doors that make access effortless, the SEAT Alhambra really is a worthy contender in the people carrier class. Recently facelifted, this capable cruiser also benefits from a choice of frugal diesel engines.
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