Citroen Grand C4 Picasso vs Volkswagen Touran vs Peugeot 5008

Can Citroen's updated Grand C4 Picasso tighten its grip on the MPV class as it meets Volkswagen and Peugeot seven-seaters

Citroen's Grand C4 Picasso has taken the Best MPV title at the Auto Express New Car Awards for three years in a row, so it's fair to say that it's a capable people carrier. It's seen off a host of new challengers over the last 12 months, too - and now there's a new, updated version.

There are some styling tweaks for Citroen's latest MPV, along with a pair of new petrol engines on offer, but it's the frugal 2.0-litre diesel that has always been victorious.

Best MPVs and people carriers 2016

However, we're testing the less powerful 1.6-litre BlueHDI auto, so in the sizeable Citroen will this 118bhp unit prove enough?

VW has plenty of experience with downsized diesels, and installing its 1.6 TDI in the sharp and modern Touran should provide a tough test for the Picasso. Citroen also has some stiff competition close to home, as sister brand Peugeot also offers seven-seat versatility in the shape of its 5008, which has been updated with the same 1.6-litre diesel unit and six-speed auto transmission as the picasso.

But the question is, which one of our trio maximises family-friendly practicality with adequate performance and strong efficiency?

Head to head

MPV shapes

Just because you need seven seats doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style. The Citroen shows how; it's cool and modern inside and out, while updates to this facelifted model's infotainment system help further still.

The VW looks sharp and simple, but in comparison the Peugeot is bland. It's a pity, as its practicality doesn't compensate for this.

Space

MPVs are all about space, and the Citroen mixes unusual design details with the most versatile interior on tests. It feels huge up front - helped by its panoramic windscreen and roof - while in the rear it offers the most head and legroom, with a less upright seating position, too.

Driver appeal

Adjustable driving modes allow you to tailor the Touran to your tastes. Go for the £660 adaptive dampers and the VW's breadth of ability is even greater. The Citroen is more comfortable, but the VW is for those who value driving enjoyment, too.

Verdict

First place: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The Grand C4 Picasso takes victory again. It's the most versatile MPV here, which makes it incredibly easy to live with. On top of this it has strong performance and fine ride comfort, while even the 1.6-litre diesel auto powertrain doesn't feel too stretched with seven on board. Add low running costs, competitive PCP deals and individual design, and the Citroen stretches its winning margin.

Second place: Volkswagen Touran

If you need a people carrier but still want to enjoy driving, the Touran balances the two superbly, thanks to its sharp chassis and sweet manual gearchange. However, it's not as fast as the C4 Picasso, or as comfortable. It will only be slightly more costly to own than the Citroen, so it should still be cheap to run, but it loses out when it comes to space and usability.

Third place: Peugeot 5008

Respectable pace and a big boot mean the 5008 can just about cut it as a modern MPV, but it's beaten by some margin due to its old design and cramped cabin. Its engine is punchy, but the chassis lacks comfort. And which it's efficient, heavy depreciation means it'll still be costly to run. Still, it's well equipped and top value, plus an imminent replacement should ensure good dealer discounts.

Coming soon...

Renault Grand Scenic dCi

Renault Grand Scenic 2016 - front tracking 3
Due: Late 2016
Price: £28,500
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 128bhp

Renault's new Grand Scenic will rival the Grand C4 Picasso for style. Performance should be respectable, with a 128bhp 1.6-litre dCi diesel, and a roomy cabin with decent boot space is set to make this one competitive MPV.

Facts and figures

 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 BlueHDi EAT6 auto FlairVolkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI SE FamilyPeugeot 5008 1.6 BlueHDi EAT6 auto Allure
On the road price/total as tested£28,160/£30,230£26,745/£27,400£27,030/£27,555
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£10,349/36.8%£10,800/40.4%£9,658/35.7%
Depreciation£17,811£15,945£17,372
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£1,180/£2,361£1,228/£2,456£1,187/£2,374
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,146/£1,911£1,360/£2,267£1,330/£2,217
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost21/£738/B/£2012/£450/C/£3019/£766/C/£30
Servicing costs£400 (3yrs/35,000)£288 (Two services)£13pm (3yrs/35,000)
    
Length/wheelbase4,602/2,840mm4,527/2,791mm4,529/2,727mm
Height/width1,638/1,826mm1,659/1,829mm1,639/1,837mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,560cc4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,560cc
Peak power/revs 118/3,500 bhp/rpm108/3,200 bhp/rpm118/3,500 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs 300/1,750 Nm/rpm250/1,500 Nm/rpm300/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission 6-spd auto/fwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd auto/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel55 litres/space saver58 litres/repair kit60 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity (7/5/2 seats)165/632-793/2,181 lts137/703/1,857 litres140/823/2,506 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,359/846/1,500kg1,539/675/1,500kg1,510/755/1,050kg
Turning circle10.4 metres11.5 metres11.3 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/1yr3yrs (60,000)/1yr3yrs (60,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers20,000 miles (1yr)/196Variable/22316,000 miles (1yr)/283
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.26th/18th24th/28th17th/10th
NCAP: Adult/child/ped./assist/stars86/88/68/81/588/89/71/76/589/79/37/97/5 (2008)
    
0-60/30-70mph11.0/11.5 secs11.5/12.2 secs12.5/13.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th4.3/5.7 secs4.7/7.3 secs4.8/6.0 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th9.0/12.3 secs9.8/13.3 secs9.5/12.8 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 117mph/2,000rpm116mph/2,000rpm113mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 50.0/37.7/9.7m55.5/38.8/10.0m49.1/37.9/9.5m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph75/53/66/72dB71/51/67/72dB74/53/66/72dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range53.5/14.0/647 miles45.1/9.9/575 miles46.1/10.1/608 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 61.4/74.3/68.9mpg53.3/72.4/64.2mpg60.1/68.9/64.2mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 13.5/16.3/15.2mpl11.7/15.9/14.1mpl13.2/15.2/14.1mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket141/105g/km/21%168/116g/km/23%164/114g/km/22%
    
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/yes/yesSeven/y/y/£170Six/yes/yes/yes
Auto box/stability/cruise ctrl/AEB*Yes/yes/yes/£600**£1,300/y/adaptive/yYes/yes/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/£2,000/no£445/£2,075/£385Yes/£1,570/no
Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go£520/£750/yes£610/£1,000^/£320£525/no/no
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/£115/yes

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