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.
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
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.
Car group tests
- Renault Grand Scenic vs Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
- Volkswagen Touran vs Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
- Ford Galaxy vs Citroen Grand C4 Picasso & SEAT Alhambra
- Ford S-MAX vs rivals - pictures
- Citroen Grand C4 Picasso vs Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
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.
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.
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.
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.
Renault Grand Scenic dCi
Due: Late 2016
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 Flair
|Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI SE Family
|Peugeot 5008 1.6 BlueHDi EAT6 auto Allure
|On the road price/total as tested
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost
|£288 (Two services)
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel
|55 litres/space saver
|58 litres/repair kit
|60 litres/repair kit
|Boot capacity (7/5/2 seats)
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery
|Service intervals/UK dealers
|20,000 miles (1yr)/196
|16,000 miles (1yr)/283
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th
|50-70mph in 5th/6th
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket
|Auto box/stability/cruise ctrl/AEB*
|Climate control/leather/heated seats
|Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go