Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer review
Bold Grand C4 SpaceTourer, formerly Picasso, mixes comfort, style, practicality and efficiency to great effect
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer (formerly known as the Grand C4 Picasso) rules the roost as our favourite MPV, and for good reason. The engine range is excellent, in particular the diesels, which offer strong performance and superb efficiency, while top-spec versions have the sort of equipment you’ll struggle to find from premium brands of a similar price. What's more, constant updates, including a change in name, have failed to dent its ability.
Practicality is superb, as the SpaceTourer offers one of the best folding seat arrangements we’ve seen, while room in the most often-used middle row is truly limo-like. On top of all that, it looks great – unusual for an MPV – with a mix of French flair and surprising solidity.
It's not the most fun to drive, but MPVs are more about ferrying plenty of passengers and their luggage in comfort, and that's something the smooth and refined big Citroen does incredibly well.
First things first, the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer is the new name for the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. Like the five-seat C4 SpaceTourer, Citroen rebadged its seven-seat MPV at the start of 2018, firstly so that the company no longer has to pay the Picasso family a royalty for the use of the artist's name, and secondly to put further distance between its MPV range and its crossovers and SUVs.
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So as well as the C4 and Grand C4 SpaceTourers, there's the separate Citroen SpaceTourer model, which is based on the Citroen Dispatch van, while the C3 Aircross crossover replaced the C3 Picasso to put it firmly in the crossover sector. This model will be joined by the C5 Aircross and other SUVs at a later date. All clear?
Back to the Grand C4 SpaceTourer. Just like a piano, the Grand is a larger version of the standard C4 SpaceTourer, and they share the same platform, engines and technology. But the Grand has a wheelbase that's grown by 55mm and it's 115mm longer overall. That makes room for a third row of seats, and adds some boot space in seven-seat mode, while also increasing carrying capacity when only five seats are in use.
Like the five-seater, there are three trims, which are the same ones that were offered on the Grand C4 Picasso: Touch Edition, Feel and Flair. Standard kit is good across the range, but the top-spec Flair version gets lots of kit that can only be had as expensive options on rival MPVs: a power tailgate with hands-free opening is one of the highlights. Prices start at around £23,500 and rise to almost £31,500, but even mid-spec models get a respectable amount of kit. These prices are a premium of about £2,000 over the five-seat C4 SpaceTourer, so it's worth considering if you'll use the extra space and seating the Grand offers before taking the plunge.
When you consider the kind of work that MPVs undertake, it might seem like the Grand C4 SpaceTourer's engine line-up is on the weak side. There's a 1.2 PureTech three-cylinder turbo petrol which only comes in 130hp guise (there's a 110hp version in the five-seat C4 SpaceTourer), but it's surprisingly torquey for a small engine. There's also Citroen's 1.6 THP 165hp petrol, which comes with a six-speed auto as standard, although this is relatively thirsty.
If you're going to be regularly driving with more than three passengers on board, we'd go for the diesels. The 1.6 BlueHDi comes as a 100hp or 120hp unit, while at the top of the range is the 2.0 BlueHDi 150. The smallest diesel has a five-speed manual, while a six-speed is standard on all cars bar the 2.0 BlueHDi, which gets Citroen's EAT6 auto. This is also optional on the 1.6 BlueHDi 120. All models are front-wheel drive.
While sales in the MPV class aren't as strong as they used to be, there are still some talented rivals to the Grand C4 SpaceTourer. The Renault Grand Scenic is its arch-rival, while the Ford S-MAX and Galaxy are also worth considering. The SEAT Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan have the added advantage of sliding side doors, while the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is an intriguing alternative.
If you only want occasional rearmost seats, then the Kia Carens, Toyota Verso and VW Touran are worth considering, while some SUVs also offer seven-seat versatility, including the Skoda Kodiaq, Peugeot 5008 and Land Rover Discovery Sport, although some of these models can be pretty pricey in comparison to the Grand C4 SpaceTourer.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingBold Grand C4 SpaceTourer, formerly Picasso, mixes comfort, style, practicality and efficiency to great effect
- 2Engines, performance and driveBuilt for comfort instead of driving fun, but the chassis and engines both offer reassuring performance
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsSuper efficiency claims should limit day-to-day running costs, but depreciation is still a touch steep
- 4Interior, design and technologyAnything but dull, the C4 SpaceTourer offers the motorised equivalent of luxurious ‘loft living’
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWith a super spacious interior and stylish ambience, the SpaceTourer only falls down on a few details
- 6Reliability and SafetyReliability hasn’t been a forte to date, but there’s no question mark over a five-star safety rating