The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso has been so successful that it has taken seven years for the sales to drop low enough for a replacement to be warranted, the usual life of a car is 4 years. Built on the new EMP2 platform shared across all the new medium sized Citroen and Peugeot cars this all new car certainly catches your gaze, it is not easy to make a 7 seat car attractive but Citroen have drawn on its heritage and added a modern style, from the C shaped rear lights and high level front LED’s to the wrap around tailgate and natty car length roof rail, this is a car that has been designed with style in mind and it does not disappoint, the previous best lookers in class; the Ford S-Max and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer have been pushed down a peg. Pleasingly the Grand Picasso is an assured drive, comfortable with wonderful views from the enormous front windscreen and particularly quiet at motorway speeds and handles well for a such a tall vehicle.
Although it’s the same length as the outgoing car, the new car has a longer wheelbase – so there’s 11cm more space in row two and it’s easier to spread legroom between the back rows as the three middle-row seats slide independently, while the outer pair flip up cinema-style before sliding forward, allowing decent access to row three, The rear seats fold into the floor easily to reveal a well shaped boot that will swallow 793 litres of luggage when the middle row is slid into its furthest forward setting. Folding the middle row is easy, too, while for really long loads the front passenger seat folds.
Four trim levels are available, the VTR, the VTR+, the Exclusive and Exclusive+, The base VTR is very well equipped with air conditioning, cruise control, start stop engine button, LED daytime running lights and 16″ alloy wheels, the VTR+ adds reversing sensors, DAB radio, electronic heated mirrors, front fog lights, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers and climate control, the Exclusive adds a reversing camera and built in sat nav, 8gb hard drive, 12″ high definition top screen, 17″ alloys and key-less entry and engine start, the Exclusive+ tops the bill with 18″ alloy wheels, a motorised rear tailgate, 3D rear lights, Park Assist (the car parks itself), active radar guided cruise control (very James Bond) and a full length Panoramic Sunroof. All cars have a 7″ touch screen that controls the audio, air conditioning and for the top trims the sat nav and media, also replaced on the top two is the top LCD display with a 12″ HD which monitors essential car functions such as speed, fuel engine management and where fitted the reversing camera. Everything is controlled electronically – there is no simple dial for the radio or to change the temperate which for some may be a step too far.
We will ignore the two petrol engines as you should unless you have an allergy to diesel and concentrate on the diesels, the 1.6 litre is available with 120bhp, which can can pull the Grand Picasso to 62 miles per hour in 11.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 117 miles per hour and return a claimed 70.6 miles per gallon, this engine is available as a six speed manual or 6 speed torque convertor automatic. The 150bhp 2.0 litre diesel boosts the power, 0-62 in 9.8 seconds, but feel it’s only required if you travel fully loaded or need to tow a large caravan as the braked weight rises from 1500kg to 1700kg, this engine is paired with either a 6 speed manual (67.3mpg) or a traditional torque convertor 6 speed automatic gearbox (61.4mpg).
Winter Best Buy – Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 Diesel 120bhp Manual VTR+ – £295 Advance Payment (£59.55 wpms) or £695 as Exclusive (£62.24 wpms)
Winter Best Buy – Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 Diesel 120bhp Automatic ‘Exclusive’ – £995 Advance Payment (£15 wpms)