Big Citroen people-mover sitting pretty

PUBLISHED: 15:44 20 October 2016

Spacious and practical Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is one of the better-looking people-movers.

Spacious and practical Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is one of the better-looking people-movers.

PA supplied

Citroen has given its popular Grand C4 Picasso people-carrier a new lease of life. Simon Davis gets behind the wheel to see what its like.

What’s new?

Only a keen eye would spot the new Grand C4 Picasso – it retains the familiar shape of the old car but features a number of subtle tweaks that help keep it looking fresh and up-to-date.

As you would expect from a car designed for carting seven people around, the new Picasso can be specified with a raft of active safety systems. These include Speed Limit Sign Recognition, and Active Land Departure Warning to name but a few.

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Model: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Flair BlueHDi 150 £29,360 (range from £21,435)

Engine: 2.0-litre, 148bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Performance: 0-62mph 10.1 seconds, top speed 129mph

MPG: 64.2 combined

CO2 emissions: 115g/km

Looks and image

The Grand C4 Picasso is one of the better-looking people-movers on the market.

Subtle updates include a redesigned front end, 3D-effect rear lights, rear chevrons in gloss black with chrome surrounds and new 18in alloy wheels. These add up to an end product that is a marked improvement over the older car.

An MPV is never really going to be considered a cool car, even one as attractive as the Grand C4 Picasso. Cars like this place function over form but, with the big Citroen, you don’t have to compromise too much form.

Space and practicality

This is the seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso’s pièce de résistance.

The middle row of seats fold down flat to increase boot space, and can also slide back and forth to allow for more legroom in the third row. The two third-row seats fold into the boot floor, creating a 645-litre boot with the second row of seats in their forward-most position.

Another handy feature that has been introduced is a hands-free tailgate. Simply wave your foot beneath the rear bumper and the boot will pop open so you can load the car easily even when your hands are full.

Behind the wheel

You don’t feel you’re in a big people-mover and the Picasso is very manageable to drive.

At low speeds, the steering is quick enough to allow you to manoeuvre into tighter parking spaces, and features like a rear parking camera mean you shouldn’t bump into any obstructions. On the open road, you get a generous view of the road ahead with the large windscreen and raised driving position. The seats are comfortable, supportive and easily adjustable but the steering wheel is quite far away, while the pedals are right under your feet.

The boxy shape means some wind noise at motorway speeds while the test car’s 18in alloy wheels created some tyre roar. The four-cylinder diesel engine is generally unobtrusive and refined but noisy worked hard.

Supple suspension deals with bumps and lumps but leads to a dash of body roll through the corners.

Value for money

The Grand C4 Picasso in Flair trim comes with a wealth of handy features as standard, including the new 3D Citroen Nav system, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning, DAB radio and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Mirror Link and Car Play make connecting your smartphone easier.

Who would buy one?

This is a car that will largely appeal to buyers with young children and, thanks to an economical diesel engine, won’t be too expensive to on fuel either.

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