Citroen C4 Picasso

| November 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

 

c4picasso

Perfect for the Banks.

Citroen C4 Picasso Exclusive+ e-HDi 115 Airdream ETG6

 

As I discovered last Summer, there are other things to see when you’re on holiday in Italy other than the usual sites. Take my recent visit to Tuscany where during August my family & I visited the beautiful city of Sienna just a few days before the famous horse race that takes place there, the  ‘Palio.’ The central square which is really more of an oval, is called ‘ Piazza del Campo’, where this famous horse race takes place & is the focal point for all the tourists visiting Sienna. We parked close to Sienna FC’s football stadium, who’s badge features Romulus & Remus & then headed off towards del Campo along a series of narrow streets before finally entering the square itself. On the way I noticed someone driving very slowly amongst the hordes in the new Citroen C4 Picasso & I have to say that at a glance, I was taken with it’s looks as it crawled past me at 5 mph. Both previous versions of Citroens Picasso were distinctive in their own way, but the new Picasso is much more striking to look at with curves in all the right places. Fast forward to November & those nice people at Citroen loaned CCV a Picasso so that we could get a closer look at it

 

Being able to spend more time with the new Picasso only enhanced my initial favourable thoughts on this attractive new car. The Citroen chevron grille is set high at the front & is nicely set off by futuristic headlamps & a large air intake which makes it stand out from its more conservative rivals. The interior has been influenced by Citroens DS range & this makes the dashboard quite interesting on the eye with a central touch screen console, which as I was to discover controls just about everything in the car. The steering wheel has a flat bottom edge to it & also contains a number of function buttons to enable you to access most of the on-screen functions of the multi media console.

 

The cabin has an airy feel thanks to its panoramic windscreen & roof,  both of which can be covered by blinds when there’s too much sun. There are also large glass A pillars at the front of the car,  further enhancing the spaciousness of it all & it really is a nice place to be even when it’s grey outside.

 

There are four trims levels available in the range; VTR, VTR+, Exclusive & Exclusive+ . Luckily, my test model was the latter & came crammed full of goodies. Sitting in the drivers seat, one notices how dominating proceedings  is the  aforementioned 7″ touch screen interface which controls all vehicle functions. It’s smack bang in the middle of the dash with a 12 ” panoramic HD colour display located above it, showing various functions including your speed, media choices & car functions such as distance travelled & fuel economy. I’m not a techno wizard by a long shot & I found the system easy to use & straightforward to understand, with the ‘Hotspot’ function allowing you to control the cars temperature without losing your on screen display being the highlight.

 

All of the usual safety functions come as standard & include ABS with EBD & EBA, ESC with traction control, an auto electric parking brake with a hill start function. Extras on my test car included  blind sport monitoring with an LED indicator in the door mirror, active radar guided cruise control with collision alert & front & rear parking sensors with park assist.

 

Both the front & rear seats were comfortable & there’s loads of space in the rear  for 3 passengers to sit in comfort as well. The rear of the two front seats came with handy fold down aircraft-style tray tables with spotlights. My son said  that these would be great for longer journeys enabling him to rest his lap top on them to keep him occupied. The front seats also came with electric adjustments including a massage function (  I kid you not, ) with the passenger seat also having a foot rest which most impressed my daughter, another brownie point for the Picasso. I was more impressed by the multi media functionality on the car including DAB radio, USB Bluetooth with media streaming & a really nicely balanced SatNav system. The Citroen’s iPhone connectivity was also impressive

 

Driving the Picasso was interesting, as my test model was fitted with an ETG6 semi automatic gearbox, which I struggled to get used to. Although it works very well there is an audible groan as the system moves up through the gears which kind of jars one forward as you accelerate, leading to an interesting period before you reach your desired speed. There is obviously a knack to using this system which in a week I plainly failed to do. Despite my reservations about this gearbox,  it didn’t seem to hinder the fuel economy which stayed steadfastly around 49 mpg. The 1560 cc engine is quoted as offering 70.6 mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 105 g/km. Top speed is 117 mph. Interestingly, Citroen have worked extremely hard to make the the new model lighter than its predecessor, shaving 140 kg off it’s previous weight, making it substantially lighter than both the Renault Scenic & VW Touran , reducing the Picassos fuel economy by more than 10 mpg when compared to both of these as well.

 

Practicality is to the fore with the Picasso. There’s so much to discover inside that I didn’t even notice the number of storage cubby holes until mid way through my week. These include underfloor bins in the  front & rear, great for hiding valuables when you park your car, drawers under the seats, ditto, a central console storage bin & a small glove box. The rear tailgate is clam shaped & easy to both lift & close, making access to it a doddle. With the rear seats in place, the boot space can be varied between 537 & 630 litres & when the rear seats are folded down they lie flat, enabling the use of a whopping 1,851 litres of storage space. Fantastic for families !

 

 

After a week driving the new Picasso, I would say that it scores highly on looks, technology, fuel economy & emissions &  it’s very, very, practical. It’s also competitively priced with the entry level model costing  £17,500. The best engine for most fleet customers would be the 115 diesel unit I tested, starting at £20,255 with my test car retailing at £24,445.

 

Any negatives ? Just one. Personally I would avoid the ETG version with the fussy steering wheel mounted gear lever & go for a model with a manual gear box. Perhaps swayed by it’s attractive looks & the fact that my kids really like it much more than a Jaguar XF I’d had the week before, I would highly recommend the new Picasso. When put up against the blander offerings from Ford, Vauxhall & VW, it is another example of why Citroen is always pushing the design boundaries when it come to building new cars.  It makes a fantastic family vehicle &  if you lease one as your company car,  should give you a bit of fun for your practicality.

 

Overall, Practically Perfect in Every Way  4/5.

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Category: Citroen

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