First Drive: Citroen C4 Picasso

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The refreshed C4 Grand Picasso now offers style, versatility and more options, reports John Kendall.

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SECTOR: MPV   PRICE: From €20,990 approx   FUEL: 3.8–5.1l/100km   CO2: 99–116g/km

The latest Citroën C4 Grand Picasso won plenty of praise when it first appeared in 2013, bringing more style and new technologies to a design that had proved popular since the original C4 Grand Picasso launch in 2006.

That in essence is a process that Citroën has repeated for the revised model, which is fundamentally the same but with some important updates. The Grand Picasso’s front end is now shared with the smaller, five-seat C4 Picasso giving the smaller model a sharper appearance. Inside there are now four interior design themes, which can be customised and there are new technologies including a hands-free tailgate and a new connectivity package with Citroën Connect Nav.

Then there’s a new petrol engine, the turbocharged three-cylinder, 1,200cc PureTech 130 S&S, which with EAT6 six-speed automatic transmission gives CO2 emissions of 115g/km. This joins the existing range of PureTech 1.2-litre petrol engines and HDi 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels. The CO2 champions are the diesels with the lowest CO2 emissions of 94g/km from the BlueHDi 120hp manual model.

The new 3D Connect Nav connected navigation is combined with a new 7-inch touchscreen in addition to the 12-inch HD screen. The system allows two-finger touch operation to zoom in and out similar to a tablet screen. Main European cities and monuments are displayed in 3D. Voice recognition is available too, which can interact with the satellite navigation, phone and media.

There are new driver assist systems on offer including coffee break alert, which indicates when the driver should take a break. Speed limit sign recognition and recommendation displays the speed limit in the instrument cluster and allows the driver to select the speed automatically for the speed limiter.

Adaptive cruise control and collision risk alert are available and active safety brake will be available from November, which will apply the brakes if the driver fails to respond to an alert of a possible collision. Active intervention is also available with the lane departure warning system and active blind spot monitoring system. The system will apply corrective steering with the lane departure warning system and similarly with the active blind spot management system if the driver attempts to steer into the path of an approaching vehicle.

MPVs may be losing popularity to SUVs but as practical transport, particularly for families, the space efficiency of the C4 Grand Picasso is arguably more useful, with its larger boot volume and seven-seat flexibility. Comfort is the Grand C4 Picasso’s strength and the revised technology brings more features for smartphones such as Apple Car Play and Mirror Link for Android.

Fleet users will probably want the low CO2-emission diesels. Power options for the 1.6-litre BlueHDi range from 100hp with manual transmission to 120hp with manual or conventional automatic and for the 2.0-litre BlueHDi there’s a choice of either manual or conventional automatic. The smooth-shifting automatic adds further to the car’s comfort and with the 120hp 1.6-litre engine gives CO2 emissions of 102g/km.

What we think

The C4 Grand Picasso is one of the best mid-sized seven-seat MPVs on the market and the detail revisions and new technology options add further to its appeal.

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