Seven seats with French style – the all-new Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, launched earlier this year, is a game-changer for seven seaters. Yes, the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is different inside and out (would you expect anything else from Citroen?) but it turns heads and is as practical as any other similar vehicle.
And, let’s face it; some seven-seat vehicles don’t sit in the ‘stylish’ department of car styling. Then there are the SUV-based seven-seaters which while undoubtedly practical, do introduce a degree of difficulty because of their maneuverability issues in city environments.
Of course Citroen has considerable credibility in this segment of the market – www.carshowroom.com.au has driven the previous generation C4 Picasso extensively in Europe and we can vouch for its all-round excellence. All-new, better all-round and easy on the eyes, there’s a lot to like about the latest Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso Overview
Citroen brings the C4 Grand Picasso to Australia in one comprehensively equipped model grade priced at $43,990. Like others in the segment, it’s really a ‘5+2’ with the two individual rear seats best for youngsters.
But check-out the looks – that astonishing wrap-over ‘Zenith’ windscreen and standard panoramic glass sunroof brings ‘alfresco-like’ motoring for the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso (as parents will tell you, that open-air feel sure helps prevent motion sickness in kiddies). And that flash style is staggeringly clever – at 4600mm in overall length, the C4 Grand Picasso is smaller than its rivals (hence easy to maneuver and park).
And the interior look/feel stretches way beyond that price – quality materials abound, there’s a nice flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-parking, satellite navigation, a brilliant surround-view cameras system and rear-door sunblinds to name just a few.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso Engine
The heart of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is PSA’s excellent 2.0-litre turbo-diesel which delivers 110kW of power at 4000rpm and peak torque of 370Nm from 2000rpm. Drive is to the front wheels via a conventional six-speed automatic transmission.
Zero to 100km/h scores 10.2 seconds and combined-cycle fuel consumption is rated at only 4.5l/100kms – very impressive.
We must say this high-tech turbo-diesel is right up there with the best of European for refinement and performance. Cold starts don’t produce excessive noise and at freeway speeds things remained supremely quiet.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso The Interior
No beating around the bush here – for interior design the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso has aced its rivals. That massive ‘Zenith’ windscreen and panoramic sunroof allow lots of light and good visibility for drivers and passengers alike and the nice materials ooze quality and style.
The driver is presented with a stylish, flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel but no instruments. Important stuff like the speedo is contained in a large 12-inch screen to the left which also provides satellite navigation maps and the surround view camera images.
A smaller seven-inch touchscreen below controls audio and climate control. There’s no CD player in the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso but relax – an 8GB memory system, two USBs and Bluetooth audio streaming will get the job done.
But all of that’s not unique enough for Citroen so let’s consider the gear lever. That would be the diminutive plastic ‘stick’ visible top right just behind the steering wheel – unusual but easy to use and out of the way.
Seats are cloth/leather and the second row comprises three individual seats which slide fore/aft and flip forward for access to the third row. The rearmost occupants have two individual seats which provide surprisingly good head-room and, if the second row occupants co-operate, reasonable legroom.
Like some others in this league, use all seven seats and the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso affords only 165-litres of cargo space. But with only five seats occupied things improve to 632-litres in five-seat format or up to 793-litres if you slide the second-row seats forward (which is very good).
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso Exterior & Styling
There’s a small degree of evolution from the previous generation C4 Picasso in the latest model but mostly it’s all-new. As we mentioned, at just 4600mm in overall length (not much longer than a conventional hatchback), packaging is a very impressive component of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso’s design.
It’s a distinctly cab-forward design with five side windows including large front quarter windows for great visibility when cornering or parking. Prominent A-pillars blend into a strongly curved bonnet and sophisticated front fenders.
A nice slim-line grille and four headlights dominate the front view. And a very stylish blending of the grille and Citroen ‘chevron’ logo delivers a cohesive and slick look.
Side view is highlighted by those five windows, full-length door character lines and good-looking 17-inch alloy wheels. Door-mounted exterior mirrors are large for a good view and their aerodynamic design means window noise isn’t noticeable.
At the rear we certainly liked the rounded hatch glass and complex tail-lights. Like the rest of the C4 Grand Picasso, the rear end affords lots of European sophistication.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso On The Road
We put our Citroen C4 Grand Picasso through the wringer during the week it graced the www.carshowroom.com.au garage – lots of family duties and airport back/forth. The exact working environment for which it was designed.
Those large, wide-opening rear doors were a boon to rapid loading of the Car Showroom juniors but we needed to supervise them in the mall car park – wide-opening makes for easy bruising of cars parked next door, especially when it’s windy. And we must say operation of the rear seats was ridiculously easy and speedy when loading groceries, sporting equipment and half the netball team.
Citroen’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, combined with that slick-shifting six-speed auto and the C4 Grand Picasso’s light 1440kgs weight meant acceleration was handy for freeway merging and when we took to the hills for the www.carshowroom.com.au mountain roads test loop. Steering wheel paddle shifters allowed for manual cog-swapping at a pace which would shame some so-called performance cars (good autos like this do question the merits of CVTs).
Ride and handling ranks on the top shelf – even more so when you compare the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso with some seven-seat rivals. Sharp turn-in, nice mid-turn balance and good grip levels made for a great drive even when fully loaded.
And – no surprises here – around town the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso excelled. Auto self-parking, an ingenious camera system, compact 10.6-metre turning circle and that extensive glass area made for easy parking and the refinement of the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel kept things sane even in the peak-hour rush.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso Issues
Clever as the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is, and while we get the rationale for the compact dimensions, we just think more cargo space when all seats are occupied is called for. Side airbags which only extend to the second seat row also get a points deduction.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso Verdict
There are seven-seat vans, seven-seat SUVs and seven-seat ‘crossovers’ like the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso. But however you slice-and-dice it, the Citroen ranks on the top shelf.
Citroen has delivered a design masterpiece disguised as an incredibly practical family car. Yes, there are some quirky elements like the gear lever but at the end of the day it’s all so effective and user-friendly.
If you’re shopping for a seven-seater you’d be nuts to overlook this French-designed, engineered and manufactured pearler.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso The Competition
Honda’s latest generation Odyssey has attracted some unfair criticism we reckon. Priced at $38,990 (VTi) and $47,620 (VTi-L), the Odyssey is much bigger than the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso and comes extensively equipped. Honda’s 129kW/225Nm 2.4-litre petrol engine has better fuel consumption than the old model but there’s no diesel.
Toyota delivers seven seats and hybrid economy with the Prius V ($35,990 and $45,990). With fuel consumption of only 4.4l/100kms for the 1.8-litre petrol hybrid you’ll stretch your dollars, but like the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, when fully loaded with people, luggage space reduces noticeably.
Mazda CX-9 is a glamour and starts at $44,525. Obviously not in the same fuel consumption league as the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso at 11.0l/100kms but there’s silky-smooth performance from Mazda’s 3.7-litre V6. Nice to drive and surprisingly spacious, the CX-9 is a hot-seller for a simple reason – it’s very good.
The new Kia Carnival is also a cracking car and starts from $43,990 for the entry level S variant. With a choice of petrol or diesel engines and the spacious interior the Kia is a worthy contender.