Saturday 1 October 2016

Citroen's new MPV SpaceTourer proves it's now hip to be square

It's not the most stylish, but you will find solace in its practicality

Published 21/08/2016 | 02:30

Practical and functional: The Citroen SpaceTourer offers easy access, especially to row three, thanks to the wide opening of the sliding side doors
Practical and functional: The Citroen SpaceTourer offers easy access, especially to row three, thanks to the wide opening of the sliding side doors

The Citroen SpaceTourer is not simply a large car, it is an enormous people carrier capable of ferrying up to nine adults and their luggage. While there are few of us who actually need that number of seats, this spatial overdose of flexible seating, side-sliding doors and a decent boot is actually quite endearing.

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Citroen has always produced strong contenders in the MPV market and this, its largest MPV, was unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show and will be launched here next month.

From the outside the SpaceTourer doesn't have quite the chic sophistication we have come to associate with the French marque, but its van-like looks are deceptive. Rather than sharing a platform with a commercial vehicle, the SpaceTourer is built on the same platform as that used in the C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso, so it not only provides more cabin and boot space but it promises more car-like ride quality and manoeuvrability.

Once behind the wheel, the van-like driving position is a little off-putting, but despite this the SpaceTourer is surprisingly car-like to drive. Apart from a noticeable body roll on turns, it feels stable and inspires confidence. Driving excitement may be in short supply, but even around town you quickly forget the sheer size of this Citroen and it soon shrinks around you. Even parking is easy, it's just finding a parking space big enough that is hard, but once you do the rear-view camera and relatively small turning circle all help.

When buying an MPV, space, practicality and ease of use are some of the main priorities and this is where the SpaceTourer scores well. On board, the large MPV offers up to nine seats and 2,932 litres of luggage space in five-seat configuration. Isofix child seat points are available on both the second and third row of seats.

The SpaceTourer is an incredibly practical vehicle, with endless possibilities and useful storage area all over the place, plus the uncluttered interior is suitably durable for family life. And what's more, rear passengers are so far away that even if they are grumbling you won't hear them.

Another area where the SpaceTourer scores is that it comes with two wheelbases so there are three variants; the XS at 4.60m with the shorter wheelbase, the M at 4.95m and XL at 5.30m with the longer wheelbase.

Under the bonnet lurks a 2.0 BlueHDi engine that pumps out 150kW of power and consumes a healthy 5.3l /100km or 53.3mpg. The 139g/km of CO2 means you will be paying €280 a year for motor tax.

Five performance levels are available from the 2.0-litre engine providing a power range from 95bhp to 180bhp.

Available in Feel and Business trim, the SpaceTourer Feel comes in three lengths, with five, seven or eight seats. This version is designed for families and comes with sliding seats on rails for extra boot space and added leg room.

The SpaceTourer Business can accommodate between five and nine people and is designed more for professional passenger transport and you could certainly anticipate it developing a large fan base, particularly among taxi drivers and executive shuttle services.

Our test car was the Medium version with the Business trim and was priced at €41,050. Prices for the rest of the range will not be confirmed until the car is launched officially in Ireland next month.

For a family's peace of mind the SpaceTourer comes with an impressive complement of safety features, both active and passive including lane departure warning, ultrasonic blind spot monitoring, road sign recognition, coffee break alert, driver attention alert, active cruise control and collision alert.

Reassuringly, it also achieved a maximum five-star rating in the EuroNCAP tests.

Despite our love affair with crossovers and SUVs, if you need space for nine or simply seven with luggage then there are only a few cars to choose from. So for space hunters on a decent budget the new SpaceTourer ferries families in comfort with plenty of premium features and might just be the answer to a large family's transportation needs.

Sunday Independent

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