Another Grand gesture from Citroen with 7-seat Picasso
FLUSHED with the success of the five-seat version winning Irish Car of the Year, the French maker just kicked off the new year with the seven-seater Grand Picasso.
It is the one Citroen expect to sell most but the five-seater has exceeded expectations thus far so you never know.
I much prefer the look of the smaller version, I must say.
However, the capacity of the larger one to accommodate more passengers and/or luggage is impressive.
It is long, angular, quite low and sleek, and weighs 110kg less than the old one.
Which is usually the precursor to lower emissions and fuel consumption. And in this case it means figures as low as 98g/km and 3.8l/100km respectively. Emissions are down 30g/km on average.
More tangible, I think is the five-star EuroNCAP safety rating -- because let's face it owners are going to have family in this; it scored 88pc in the Child Occupant category
I liked the cabin; there is space and comfort; getting in and out is easy -- thanks to a tilt and slide mechanism on both outer seats of Row 2.
The important news is they have Isofix anchor points on all three Row 2 seats for child seats.
These three independent seats have sliding bases and tilting backs while there are 'dedicated' air vents for the little people in Row 3.
They claim it has the most accessible third row in the segment and the greatest adjustment on Row 2.
I didn't like the clutter of levers and buttons on the dash and around the steering wheel on the automatic version I drove. Confusing.
Nice dash though where the big focus in the cabin is the 7ins touchscreen 'interface' and the 12ins HD panoramic screen.
We weren't that taken by the suspension either; we felt the bumps more than we expected. A couple of large men had plenty of room in the second row but noticed the bumps too.
Typically, there are loads of storage spaces all around the cabin and under seats with trays on the front seat backs.
The steering weighting was spot on -- I noticed it was easy and quick to turn around (11-metre turning circle).
The wheelbase has been extended by 11cm to 2.84m even though the car is the same length as the old one (4.59m).
That helps create more cabin and boot room.
The 7ins touchpad caters for functions such as air con, navigation, audio, telephone and driving aids, within easy reach.
Then the 12ins panoramic HD screen can display driving information, data for sat nav etc. Interesting new 6spd clutchless manual gearbox -- ETG6 (6spd) --with e-HDi 90 and e-HDi 115 versions.
You can switch from manual to automatic mode any time.
The e-HDi 115 Airdream 6spd manual is, as they say, at the heart of the range (105g/km, 4l/100km (70.6mpg). An interesting version is the BlueHDi fitted with the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. This reduces NOx emissions by 90pc (113g/km for the manual and 117g/km for the automatic).
There are four trim levels -- VTR, VTR+, Exclusive & Exclusive+.
They cost €2,300 higher than their corresponding 5-seater versions.
Prices start at €26,795 ex-works for the VTR e- HDi 90 Airdream and range to €39,395 for the BlueHDi 150 automatic Exclusive+.
Standard equipment includes air con, electric windows, 16ins alloys, panoramic windscreen, three separate rear seats, compressor with puncture repair kit (oh dear), cruise control with speed limiter, automatic door and boot locking when moving, electronic parking brake, Hill Start Assist function, driver's, front passenger's, front lateral and curtain airbags (including Row 2), six- speaker stereo with USB and Bluetooth® connectivity and steering wheel controls.