Sunday 25 February 2018

Beauty of new Picasso goes deeper than its stylish looks

Martin Brennan

Citroen has always presented stylish cars, and the latest creation from the French design studios is no exception. But stylish looks are only skin deep. With the creation of the new C4 Picasso comes a technology package that designers believe will create a "liaison d'amour" between the owner and machine.

The new MPV is full of creature comforts to make driving easier, safer and more comfortable, and the piece de resistance, it is more economical and won't cost a whole lot more as prices are pitched at those of the current model.

Citroen has good reason to look after C4 Picasso customers as it is a big favourite on school runs and family outings. An indication of the good reputation and high demand by Irish motorists is that so far this year 500 second-hand models have been imported from the UK due to a shortage of home-grown supply.

The new, more spacious version arrives here in five-seat format in September, with the seven-seater arriving in early 2014. There is a strong emphasis on safety, and features that will get universal approval are the three separate rear seats, 40 litres of storage space in the cabin, and a cargo area that can gives 630 litres of luggage space with all seats in place.

Built on a new platform which will be shared with Peugeot, the C4 Picasso has smooth flowing lines with a panoramic windscreen. The body is now more compact –40mm shorter – but the wider track, longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs allow for greater space inside. The floor and engine have been lowered and the aerodynamics improved as part of the fuel-saving exercise. Other fuel-saving features include stop-start, a body structure 140kg lighter than the outgoing model, and improved engine performance.

The big seller will be the five-seater with the new 115bhp engine, which Citroen says will be capable of over 70mpg with 105g/km of C02 output. There is also a 90bhp option with even higher economy and 98g/km of C02 output. Starting prices are around €25,000 to €27,000, with a Grand Picasso version at around €29,000.

All models will have daytime running lights, alloy wheels, 7" touch screen, cruise control and speed limiter, dual zone air conditioning, Hill Assist, tyre flat indicator, electronic handbrake and Bluetooth. The middle grade, the VTR+, gets aircraft-style tables on second row seats, heat reflecting windscreen, electronic folding mirrors and a scented air freshener. The Exclusive range gets an additional 12" HD screen, 17" alloys, cornering foglights, a rechargeable torch in the boot, tinted rear windows, rear sunblinds and a surveillance mirror.

On the road the new offering gives a smooth drive with good low-end pulling power from the 115bhp 1.6 litre engine. The electronic steering adds to the driver enjoyment, and seating and driving position are adjustable. The big windscreen gives the cabin a very airy feeling.

Irish Independent

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