Sunday 25 February 2018

Clever and stylish, the new seven-seat C4 Picasso goes for it on a grand scale

Philip Hedderman

Time waits for no man – nor it seems does Citroen.

No sooner had they cleared a spot in the trophy cabinet for Car of the Year, than they go and pull the dust covers off another potential winner.

Yes folks, we're talking about none other than the Grand C4 Picasso – the bigger brother of the MPV king himself.

Now, if you thought all you're getting is two extra seats you'd be very much mistaken.

For starters, the big bro gets a bit of unique styling to make it stand out from the crowd like the matt grey roof rails which run from the A-pillar right through to the rear flank, culminating in a C-shape.

To complement this, specially designed 3D rear light clusters (again C-shaped) dominate the wraparound tailgate and will make it instantly recognisable from the smaller model.

But looks can be deceiving as the latest offering, although virtually the same length as its predecessor (4.59m), is actually roomier inside.

Thanks to some clever engineering, the wheelbase has been extended to 2.84m – making it the longest in its category.

What that means is class-leading cabin space in rows two (217mm of knee room) and 108mm in row three.

Getting in and out, especially with children or an infirm relative has been made easier with wider door apertures and because there are three independent, moveable rear seats, you can actually fit three child seats in there – earning the C4 a five star EuroNCAP rating of 88pc in child safety.

There is also an extra 69 litres of luggage space in the rear giving a total of  645 litres.

Genius cinema-style fold-up seats expand that to over 793-litres with row two seats in their forward position and a monstrous 2,181-litres with all pews folded flat.

Inside, like the five-seater, the level of light in the cabin is unrivalled with panoramic views thanks to the sliding roof line and gargantuan fly windows.

It gives the whole interior a spacious, airy feel and when combined with the elevated driving position and the centrally stacked instrument panels, gives the impression of a much larger vehicle.

It’s loaded with technology too with full digital driving interface displayed on two screens –  a 7in touchpad  in the centre console and a 12in panoramic HD screen forming the backdrop of the instrument panel.

The smaller of the two screens features seven touch-sensitive buttons which control all the in-car functions such as air con, navigation, audio, telephone and driving aids.

It works pretty much like an iPad – press the icon and adjust the heating etc.

Weighing up to 110kg less than the old model, emissions have been slashed by 30g/km on average, meaning the  BlueHDi 150bhp  has a cough of  113g/km while returning  4.3l/100km (65.7mpg).

She drives pretty well for a bus this size but lacks that engine refinement found in the Ford S-Max and Galaxy.

We were more than impressed by the new automatic gearbox in the whistles and bells model which is up there with the best of the Germans.

Prices for the new Grand C4 Picasso begin at €26,795 plus related charges.

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