Our cars: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - April

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  • Our 2014 MPV of the Year 
  • Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi
  • Run by chief photographer, John Bradshaw
  • Citroen's service light was a false alarm

    Citroen's service light was a false alarm

  • Grand C4 Picasso's gearbox is notchy, but much more refined than in John's last long termer

    Grand C4 Picasso's gearbox is notchy, but much more refined than in John's last long termer

  • Three people and three bikes fitted into the Grand C4 Picasso - but only just

    Three people and three bikes fitted into the Grand C4 Picasso - but only just

  • Grand C4 Picasso's seats are a doddle to fold flat - when they're working

    Grand C4 Picasso's seats are a doddle to fold flat - when they're working

  • Citroen's fuel filler cap prevents costly misfuelling

    Citroen's fuel filler cap prevents costly misfuelling

  • Handy wheel to the left of the driver makes it easy to adjust our Picasso's seat and get comfortable

    Handy wheel to the left of the driver makes it easy to adjust our Picasso's seat and get comfortable

  • The 113bhp 1.6 diesel isn't just cheaper than the 148bhp 2.0 - it's also more refined

    The 113bhp 1.6 diesel isn't just cheaper than the 148bhp 2.0 - it's also more refined

  • C4 heads off on holiday in the hands of a colleague

    C4 heads off on holiday in the hands of a colleague

  • Picasso's vast boot - even in five-seat configuration - meant no need to drop the seats for a tip run

    Picasso's vast boot - even in five-seat configuration - meant no need to drop the seats for a tip run

  • Our chief photographer can't see the point in the Picasso's 'panoramic' windscreen

    Our chief photographer can't see the point in the Picasso's 'panoramic' windscreen

  • Sat-nav graphics are clear and crisp, but the blue 'route line' of the planned journey is far too thin

    Sat-nav graphics are clear and crisp, but the blue 'route line' of the planned journey is far too thin

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Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi Exclusive

Read the full Citroen Grand C4 Picasso review

Week ending April 29
Mileage 9203
Driven this week 567 miles

Only a brief update this week. As is traditional with the What Car? long termers, last week it was time to take the Grand C4 Picasso on its first tip run.

At this point, I’d normally be telling you how easy the seats in the car were to fold down (or not), and that they create a completely flat load bay (or not).

However, the Picasso is so vast that I didn’t need to fold down the second row of seats at all. This is mostly thanks to the enormous 632-litre boot it has in five-seat configuration. There are rival MPVs that offer less than 500 litres of space, so it’s clear the Citroen has a big advantage.

The other bonus is the height of the car. Some estate cars offer similar boot space under a luggage cover, but you wouldn’t get anywhere near as much stuff in if you filled them to the roof.

I haven’t had a chance to look up the official data, but I’d say that loading our Picasso’s boot to the headliner gave me nigh-on 1000 litres of load space. That was more than enough to take all my rubbish.

I’ll need to think of a suitable challenge to test the Citroen’s outright capacity in the future - at more than 2200 litres, it’ll take an awful lot to fill it.

By John Bradshaw
John.Bradshaw@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Citroen Grand C4 Picasso review

Week ending April 15
Mileage 7758
Driven this week 608 miles

Have I been a bit harsh on the infotainment in the Grand C4 Picasso so far? Perhaps, but since I interact with its features on a daily basis, it’s hard to ignore the irritations - however minor.

One element of the Picasso that I have few complaints about, though, is the cabin ambience. Citroen boasted about having the most glass area of any car in the segment when the car was first announced, and that bragging wasn’t without foundation.

The Picasso’s interior really does feel bright and airy - even if you don’t have the optional full glass roof. One element I'm not so sure about is the 'panoramic' windscreen, which is a standard feature across the range.

With the shutters pulled down, it just looks like a normal windscreen, but grip the sun visors and push them up and you get a full-height screen that sweeps back over your head. However, when it's sunny, doing this tends to expose your face to the sun - so I'm not sure I really see the point.

That said, driving around a brightly-lit city at night with the shutters all the way up makes you feel like you're sightseeing, which is quite fun.

By John Bradshaw
John.Bradshaw@whatcar.com

Read the full Citroen Grand C4 Picasso review

Week ending April 8
Mileage 7150
Driven this week 300 miles

I’ve been using the Picasso’s touch-screen infotainment and sat-nav as much as possible over the last few weeks, to try to become more accustomed to it. I found the systems in my previous long termers (an Audi Q3 and BMW 3 Series GT) far more intuitive, so I’m realising I need to spend more time learning the ins and outs of the Citroen’s early on.

As Ed Callow mentioned last week, the graphics are really sharp and easy to read in most places - not just on the touch-screen, either, as the display on the 12.3-inch monitor above it is just as crisp.

However, using the sat-nav so often has made me frustrated with one thing in particular: the guidance line that shows your planned route ahead in unfathomably thin. On most other systems I’ve used, the road you’re supposed to be following is marked with a really wide band of contrasting colour to make it easy to check at a glance.

The Picasso makes do with a really skinny blue line, though, which means you need to look at the screen for much longer to see the route. Of course, if you like having voice guidance on all the time, you may be the sort to ignore the screen for most of the journey, but unfortunately I’m not in that camp.

By John Bradshaw
John.Bradshaw@haymarket.com

Our cars: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - March

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