Our cars: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - March

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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 March 28
Mileage 6850
Driven this week 350 miles

I had a chat with John (Bradshaw, the Picasso's custodian) this week about his small frustrations with the Picasso's touch-screen system. I was interested to see how the Citroen's display compares with the screen in our Captur - in particular the quality of the graphics and the ease of use.

On the first front, it scores well. The graphics are - for the most part - very clear and sharp. It's nowhere near as intuitive as the Renault's system, though.

One issue spotted by John is the lack of full postcode entry input for some addresses. I had a go entering a few destinations myself and found the same problem. Even typing in my home postcode didn't work; it recognised the first half, but then didn't allow me to enter the correct letters for the rest.

I'm sure this is a system 'feature' rather than a flaw, but it's annoying nonetheless.

By Ed Callow
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com

Week ending March 21
Mileage 6500
Driven this week 950 miles

After a week with the Grand C4 Picasso, I’m already racking up the miles. My average fuel economy so far is 48.5mpg – not far off our True MPG team’s figure of 54.4mpg. My last two long-termers both managed closer to 42mpg, so this is great news.

I really like the light and airy feel in the cabin, too, and find that I prefer the high-set seating position to the low-slung cabin of my old BMW 3 Series GT.

Any negatives to report yet? Well, some minor irritations, and almost all regarding the touch-screen infotainment system. We chose Exclusive trim for our Picasso, which adds a vast 12-inch colour screen above the standard centre console display.

There’s lots to like about the bigger screen’s graphics and layout – information can be display in myriad ways to show whatever you want to see, and can be shuffled via a handy steering wheel-mounted button. The smaller screen responds to touch commands and controls everything from the climate control to the headlight settings. It’s this screen that’s causing some frustration.

Before you press anything, you’ll notice that there are no words surrounding the display to label the menus. Rather than ‘Nav’, ‘Radio’ and ‘Music’, there are very small icons that you need to decipher. I’m sure I’ll get used to which icon opens which menu, but at the moment it’s difficult to tell at a glance.

Once you’re navigating through the system, there are some tricky controls to get used to. Long lists have tiny scroll bars at the left-hand side that are almost impossible to tap on the move, and the press-and-drag function seems very slow to respond.

Perhaps this is just frustration with learning a new system. I’ll let you know over the next few weeks.

By John Bradshaw
John.Bradshaw@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Citroen Grand C4 Picasso review

Week ending March 14
Mileage 5450
Driven this week 550 miles

The latest arrival on the What Car? long term test fleet is our 2014 MPV of the Year, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi.

We've chosen Exclusive trim and gone for Ruby Red metallic paint. See the full hello to read my first impressions.

By John Bradshaw

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