Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi Exclusive
Week ending May 27
Driven this week 1010 miles
Sometimes it’s the little things in a car that make me happy. Sure, a powerful engine and a great gearbox can make a car fun to drive, but if you’re not comfortable behind the wheel, how can you enjoy it?
Adjustment constraints were a major bugbear in my previous BMW 3 Series GT. Unless you get optional electric seats, BMWs get a bizarre height-adjustment lever that forces you to sit up out of the chair to let it rise.
What’s more, the manual seat back angle is altered not by a convenient wheel, but by a lever that lets it spring forward, making you push back against it to get in the right position.
Fortunately, I’ve got no such problems in the Grand C4 PIcasso. A handy pump-style lever can bump the seat higher or let it down while you’re sitting in the chair, and a conventional wheel on the left of the driver makes it a doddle to adjust the backrest to get comfortable.
We like our Citroen’s bright and airy cabin a lot, but the fact that it’s easy to get settled behind the wheel with a wide range of adjustment just makes it even better.
By John Bradshaw
Week ending May 6
Driven this week 847 miles
To be able to say that we’re Britain’s best car buyer’s guide, we need to test different versions of the same model - not only to see which is our pick of the range, but also to spot any duds in the line-up.
For example, there are some fairly decent cars that are let down by models that offer a woeful automatic gearbox, or models where the suspension has been changed so much that it ruins the otherwise acceptable ride.
Thankfully, most versions of the Grand C4 Picasso are pretty good. Our favourite combination is the 113bhp 1.6 diesel in high-spec Exclusive trim, but buyers who fancy more power might be tempted by the 148bhp 2.0-litre.
However, having driven both versions, I’d say the more powerful diesel isn’t worth the extra money. On paper, it looks strong, but in real-world driving it isn’t that flexible - you need to change gear a lot to keep the engine in its sweet spot. What’s more, the 2.0 engine isn’t as refined as the 1.6 - it’s grumbly around town and sounds coarse when revved.
If you’re in the market for a Grand C4 Picasso, don’t just take our word for it. Ask your local dealer for a test drive in both versions and see if you agree with our verdict.
By Ed Callow