Our cars: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - May

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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 May 27
Mileage
11,260
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
John.Bradshaw@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Citroen Grand C4 Picasso review

Week ending May 6
Mileage
10,050
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
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com

Our cars: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - April

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