Citroën C4 Picasso MPV full 9 point review
The 113bhp e-HDi diesel delivers impressively flexible performance, so you don’t have to work the engine hard to make decent progress. The 148bhp diesel and 154bhp THP petrol are punchy performers, too. There’s also a 118bhp 1.6 petrol, while a 91bhp 1.6 diesel completes the line-up.
Ride & Handling
The steering is light and easy around town, and while it never provides much feedback, it weights up just enough to provide some reassurance when you turn in to a bend or get up to motorway speeds. At the same time the suspension is taut enough to stop the body lurching around in an uncontrolled way. True, you can feel some shimmy from the rear of the car at times, but the C4 Picasso only really thumps over the biggest potholes.
Some wind noise builds up around the windscreen pillars at motorways speeds, but there’s little road noise and the engines we’ve tried are impressively smooth. The manual gearbox is notchy and has a long throw, but it’s better than the optional ETG6 semi-auto 'box, which is slow and jerky compared with conventional automatics.
Buying & Owning
The 91bhp diesel is particularly economical and has low CO2 emissions. Despite the extra power, the e-HDi 115 is almost as efficient, so will also be cheap to run. Pricing is competitive, but no better than that.
Quality & Reliability
The dashboard feels solid and is smartly trimmed, plus higher-spec cars have their instruments displayed on a large colour screen with sophisticated graphics. Lower-spec versions make do with a black and white screen, but it is still clear and easy to read. The previous C4 Picasso finished in the top half of the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey, too.
Safety & Security
Every C4 Picasso comes with stability control and front, side and curtain airbags. It was also awarded the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. On most models, though, you have to pay extra for items such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning. Like most rivals, it has an engine immobiliser, deadlocks and locking wheel nuts to help fend off thieves.
Space & Practicality
The C4 Picasso has a huge boot, while its three rear seats can be slid back and forth, reclined or folded flat independently of one another. The fact that all three of these seats come with Isofix child-seat mountings adds to the practicality, and there’s enough head- and legroom for six-footers. It’s not all good news, though: the car’s side pillars curve inwards quite dramatically, which can make those in the outer rear seats feel hemmed in; and folding the seats can take some practice.
Every C4 Picasso comes with alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo with a USB socket. A digital radio is standard from the second trim level upwards, and range-topping models have everything from adaptive cruise control to a front passenger’s seat that reclines like an old-school business-class chair.
Behind The Wheel
There’s loads of adjustment for the driver, and most of the car's functions are controlled through a touch-screen with large, easy-to-hit icons. It's just a pity that Citroen hasn't fitted separate controls for the air-conditioning; you have to adjust the cabin temperature and fan settings through the touch-screen, which forces you to switch between menus more often than you normally would.