Citroën Grand C4 Picasso MPV full 9 point review
Diesel engines are a 1.6 with either 89bhp (available only with a semi-automatic gearbox) or 113bhp. The 113bhp version is perfectly up to the job of powering the car with seven people on board. There’s also a 2.0-litre diesel, which is a strong performer, but it delivers its power in one big rush as the turbo kicks in, so you have to change gear often to keep the engine in its sweet spot. Petrol options are a 1.6 with 118bhp, or a 154bhp turbocharged version of the same engine.
Ride & Handling
The Grand C4 Picasso’s supple suspension deals with big bumps pretty well. There’s lots of body lean, though, and small undulations and eroded surfaces unsettle the car. Still, there’s more than enough grip and it handles safely and predictably. The steering is light, which helps when manoeuvring in town, but it’s also numb, so doesn’t inspire much confidence on faster roads.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine is smooth and generally quiet, whereas the 2.0-litre diesel is pretty noisy and allows a gruff clatter into the cabin, even under moderate acceleration. The manual gearbox is also unpleasant, because it has a notchy, imprecise shift. There’s an automatic gearbox (available only on the 2.0-litre diesel), but this can be slow to respond. Refinement is otherwise good, though; wind and tyre noise are well suppressed, so the Grand C4 Picasso is a relaxing cruiser.
Buying & Owning
This isn’t the cheapest seven-seat MPV, but it is competitive value; it offers plenty of equipment and is a bit more spacious than most ‘compact’ seven-seaters, yet is much cheaper than bigger, more van-like rivals. Economy is good on all the diesels, particularly the manual 1.6 e-HDi, and company car buyers will benefit from competitive tax costs.
Quality & Reliability
The Grand C4 Picasso has a good-looking interior with an appealing blend of materials and textures. True, there’s the odd flimsy-feeling switch, but you have to search hard to find any sharp edges or cheap-feeling plastics. The car hasn’t yet featured in our reliability survey, but Citroen as a manufacturer scored pretty well in our latest study.
Safety & Security
With six airbags, stability control, hill-start assist and Isofix fittings on all three middle-row seats, the Grand C4 Picasso gets all the necessary safety kit as standard. There’s also an array of advanced safety options on higher-spec models, including lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems, and active cruise control, which maintains the distance to the car in front. Security kit is good, too; an immobiliser, deadlocks and locking wheel nuts will help keep your car safe from thieves.
Behind The Wheel
The Grand C4 Picasso has about the best visibility of any MPV: the windscreen stretches up and over the driver and passenger; the split front pillars don’t obscure your forward view; and there’s a broad expanse of glass all around. The driving position is comfortable, although the seat is a bit short of lower-back support. The switchgear is tricky to get used to, because most functions are controlled through a touch-screen system – even adjusting the cabin temperature requires you to use it.
Space & Practicality
There’s enough space in the front two rows of seats for tall adults to get comfortable. The middle-row seats recline and slide back and forth individually, too. The two rearmost seats are pretty comfortable, and access to them is easier than in many rivals because the ones in front clamshell up and slide forwards. With the rear seats stowed in the floor (which you can do with one hand), the boot offers loads of space for luggage. It’s also easy to fold the middle-row seats flat.
Entry-level models come with air-con, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a USB socket, although it’s a shame that you have to go up one level to VTR+ for a digital radio. This model also brings dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers, so it’s what we’d go for. Next up is Exclusive, which adds sat-nav, a reversing camera and a large central display. Top-spec Exclusive+ gets a panoramic sunroof, a powered tailgate and a self-parking system, but it’s expensive.