The 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel is easily up to the job of hauling around seven people and a bootful of luggage. A more powerful 2.0-litre diesel is also offered, but it delivers its power in one big surge as the turbo kicks in, so you have to change gear fairly often to keep the engine in its sweet spot. We'd save our money.
There’s only one petrol engine, a 128bhp 1.2 turbo. It's a surprisingly flexible performer, although the diesels make far more financial sense unless your annual mileage is very low, largely because they'll hold onto their value better.
Citroën Grand C4 Picasso ride comfort
The Grand C4 Picasso’s supple suspension deals with big bumps pretty well, so you won’t wince every time you encounter a speed bump.
Unfortunately, patchy, eroded surfaces unsettle the car a little too easily, especially at low speeds, meaning a trip through town isn’t as comfortable as it might be. The Citroën’s body also tends to bounce up and down a fair amount along undulating country roads. You’ll want to keep your speed down if any of your passengers are prone to travel sickness.
Wheel sizes range from 16in to 18in, with the former providing the smoothest and quietest ride.
Citroën Grand C4 Picasso handling
The light steering makes easy work of parking and low-speed manoeuvres. However, it’s also rather numb, so doesn’t inspire confidence on faster roads.
The Grand C4 Picasso sways around quite a bit through tight twists and turns, but it never lurches around uncontrollably, and there’s a reasonable amount of grip, so you always feel in control of the car. You’re rarely aware of its relatively large size, either. Just don’t expect to have much fun: the rival Ford S-Max and VW Touran are more more enjoyable to steer along a winding B-road.
Citroën Grand C4 Picasso refinement
The 1.6-litre diesel engines are smooth and generally quiet, whereas the 2.0-litre diesel is noisier, and sounds gruff and clattery – even under moderate acceleration.
The manual gearbox has a notchy, imprecise shift, while the semi-automatic EAT6 'box causes the car to lurch between changes. There’s a conventional automatic gearbox available on the 2.0-litre diesel, and while it swaps cogs more smoothly, it's still quite slow to respond when you ask for a sudden getaway.
Overall refinement is otherwise good, though. Wind and road noise are well suppressed, making the Grand C4 Picasso a relaxing motorway cruiser.
The turbocharged petrol engine is punchy from low revs, as well as smooth. However, the diesels make more sense unless your annual mileage is low.
1.6 BlueHDi 100
This diesel engine is the least powerful engine in the range. It’s available only with a jerky semi-automatic EAT6 gearbox, and for that reason is best avoided.
Our pick 1.6 BlueHDi 120
The engine to go for – no matter if you’re a private buyer or a company car driver. It’s smooth and reasonably gutsy, so rarely feels short of puff – even with seven people on board. We'd stick with the standard six-speed manual gearbox over the jerky EG6 semi-auto option.
2.0 BlueHDi 150
It might be more powerful than the smaller 1.6 HDi, but it’s noisier and not as smooth, so isn’t worth the extra. However, it is offered with better automatic gearbox than the cheaper 1.6 HDi.