Citroen is celebrating with their recent accolade for the C4 Picasso, having been crowned Continental Irish Car of the Year 2014 by the Irish Motoring Writers Association (IMWA). We’ve had the pleasure of spending some time in the C4 Picasso recently.
It’s fair to say MPV’s wouldn’t be renowned for their stylish looks, they are more about practicality then street creed. Nevertheless, Citroen’s team of talented designers has created a modern, chic MPV that doesn’t look out of place on any high street. It’s the first Citroen to utilise their new EMP2 platform, its wheelbase is six centimetres longer then its predecessor, yet more compact overall. The real achievement is in the car’s interior, it’s a cabin that you can spend hours of motoring in and arrive at your destination feeling completely relaxed and refreshed.
There’s a great sense of space inside the C4 Picasso, aided by the high roof and abundance of glass, which also offers excellent all-round visibility for the driver. Up front the key elements are the two colour information screens. There’s an immense 12” panoramic HD screen which sits up high in the centre of the dash. It has a host of display options and can be configured to display your current driving information, satellite navigation, radio stations and even display your photographs. Below this is a 7” touchscreen, this controls the climate settings, vehicle settings, Bluetooth connectivity and navigation. All the controls are clear with easy to navigate menus, our only gripe is that when you display the navigation for your route, it’s displayed on both screens and we’d prefer to have it displayed on one or the other. The quality of materials used in the car’s interior is excellent, with a sturdy feel to all the switch gear and seat controls. Rear seat passengers benefit from three individual seats that can slide forwards and backwards, increasing boot space or legroom, they also tilt for optimised comfort.
The boot itself is also spacious, offering an additional 40 litres of luggage space in comparison to its precursor, with 537 litres now available. This can be increased to 630 litres with the rear seats moved forward. There’s an abundance of smart storage compartments throughout the car.
The C4 Picasso is available across four trim grades, VTR, VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+. Our test car was the Exclusive variant which comes equipped with a host of paraphernalia as standard, this includes 17” alloy wheels, fog lights with cornering function, kerb lighting, leather steering wheel, a reversing camera, keyless entry & start and satellite navigation. Our test car also benefited from the optional full Nappa leather upholstery with massaging front seats. The front passenger seat reclines at the touch of a button with leg extensions similar to a dentist’s chair. On long journeys the front seat passenger can truly relax in first-class comfort.
The entry-level C4 Picasso is equipped with an efficient HDi diesel engine, it produces 90hp and has CO2 emissions of 109g/km, there’s also an e-HDi 90hp variant with just 98g/km of CO2. Our test car and the choice pick of the range has the more powerful e-HDi 115 engine. This 1.6-litre diesel unit produces 115hp and 270Nm of torque which is adequate for all city and motorway drives. Our car had a six-speed manual transmission which is satisfying to use, there is also an optional six-speed ETG6 clutchless manual gearbox available. Driving dynamics aren’t top of the list for perspective MPV buyers, nonetheless if you’re moving from a car to the C4 Picasso you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how capable it is on all surfaces. We travelled over 800 kilometres during our week-long test and were genuinely impressed with the capability and manoeuvrability of the C4 Picasso.
With its competent skill set, abundance of practicality and admirable looks the Citroen C4 Picasso will tick all the right boxes for many motorists. For those that require seven seats the all-new Grand C4 Picasso has just arrived, we look forward to test driving it in the coming weeks.
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