When you’re looking for a genuine seven-seater, there’s always the danger that it’s going to be a bit of a minibus – strong on practicality, low on styling. This most definitely isn’t the issue with the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, which manages to be both stylish and very practical like George Clooney in ER.
In a sector that’s not exactly known for its great looks, it’s not just the size of the Grand C4 Picasso that makes it stand out from the crowd. The huge, swooping front has the distinct look of a concept car that has sneaked itself on to the full production line. The expansive areas of glass add to this space-age feel.
In fact, it’s so aerodynamically-styled that you can imagine it slipping frictionlessly through the air – and the impression for passengers is exactly this, with wind noise kept turned right down even on the motorway.
Detailing like the horseshoe-shaped rear light clusters add to the car’s futuristic looks and make sure that it’s that rarest of breeds – an MPV that turns heads.
The huge, swooping front has the distinct look of a concept car that has sneaked itself on to the full production line.
What’s it like to drive?
Guess what? Its eye-catching looks are matched by the Grand C4 Picasso being a real pleasure to drive. Its range of engines including 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels and even a 1.2-litre petrol, all power it along very nicely, even when all seats are occupied.
The handling is smooth, if not exactly sharp. Then, you wouldn’t expect a marathon runner to be an expert gymnast, too. With an 11-metre turning circle it’s the leader in its class and this makes weaving around city streets far easier than you might imagine.
The suspension’s great too with the long wheelbase helping to take those lumps, potholes and speed bumps in its stride.
Its eye-catching looks are matched by the Grand C4 Picasso being a real pleasure to drive.
Get inside a Grand C4 Picasso and you have proof that beauty is more than just skin deep. The minimalist dashboard is dominated in models of the Feel spec upwards by a 12-inch infotainment screen that is so large and clear they can even see it from the back. This is accompanied by a smaller 7-inch touchscreen that reduces the need for buttons and other controls to clutter things up. The steering wheel, however, has many of these which are easy to use, once you get used to what all of them do.
It’s our hunch, though, that you’ll be buying the car for its space rather than its tech. It really is a genuine seven-seater with plenty of room for everyone, or a five-seater with a massive boot. The seats are all comfortable and the middle row are adjustable. They also fold very neatly and easily to let passengers six and seven hop on board with ease – not a boast many seven-seaters can make.
Opt for a model with the panoramic sunroof and you’ll also be getting a car with no less than 5.7 square metres of glass to create an airy and light cabin across all three rows of seats.
Another thing to note is that Citroen has pulled out all the stops when it comes to using quality materials on the interior – not something that they have always been famous for in other models like the standard Citroen Picasso MPV.
It might be big, but with all seven seats in operation you’ll be hard-pressed to fit more than a few bags of shopping in the boot. Put the seats down, though, and it’s a very different story. Even as a five-seater it offers all the space you’d need to load up the car for a family holiday and with all the rear seats folded down the carrying capacity is humungous.
An extra handy touch is that the front passenger seat folds down flat to create a long, long space that could come in handy if there a pole vaulter in the family looking for a car that can carry their pole.
There are also plenty of cubby holes dotted around the cabin and some models even have a built-in cool box for beach picnics.
Running costs and reliability
You wouldn’t expect a car the size of the Grand C4 Picasso to be exactly frugal. Yet, you should already have gathered that it’s full of surprises. Go for a diesel engine and 70 mpg is a distinct possibility, if you’re a frugal and sensible driver. Even the 1.2 litre petrol version will average a shade under 47 mpg.
Although Citroen haven’t always done so well in reliability tables, this is one of their better made and precisely engineered cars, so trouble-free travel could well be on the cards. Servicing is also very reasonable, especially if you opt for Citroen’s own maintenance plan.
What we love
Big, beautiful and out on its own, the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso lets up to 7 people travel in considerable style and comfort without being at all boring and predictable. It’s packed with neat design touches with enough boot space to take everything, including the kitchen sink.
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You’ll certainly get noticed on the road when you’re behind the wheel of a Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. You’ll also see a great deal of what’s going on around you thanks to the huge window area. It’s also got all the space you could need, plus a space-age look inside and out making it a winner all round.
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