Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The Essentials

  • Price from £19,200
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 74.3mpg
  • What is it? The C4 Grand Picasso is spacious, family-friendly seven-seater that gets top marks for practicality and affordable running costs, if rather fewer for driver enjoyment.

Great

  • Spacious, adaptable cabin is easy to use for a wide variety of tasks
  • Visibility is amazing all round
  • All but the lowest trim level come packed with equipment

Gripes

  • It feels a bit fidgety on bumpy surfaces and leans a lot on corners
  • The touch-screen control system is fiddly to use, especially on the move
  • The manual gearbox feels rather stiff and clunky
  • Drive

    It's fine - but nothing more

  • Inside

    Amazing visibility and sense of space; shame the touch-screen is so fiddly

  • Safety

    Everything you'd expect as standard; lots of clever options if you pay extra

  • Reliability

    Feels solid and Citroen's record is pretty decent

  • Space

    Roomy, practical cabin, and you can drop the seats in seconds

  • Standard and extras

    Go for the generously specced mid-level trim for the best value

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Grand C4 Picasso feels stable and assured, and its supple suspension is pretty good at hiding bigger bumps in the road, but it does tend to jostle over lumpy, pockmarked roads. The steering is light, which is helpful when parking or driving round town, although it may limit your confidence on fast twisty roads, especially as the car tends to lean over quite a bit on bends. The 113bhp version of the 1.6 diesel is plenty strong enough to transport seven people, though its manual gearbox feels a bit stiff and vague. There's also a semi-automatic 1.6 diesel but this has only 89bhp. The 2.0-litre diesel is stronger but it's noisy - in a car that's otherwise calm and hushed - and delivers its extra power in one shove at certain revs; the rest of the time you'll need to frequently change gear to keep the car feeling spritely. You can get it as a full automatic but the gearbox can be slow to respond. Two 1.6 petrol versions of the Grand C4 Picasso are also available.

  • What's it like inside?

    The Grand C4 Picasso has an impressively large windscreen that stretches up and over the front seats, bringing loads of light into the cabin; combined with the car's skinny front pillars, this means the Grand C4 Picasso offers the best visibility of any MPV, with very little to obscure your view out at any time.

    The dashboard can take a bit of getting used to; there are no instruments behind the steering wheel and most of the car's systems are controlled using a central touch-screen. The driver's seat is comfortable, although it could do with more lower-back support.

    Five tall adults can sit comfortably in the first two rows, especially as the middle row has three separate full-size seats, which also means that the Grand C4 Picasso should be able to fit many models of child seat three abreast here; each middle-row seat also has its own set of Isofix points, too - these are really easy to access but nicely concealed so the seats still look smart. The middle-row seats each slide or recline to help adult-size occupants get comfortable, or adjust the bias between middle-row legroom and boot space.

    The pair of rearmost seats are comfortable enough for small adults, and it's easier to get into them than in many rivals because the outer middle-row seats fold-up like a cinema seat and slide forward, leaving a decent gap to climb through. You can drop the rearmost seats into the boot floor with one hand to create loads of luggage space, and if you need more it's really easy to fold the middle-row seats flat too.

    Storage areas for a long journey's clutter aren't particularly big or practical but the velvet-lined cubby behind the gearstick is the perfect place for an iPod and includes a choice of USB and iPod sockets, plus a light.

    The entry-level trim, VTR, includes air-con and alloy wheels amongst other things, but you get a lot of useful extras by stepping up to VTR+, including digital radio, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, and automatic lights and wipers, so we'd go for that. VTR+ also brings you hidden storage areas in the rear footwells and aircraft-style picnic tables on the back of the front seats, but you have to upgrade to Exclusive to get a child-surveillance mirror, along with sat nav, a reversing camera and an impressive-looking central display. Exclusive+ adds a panoramic sunroof, a powered tailgate and a self-parking system, but it costs a lot more. If you plan to use a child seat with a supportive leg in a VTR+ car, check with your child seat manufacturer that it's safe to place the leg on the top of the hidden storage area.

  • How reliable is it?

    Most of the cabin materials feel smart and solid, and while this latest generation of the Grand C4 Picasso is too new to have been included in the latest reliability survey by our partners at What Car?, Citroen scored pretty well as a brand. Safety provision is good, too, including curtain airbags that run the full length of the cabin, so the rearmost occupants are protected, too. Higher-spec models include lots more advanced safety features, including lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Grand C4 Picasso isn't the cheapest seven-seater on the market but for the money it's hard to find an alternative of the same size with so much space, and it's much cheaper than the bigger, van-like rivals. The diesels are economic, particularly the manual 1.6 e-HDi, which also means tax costs are low.