Driven: 2016 Citroen C4 Grand Picasso Review
I had a bit of time to try out the new Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, and here are my thoughts on the car.
What is the Citroen C4 Picasso all About?
Here we go again with the other Citroen in the list that I got to test drive the other day. Now, as much as you don’t want to believe, Citroen has an absolutely massive and rich history in their books. In fact, I would say that they have a richer history than most mainstream manufacturers you see today.
Additionally, they were one of the most innovative, being the first one to mass-produce FWD cars and make use of disc brakes and complex hydropneumatic suspension. Basically, what I’m saying is that their cars, that some might consider boring, contains that charm, or known as the X-factor, that no other manufacturers can quite match.
Such was the situation when I had the chance to drive the C4 Picasso, now, you’ll know them as the funky carmaker, coming out with interesting concepts while boldly utilising them in the modern market. It paid off with the C4 Picasso, an MPV focused solely on making a stylistic statement, with this being its second-generation, appealing to an international audience.
Before even driving the C4 Picasso, immediately, from afar, you can already tell the difference between this and the normal C4. Although you know that at heart this is a people carrier, but you can’t help being attracted to that signature of a front, the front light is divided into two parts, in fact, if you look at it from a certain way, you can notice two separate front ends in this one car.
Even the rear end of the car has a similar kind of styling, with the rear lights dividing into two, again, and notice how the car isn’t a brick. I love the lines Citroen has decided to go with, with the lines curving to meet each other, making it less of a boring MPV.
By now, you should also recognise the blue colour scheme they call ‘Lazuli Blue’, also with its silver-coloured bars surrounding the windows of the car. The C4 Picasso also comes with a range of wheels to choose from, with our test model boasting the 18 inch ‘Python’ alloys.
This particular MPV is really deviating from its roots of an MPV, in my book, if you can clearly identify a car just from its styling, the manufacturer had done a great job, and the C4 Picasso is a prime example. Parked in the midst of many MPVs, I will no doubt be able to pinpoint the C4 Picasso.
The engine is not the main concern of the C4 Picasso, but its the BlueHDi engine should be well known among people who know the French cars, as its a common engine shared between the PSA group. This one in particular is a 2.0 litre turbo-diesel nline-4 putting out 150 hp and 370 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm.
The transmission found in our C4 Picasso is a 6-speed manual delivering the power to the front wheels, allowing for a 0-62 mph sprint time of 9.8 seconds, to a top speed of 130 mph. The 2.0 litre BlueHDI engine puts out just 111 g/km of carbon, also being economical as its rated at 65.7 mpg combined.
Do note that there are many engine options, from petrol to diesel, paired with either an automatic or manual transmission, with our engine model, the BlueHDI 150, being the top spec.
How Does it Drive?
To start, just open the door, sit in the car, then press the stop & start button.
To be frank, the C4 Picasso was never designed to be a contender for Lotus or Porsche, so I didn’t put my expectations very high at all. While driving the C4 Picasso on the road, I am also constantly reminded by the car that its a big MPV with soft suspension.
Basically, this feels like the polar opposite of the C1 Furio I drove. The car wallows just like a big MPV in the corners, with a tiny bit of body roll, the steering is as expected, the car just doesn’t feel exciting in the corners, but it’s not supposed too.
While the shifter is a bit notchy, it doesn’t feel smooth to engage the gears. It does not feel like an engaging drive. However, the tyre provides the C4 Picasso with plenty of grip, more than you’ll need, and thanks to the soft suspension, it’s a relaxing drive.
No doubt thanks to the turbo-diesel, the C4 Picasso packs a surprising punch. The torque comes in fast, allowing for overtakes to be made quite easily, it’s big and heavy at ~1,700 kg, despite this, the engine makes up for the weight well, allowing the car to pull rather nicely.
One thing I constantly noticed is the sheer amount of visibility. The windscreen is panoramic, and the thin A-pillars reduce the blind spots while driving, making the C4 Picasso a pleasure to drive on any urban landscape.
What’s it Like Inside?
This is really where the C4 Picasso shines. The interior. To begin with, the seats are covered by a mixture of leather and cloth, with our test model being a combination of ‘Slate Grey leather & Black Ondulice cloth’. It’s an interesting look to go for, living up to the ‘Picasso’ name.
The interior is huge, there are so many driver conveniences and novelties, like a small coffee cup that comes up to tell the driver he or she needs a break. The roof is massive and made out of glass, allowing for plenty of warm sunlight to bathe the interior.
Additionally, storage space was never a problem to me. There are so many cubbyholes inside the C4 Picasso, and the luggage space is massive, providing 793 litres with 5 seats up, 2181 litres with all the rear seats down, and 165 litres with 7 seats up.
There is no traditional instrument cluster for the driver, commonplace among cars designed for practicality. In place is a central screen measured at 12 inch containing an electric display which shows information instead. Right below the information screen is a 7 inch touch screen interface catering for almost all vehicle functions.
The C4 Picasso is a car with a whole bunch of personality, and that’s a word I’m going to use a lot in describing Citroens. From afar, it looks distinctive; inside the car, it still looks different from anything else I’ve driven.
Make no mistake, compared to the C1 Furio, the C4 Picasso is less of a flattering drive, however, in terms of practicality, it’s in its own league. Furthermore, there are many little things I loved about the C4 Picasso, including the electronic tailgate which lifts automatically if you wave your legs underneath it.
Citroen struck gold with the C4 Picasso, although before driving it, I never quite understood why. But after spending some time with it, I must agree with the fact that Citroen managed to rewrite the books of what we know about typical MPVs, with charisma oozing out of the C4 Picasso.
I appreciate manufacturers like Citroen for thinking out of the box. To put it in words, it was a cool car to look at, and it feels like a rebellion to the MPV market segment.
2016 Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
- Price: £28,010 (£30,080 as tested)
- Engine: 2.0-litre inline 4 turbo-diesel
- Power: 150 hp
- Torque: 370 Nm
- Transmission: 6-speed syncromesh manual
- 0-62mph: 9.8 Seconds
- Top speed: 130 mph
- Weight: 1,705 kg
- Economy combined: 65.7 mpg
- CO2: 111 g/km