Citroën is famous for making cars which are superb in transporting people over long distances in smooth comfort and safety. These qualities were first displayed by the legendary DS, and this tradition has continued ever since. Of course, with the successors of the DS, like the CX, the XM and nowadays the C6.
But that is not all. Presently, the DS line continues this grand tradition, and with its first Picasso, Citroën introduced these qualities in the compact spacecab segment. This first Picasso proved a resounding success, and it is only logical that Citroen continues with this line.
This time, they have again surpassed themselves with the C4 Grand Picasso. The car is gathering prizes all over, and deservedly so. It gives you the true joys and thrills of terrestrian space travel...
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Citroën styling has been standing out over recent years, and the C4 Grand Picasso is no exception. On the contrary, this car looks good from any angle, and its shapes and forms have a timeless yet typically "French" elegance. The proportions of the Grand Picasso are excellent, and undoubtedly the car will age very well.
The front end treatment of the Grand Picasso is very elegant with its flat led headlights and its refined "double chevron" emblem. The rear lights are also very well designed and enhance the car, giving it an aura of discrete modernity. Sideways the bodywork, window area and roof line is very well laid out, again giving the car good proportions.
... and "noble" materials
Getting into the car, we were quite pleased to see and feel the materials chosen for dashboard and instrument cluster surfaces, door panels and upholstery quality of the seats. We drove the "Exclusive" version, and we would suggest to take in into account when you are configuring your new C4 Grand Picasso.
Citroën makes cars which are good to live with, "des voitures pour vivre" , and of course the Grand Picasso is no exception. Not only is the instrumentation fantastic with large and very readable indications, map displays etc, but also the commands and handles are ergonomically well laid out and good to use.
Instrumentation and displays are truly state-of-the-art...
We liked very much the airiness of the interior, and the high rising front windshield, which especially nice when driving in urban areas, or gazing at the stars when you are in a romantic mood.
The versatility of the seats, and the easiness of folding them up or down and changing/transforming the interior space is also exemplary, as your servant succeeded in doing so almost intuitively, no small feat as we are certainly not a talent in this.
The interior space is very good, with the possibility of seating even two young (taller)passengers on the third row. Loading space with the two rear seat rows totally folded down is a rather massive with a space of more than 700 litres.
Driving is believing
A Citroën is of course only truly a Citroen when one drives it. Then it really comes into its own. A unique combination of comfort, road behaviour, unerring straight line stability, very controlled body movements up to very high speeds, a suspension which literally swallows road irregularities and is at home on any surface down to the worst pavés, that is what Citroën is all about. This is the true charm of the car, and this makes it also so deliciously restful to drive over short and especially long distances.
Building up speed in the Citroën is rather lively with the 115 HP 1,6 litre Diesel engine driving the front wheels. The engine delivers sufficient torque to provide ample pulling power in any circumstance. The sprint from 0 to 100 is absolved in 12,1 seconds and cruising speeds up to 150 km/h are maintained without effort. Top speed is indicated by the manufacturer at 189 km.
Instrumentation, displays and navigation system are easy to use and excellent to read...
Engine vibrations are well insulated from the cabin, adding to the refinement of the whole car, but the engine throb is noticeable throughout the rev range, without however becoming obtrusive. Wind and road noise are very well suppressed, up to high speeds, and this again makes the car an excellent long range cruiser.
The materials used in the "exclusive" version add a touch of luxury and well being...
Of course, this engine is efficient, and consumption figures amply show it. We measured an average consumption of 4,5 litres, which is remarkable as one knows that we drove the car at the legal speed limits on motorways and moved it more often than not in heavy urban traffic. Citroen quotes an average consumption of 4 lotres and CO2 emissions of 105 g/km.
The high front window give excellent "visiospace" vision...
The six speed gearbox changes smoothly, clutch take up is also progressive, and this makes it easy to drive the car restfully in heavy traffic.
The excellent overall visibility also merits a word of praise, and the car is pleasant to manoeuvre in narrow city streets.
The C4 Grand Picasso is a very able and excellent spacecab, with enormous practicality and last but not least the legendary Citroën qualities which make this car unique, well, 100 % a Citroën, which means excellent suspension, road behaviour, creature comfort.
An outstanding high speed long range cruiser, always restful to drive, also in town traffic. Add to this the French panache, elegance, and frugality, and we can say that this is a car which you should definitely consider when choosing a mid range spacecab.
Rear passengers can also enjoy excellent entertainment in the "exclusive" Grand Picasso...
We would like to test the car with either the 90 hp Airdream engine, which delivers even lower CO2 emissions, and or the automatic gearbox, but let it be said that with the 115 hp Diesel engine, it is already a delightful combination.
Hans Knol ten Bensel