Citroën certainly do make very remarkeable cars. We experienced this once again when we drove the e-HDi version of the celebrated C4 Picasso, in its comfortable “executive” trim.
The car really stands out with as class-leading cabin and boot space and a commanding driving position, along with all-new features inherent to the visiospace concept: outstanding peripheral visibility and light, easy-to-use modular design, uncluttered interior. The car was a pleasure to drive, comfortable, roomy and sure footed…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The wide angle panoramic windscreen and large quarter-lights framed by slim pillars underline the vehicle’s identity as a Citroën visiospace.
The new visiospace’s assertive-looking front end features a bumper with oversized air intakes covered in racing-style black mesh.
Brand identity is further emphasized by wide chevrons on the grille that extend out in chrome strips to the headlamps. Quite a pleasing car to look at, from any angle, and yes, unmistakeably Citroën…
The C4 Picasso, like the Grand C4 Picasso, has the largest glazed area in its category – 5 m2 without and 6.2 m2 with the panoramic sunroof.
Our test car was also equipped with the innovative new micro-hybrid e-HDi system with EGS transmission, coupled to the refined and efficient 1.6HDi 110 diesel engine. The power unit is also fitted with a Stop & Start system featuring a second generation reversible alternator.
An e-booster system allows instantaneous and whisper silent engine restarts in just 400ms - twice as fast as a manual key restart and 30% faster than with a reinforced starter.
The electronically controlled alternator uses regenerative braking to recover energy and the EGS gearbox features optimised gear ratios. The system even stops the engine before the car comes to a complete halt - from 5mph during deceleration. The e-HDi system can improve fuel efficiency by up to 15% in urban environments and reduces CO2 emissions by around 5g/km. Needless to say that the car was very frugal during our test, consumption figures below 6 litres/100 km are easily attainable.
A superb driving position…
The driving position, associated with the new 6-speed electronic gearbox system, completely frees up the centre of the dashboard by grouping the gearbox controls on the steering wheel.
This layout completely does away with the central console, which traditionally houses the gearbox controls. The controls are now steering wheel-mounted, with a mode selector and gearshift paddles. Built into the steering column, they adapt to adjustments for height and reach. These upgrades free up space for a large cooled central stowage compartment.
The air conditioning uses new exchangers and is therefore more compact in size. The controls are placed at either end of the dashboard – within direct reach of the occupants – thus also freeing up the central console.
Large and practical boot with the new Modubox
Minimum boot capacity under the parcel shelf is 500 litres (VDA), with the rear seats pushed back as far as possible. With all rear seats folded away, maximum capacity is 1,734 litres (VDA).
The C4 Picasso also has the widest space between wheel arches in its category (1.17 m), which makes it easier to transport wide, rectangular objects.
The C4 Picasso can be fitted with the new Modubox, which makes it easier to organise space in the boot or transport objects outside the vehicle. The Modubox is a removable trolley made up of a solid frame (maximum load: 22 kg) and a soft bag in removable canvas, with capacity of 40 litres, or 37.5 l for the insulated version. It has an ergonomic design (high-position, solid handle, easy to open and close, etc.), can be used both inside and outside the car, and is highly versatile. It can be used as a trolley (frame plus bag), a cart (frame only for carrying heavy objects) or as a simple bag. Exterior use is enhanced by large-sized wheels with rolling strips in rubber. Folded up, it can be strapped to the right-hand side of the boot.
HDi 110 DPFS: powerful and compact
The 110 bhp HDi is fitted as standard with a particulate filter (DPFS). With 1,560 cm3 capacity and a 16 valve cylinder head, it develops 80 kW EEC (110 bhpDIN) and torque of 240 Nm at 1,750 rpm. It mates very well with the automatic transmission, which operates also quite smoothly. We just refer to the comments we made above and further on our site in our test report of the C4 e-HDi.
Effortless long distance runner…
Again we were amazed by the effortless way the car drives at high speeds, making high speed driving both on motorways and secondary roads a very relaxing and pleasurable experience. Driving long distances in this car is a true joy, and in this respect it really stands out in its class, as a true Citroën befits.
So when you look for a mid size MPV, certainly take a drive behind the wheel of this Picasso, as it is a work of art on wheels…
Hans Knol ten Bensel