We drive one of Ireland's best-selling seven seat MPVs
Pros: Diesel engines, seven seat practicality, comfortable
Cons: Expensive, basic entry models
The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso has reigned as king of the affordable seven seat MPVs in recent years. Specialising in space with an excellent folding seat arrangement, it has won the affections of family car buyers and also become one of Ireland’s best-selling large MPVs. Citroen is keen to hold this position though and subtly updated the Grand C4 Picasso in mid-2016 as a result. There is now more choice in the space however including the newly-updated Renault Grand Scenic and seven seat SUVs such as the Skoda Kodiaq. Can the Grand C4 Picasso remain one of the best choices on the market for 2017? We spent time with it recently on Irish roads to find out.
What is it like?
As far as large seven seat MPVs go, the Grand C4 Picasso is easily one of the best looking out there. With its slim line front grille, highly-positioned LED daytime lights and alloy wheels, it’s futuristic and should remain on trend for years to come. Mid-level ‘Feel’ specification models get a lot more chrome detailing and features, which add to its appeal, and we like the Lazuli Blue colour scheme of our test car, while there is a total of seven different colour combinations to choose from.
Inside the Grand C4 Picasso is extremely spacious with enough head room to satisfy even the tallest of passengers. The dashboard feels modern with an integrated touch screen display in the centre console and an additional 12-inch panoramic HD central display (higher specification models only). Space in the front seats is excellent with a good range of adjustment from the seats, although steering wheel reach and rake could be better. Space in the middle row is unsurpassed with ample room for three people and the seats slide and recline backwards and forwards easily.
The Grand Picasso offers one of the best seat-folding designs on the market and the rearmost seats pop up and collapse in seconds. Space in the rearmost seats is confined for adults on longer journeys but good enough for small children. With all seven seats in place, boot space stands at 165 litres, but when you drop the rear row this increases to a massive 793 litres when the middle row of seats are slid forward. This mid-range Feel specification model has an electric tailgate and full panoramic sunroof, which are nice additions.
The Grand C4 Picasso is available with three different engines choices in Ireland; a 130hp 1.2-litre Puretech petrol, a 120hp 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel (which is the one we tested) and a larger 150hp 2.0-litre BlueHDI diesel. The 1.6 BlueHDi is the pick of the range, as it offers the best mix of performance and economy and lives well with daily driving needs. It can cover 0-100km/h in 11.5 seconds and has a top speed of 188km/h, while there are both automatic and manual transmissions available too (we drove the latter). During our time with the Grand C4 Picasso, we managed roughly 5.8-litres per 100 kilometres (41MPG) in economy, while annual motor tax is one of the lowest at €190 for 12 months.
With an accommodating suspension setup, the Grand C4 Picasso isn’t very engaging to drive through corners, but you wouldn’t expect it to be. Instead it’s very soothing over bumpy road surfaces and offers comfortable ride quality, while it also offers a surprisingly good turning circle during parking. On wet roads there is enough grip and it feels stable, although there is noticeable body roll when you turn direction at speed. At speed it is quiet with minimal engine noise from the diesel unit, although there is a little noise with larger wheels fitted.
Prices for the Grand C4 Picasso start from €28,995 for the base specification petrol model here in Ireland, which is on par with the new Renault Grand Scenic and considerably more affordable than upmarket seven seaters like the SEAT Alhambra and Ford S-Max. There are three models to choose from with ‘Touch Edition’, ‘Feel’ and ‘Flair’ models in the range.
The Grand C4 Picasso is very well equipped from standard with alloy wheels, electric mirrors, cruise control, a seven-inch touch screen infotainment system, lots of safety tech and of course seven seats as standard on the Touch Edition. Our test car is the mid-range ‘Feel’ model and enjoys nice additions including larger alloy wheels, LED rear lights and tinted windows, a larger 12-inch panoramic central display (see pictures) and a reversing camera to take the pain out of parking.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
Despite increased competition, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso remains one of the best value MPVs currently on the market. It’s incredibly spacious, extremely practical and the diesel engine range is economical and well-suited to Irish roads. Equipment is generous too, while the seven seat arrangement is easy to use and ideal for larger families. While the Grand C4 Picasso isn’t exactly fun to drive, it is nonetheless comfortable both in and out of town. Our pick would be the same specification as our test car (Feel) and also the 1.6 BlueHDi diesel engine, though buyers may want to consider an automatic transmission.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Feel
Prices from: €28,995
Price as tested: €32,820 (excluding options)
Annual Road Tax: €190
Engine: 1560cc four-cylinder diesel
Power/Torque: 120bhp / 300Nm
Top Speed: 188km/h
0-100km/h: 11.5 seconds
Body style: MPV
Boot Space: 165 litres (7 seats in place)