Ray Massey mini test: A French masterpiece
Motoring editor Ray Massey takes the new Citroen Grand 4 Picasso Exclusive e-HDi 115 Airdream (£29,750, price as driven) for a mini test and gives tells you the good, the bad and his overall verdict.
Citroen has gone stellar with a magnificent new seven-seater family car, which has plenty of room and a high-tech dashboard. Plus, it drives like a dream.
The space is enhanced by the enormous windscreen with big side screens. On my version, the grand panoramic glass roof ran almost the length of the car.
Willing and able performance thanks to a turbocharged 1.6-litre 115 horsepower diesel engine. It goes to 62mph in 12.1 seconds and has a top speed of 117mph.
Remarkably frugal on fuel. It averages an official 70.6mpg, or 74.3mpg when cruising and 62.8mpg around town. ‘Stop & Start’ technology is standard on all diesel models, so CO2 emissions are a very low 105g/ km, which will keep road tax down. It is 110kg lighter than the previous model.
Five seats for standard use and two extra that spring up easily in the rear make it flexible for families.
The folding seats also mean extra stowage space. Though it’s virtually the same length as its predecessor (4.59m), there’s more room inside.
Magnificent: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Exclusive e-HDi 115 Airdream
The model I drove was the Grand C4 Picasso Exclusive+ e-HDi 115 Airdream sixspeed manual with a base price of £25,655. Mine, though, had more than £4,000 worth of extras.
Great fun to drive. You can’t say that of many MPVs.
The standard 7in touchpad controls dual-zone air conditioning, navigation, audio, telephone and driving aids. There’s also a 12in panoramic high-definition data display screen.
It scored a top five-star safety rating in Euro-NCAP crash tests. Features include an anti-collision warning system for when you get too close to the car in front, radar-guided active cruise control, a video lane-departure warning system and a blind-spot checking system.
Smart looks — the usual chevrons on the bonnet now extend outwards.
Other features include keyless entry and ignition, a reversing camera, new so-called ‘360° VISION’ with four cameras to give the driver many views, and Park Assist.
Fingertip controls on the steering wheel. Electric motorised tailgate.
Available in four trims, from £19,200 for the VTi 120 manual VTR, to £27,855 for the BLUEHDI 150 automatic Exclusive+.
Named Top Gear Magazine’s Family Car of the Year, and What Car? MPV of the Year. It’s a masterpiece.
Hard to fault. But the extras do push up the price. Mine included £2,000 for the amber/black nappa leather pack, £520 for metallic paint, an enhanced Park Assist 360 (£450), Xenon headlights (£750) and a space-saver spare (£75).
The high-tech set up would lend itself to a jet-fighter-style headup display.
Citroen has in the past had a battle with reliability. Only time will tell if they’ve cracked it this time.