Citroen C4 Picasso Review
Citroen have updated their popular MPV the C4 Picasso, so what changes have they made?
- Lots of practical space
- Informative 12-inch display screen
- Plenty of technology
- Lacks some stability on less than perfect roads
When Citroen introduced the second generation C4 Picasso in 2013 the UK launch was at the magical Harry Potter Studios Tour at the Warner Brothers studios at Leavesden. If they were hoping that the bespectacled schoolboy would work some magic on the group of journalists to dazzle them with the car they needn’t have worried as it impressed with its spacious interior, yet small exterior dimensions and its technology. Fast forward to 2016 and Citroen have unveiled a facelifted model but did it really need improving upon?
On the Road
There are two new petrol engines that have been added to the line up, we drove the PureTech 130 which is available as an automatic, the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder turbo producing 130hp with a top speed of 128mph and the six-speed transmission, although it has a short ratioed first gear, is seamless and works well.
The 1.5-litre BlueHDi 120 diesel has a healthy amount of power from its 300Nm of torque and mated with a smooth six-speed manual transmission it makes it a good choice if you’re planning on doing a fair amount of miles in the C4 Picasso.
There is a good range of engines and they all come with stop-start technology to keep down fuel costs and improve economy.
As much as we like this model the ride isn't as comfortable as it should be. For a start it doesn’t soak up undulating road surfaces well as it almost throws the car completely off balance, the narrow tyres making it feel like it’s gliding over the surface rather than making it feel planted.
The heavy steering suffers from less than adequate feedback, you want to be able to push it into a corner and not have to overcorrect to get out the otherside in one piece. Not that this car is aimed at the hot hatch kind of driver who want to push it to the limit, but it could do with some revisions.
Citroen have manufactured a well put together car as the cabin seems well insulated thanks to their Advanced Comfort programme which filters out any noise.
Comfortable front seats come with extra support from the wraparound headrests and there is also the option of a massage function too.
The exterior sees a refreshed front end, new, distinctive Citroen chevrons on the rear, new 3D effect rear lights and there is an option to personalise it with a black roof and door mirrors.
Three new colours have been added to the C4 Picasso palette, a vibrant Lazuli Blue, a cloudy Cumulus Grey and a calming Soft Sand.
In the car
First thing that is noticeable when you get the behind the wheel is how simple the interior is. A huge 12-inch screen dominates the centre stack and below it is a 7-inch screen touchscreen which features Citroen’s new 3D Connect Nav system. It’s possible to hook up a smartphone through the USB connection and control the phone through the touchscreen. Before the refresh the two screens mirrored each other but it’s now possible to see different information on each of them.
If you’re driving the automatic version the gear selector is above the steering wheel, which reminds us of American cars and because the speedo is on the large screen in the centre of the car it takes some time getting use to it to avert your gaze.
One of the trim levels features sun visors that can be pushed back to give even greater vision out of the front windscreen, so it makes all round visibility in the C4 Picasso really good.
The Citroen C4 Picasso is 4.4 metres in length and space is what it has lots of. There is plenty of storage dotted about the car and there’s a deep cubby hole in between the two front seats that can easily fit in a 2-litre bottle.
The boot holds 537-litres, which once the rear seats are folded increases to 630. These seats fold flat really easily and passengers can also recline them and move them for increased legroom.
With a hands-free tailgate now on the car and a best in class size of the optional panoramic roof the C4 Picasso is definitely well-equipped to take on its rivals.
The Citroen C4 Picasso costs from £19,635 and it comes with a two-year unlimited mile warranty with the option to extend it to three for no extra cost. If you’re looking for even more space then the C4 Grand Picasso has also been updated and has seven seats.
It’s an extremely practical family car, it has so much space, it’s well-designed and it has plenty of new technology on it.
Running costs will be really good as petrol versions will have CO2 emissions as low as 115g/km and one of the diesels will emit just 99g/km so no road tax cost.
The petrol PureTech 130 automatic can achieve a combined 55.4mpg while the BlueHDi 120 manual will manage 74.3mpg, real world conditions though will make that figure a bit less.
The Citroen C4 Picasso is really well made, there are plenty of soft-touch materials in the cabin, with the black gloss and aluminium effect touches adding a premium quality plus the padded soft fabrics on the seats add that extra comfort.
Citroen C4 Picasso owners have high praise for the running costs but one of the main issues though seems to be build quality that hasn’t impressed, hopefully this facelifted version will change that. On a more positive note the larger C4 Grand Picasso was named the 2016 Auto Express MPV of the Year.
The Citroen C4 Picasso took the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP tests with 86% for adult occupant protection and 88% for children.
If you are going to use it as a family car then there are three ISOFIX points for child seats in the rear and a child observation mirror so you can see exactly what they’re getting up to.
There are plenty of safety systems and driving aids on the car including the Drive Attention Alert System, Lane Departure which alerts the driver and corrects the car’s line thanks to a camera monitoring lane markings. As good as it is if you happen to be driving tired, it can be annoying if you’re driving down B roads as it does adjust the steering. There’s also blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and speed limit recognition.
Remote central locking with an alarm and an immobiliser keep it safe and secure and it also has keyless entry and start.