Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - Plenty of space and go

By JAY WONG | 30 December 2015

Futuristic. It’s how best to describe the seven-seater Citroen Grand C4 Picasso multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that comes with a punchy engine with a surprising amount of safety, hi-tech fitment and comfort.

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The Grand C4 Picasso may possess the usual MPV one-box silhouette, but grabs attention to the unconventionally styled front and rear that instantly transforms the overall look into almost something out of a science-fiction graphic novel.

It isn’t something that deserves a glance and simply be content with, because – if anything, it should be treated like a glass of wine that’s sipped at and slowly appreciated - allowing the palate to savour the notes and nuances of its offerings till its fleeting end as it slowly trickles down the gullet.

The Grand C4 Picasso’s split-faced design has its LED daytime running lights sitting on the same line flanking the logo, while the main headlights are located just below and the fog lamps just below that.

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At the rear, there are the intricately designed twin three-dimensional brake lights that the French carmaker has come up with to help the Grand C4 Picasso take a few steps from being the run-off-the-mill to ultra-contemporary.

Although the MPV will fit five conveniently, it’s more realistic to say that the third row seats, which – by the way, can easily pop-up from under the floorboard, are more suitable for children or young adults.

Furthermore, the second row of seats can be individually slid back and forth as well as reclined – allowing the already generous 632 litres of boot space to be expanded to 793.

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But if a flatbed is needed, the second row nicely folds down into the floorboard as well to help fit bulkier items and with the inclusion of a powered tailgate, it definitely adds a nice touch of convenience to this spacious vehicle.

Overall, the interior feels grand with leather upholstery while the driver and front passenger get electrically adjustable seats with a massage function for the driver and a fully recline-able one with an electrically extendable foot rest for the front passenger.

The edges of the headrests can be folded inwards to embrace the head like those on airline seats.

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The driver gets a very commanding view ahead as the 12- and seven-inch screens adds colour and character to the cabin.

There’s simply a lot of glass real estate, for better visibility no-doubt, but thankfully the French carmaker has included blinds into the rear door inserts.

If anyone finds the Grand C4 Picasso a handful to park, there’s Park Assist to provide handsfree parking - all the driver needs to do is select which side the parking bay is located by indicating left or right and then choosing parallel or reverse parking – exiting a parallel parking lot is also available.

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Being in this neck of the woods, it’s still a little difficult to quell the tropical heat effectively with just perforated blinds and shades but there are air conditioner vents on the B-pillars to help with air circulation.

Be it adults or minors, a convenient foldable tray table has been fitted behind the front seats that should fit a mini laptop, a few cups and perhaps a few choice selection of snacks for long haul journeys.

It seems the Grand C4 Picasso has more style than cup holders or stowage compartments, while they’ve moved the steering wheel to the right for us, the fuse box has not followed and is currently a resident of the glove compartment - which means little or nothing gets in there.

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Furthermore, the twin cup holder along the central tunnel just weren’t able to properly fit two large takeaway cups of coffee and to rectify that, it was instead relegated to stowing the house keys, office tag and the mobile phone.

Citroen has opted for a gear lever that’s placed just behind the steering wheel, and while it was thought to be relatively ergonomic in placing, it didn’t stop the left hand from flailing about in search of the usual gear knob thanks to muscle memory.

With a kerb weight of 1,320kg, the Grand C4 Picasso comes with an EAT6 six-speed automatic gearbox that’s been mated to the 1.6-litre e-THP (Turbo High Pressure) engine churning out 160bhp at 6,000rpm and 240Nm of torque from 1,400rpm onwards.

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Overall, the e-THP engine is a smooth operator that’s able to adapt to throttle inputs while driver assistance features such as Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring System and Active Cruise Control add to safer driving.

The suspension does well to take on shocks and in keeping the MPV well and truly stable when pushing it around the bends, but it still needs a little more refinement by displaying a choppy disposition when going over uneven surfaces at low speeds.

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With an electric power steering system, which was sincerely a pleasure to use, there was still that inherent disconnect from the road when compared to the usual hydraulics steering system that keeps the driver more informed and connected to the road.

It’s obvious it was built for long haul travels, able to soak up the highway’s undulations and the ability to travel up to a top speed of 201kph.




CarSifu's Rating: 7.2