Citroen: First Drive: New Grand C4 Picasso

Citroen: First Drive: New Grand C4 Picasso

 

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Citroen has launched two feature packed variants of the all-new diesel-powered 7 seat Grand C4 Picasso in New Zealand aimed squarely at family and business users.

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Built on the new EMP2 platform, Citroen says the Grand C4 Picasso provides the best combination of versatility, cabin space and accessibility.

The EMP2 platform has allowed Citroen designers to reduce the front overhang by 11.6cm, lower the engine bay by 50mm, lower the floor by 20mm and widen the front track by 82mm and the rear track by 31mm.

By doing this, the Grand C4 Picasso feels far more planted to the road, and yet retains the spacious feel of a seven seat family wagon.

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The wheelbase for the new model is stretched by a further 11cm to 2.84m while keeping the same overall length as the previous model – 4.59m. Boot space has grown by 69 litres giving a total of 645L and more than 700L with the second row of seats in the most forward position.

The second and third row of seats are also spacious with a maximum knee room of 217mm in row 2 and 108mm in row 3.

Citroen says the 3rd row has been made more easily accessible through optimised dimensions and a great door opening angle.

Customers can choose from the Seduction ($42,990) or the Intensive variants ($49,990) – both come with 7 seats standard and have a new 2-litre Blue HDi Diesel engine coupled with a new generation 6 speed Auto gearbox.

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Specification is generous for the price tag, as both variants come with satellite navigation, black panel night-time instrument lighting, 7 inch touch screen, daytime running lights, front fog maps with cornering function, automatic air conditioning, electrically adjustable mirrors with heating and fold in function, and seven individually adjustable seats, with individually adjustable head rests.

The Intensive variant receives half cloth/half leather upholstery and 18 inch alloy wheels, as opposed to the Seduction which has full cloth and 17 inch alloy wheels.

The specification of the Grand C4 Picasso Intensive variant for our market is further enhanced by Citroen’s creative technologies which includes:

  • A 360 degree onboard camera system, including front and rear parking sensors
  • Parking assistance system
  • Driver and front passenger massage seats
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Hands free access and start
  • Roof bars
  • Dark tinted rear windows
  • 3D Tail lamps
  • Relax front seats

Further options available on the Intensive, include the $1500 Serenity pack which includes an adaptive cruise and lane departure warning system.

The Grand C4 Picasso is the first Citroen model to be fitted with the new BlueHDi engine which complies with the Euro 6 standard. This BlueHDi engine is able to achieve the new standard by sharply reducing NOx emissions (by 90%) while cutting CO2 emissions through the use of a new Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. The system eliminates carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (HC) nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates using a three step system.

According to Citroen the 2-Litre BlueHDI engine produces 110kW of power at 4000rpm and maximum torque of 370Nm between 2000 and 2500 rpm. Fuel consumption for the Seduction model is quoted at 4.5L/100km while C02 emissions are 117g/km.

Citroen has ditched the previous EGS automated single clutch transmission from the previous model in favour of a proper six-speed automatic transmission for the new C4 Grand Picasso, with the addition of stop/start technology. Citroen says the new gearbox is 2kg lighter and engine speeds have been reduced by 200rpm on average while the top gears have been lengthened in ratio by up to 20% for improved fuel efficiency.

Driving impressions

Our initial impressions of the Grand C4 Picasso are very favourable, and this was after a very short test drive around the greater Auckland region.

Importer Sime Darby Automobiles has chosen a mixture of city and rural roads for the media drive programme that allowed us to quickly sum up whether its new baby measured up or not.

Citroen has put a great deal of thought into this new vehicle and it shows. The Grand C4 Picasso is well appointed and finished, its drives quietly, has good all round visibility (even without the 360 degree camera) and it’s a car you would happily take the family in for a long (and no doubt) economical road trip.

We drove both the highly specified Intensive model on 18 inch alloy wheels, and the still well equipped Seduction model on 17 inch alloy wheels, and both provided a very comfortable ride over motorway and rural roads, regardless of the surface.

However the comfortable ride does not come at the expense of handling, the Grand C4 Picasso steers and tracks around corners nicely, there is very little body roll, and it inspires confidence as the miles flow past.

It’s a vehicle you’d happily drive long distances in, the 2-Litre diesel motor has ample torque for the odd overtaking manoeuvre, and it despatches steep inclines without fuss and drama.

Citroen quotes average fuel consumption of 4.5L/100km for the Seduction model, and on the media drive programme, we managed 7L/100km, but with a longer steady drive we think that the quoted figure would be achievable.

While the massage seats, the half cloth/leather upholstery, and the self parking functions of the Intensive model are nice to have, the Seduction model was no less attractive without them, but we think that this variant will be more attractive to fleet and business users.

The Grand C4 Picasso has great road presence, especially the Intensive model in white pictured here, it will turn heads with its eye-catching design, but more importantly it will win hearts with its family friendly features. We look forward to spending more time with the Grand C4 Picasso for a full road test soon.

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