Citroen: 2014 C4 Picasso review

January 9th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

Named after a man who took pushed the boundaries of design, the C4 Picasso follows suit with some bold exterior styling and some features drawn in the wrong place on the inside. Let’s deal with the exterior first: the LED-adorned face is as instantly recognisable and striking as any I’ve seen. There’s no doubting you’re in a Citroen. The double-stack of headlights doesn’t quite work for me from some angles – there’s a mismatch in the lines – but it is bold enough to match the deeply contoured body sides, chrome window inserts and angular 17-inch alloys, and the overall effect is one that grows on you. Continue reading “Citroen: 2014 C4 Picasso review” »

Citroen Picasso MPV

December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Driving footage and interior shots

Driving footage and interior shots

Refreshed Citroen C4 on sale in NZ

July 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

2009 Citroen C4

The car that uses a dancing robot to illustrate just how alive it is with technology, the Citroen C4, has been given some new technology and a fresh face.

“From its front end designed to protect pedestrians, to its fixed hub steering wheel that enables a larger more effective air bag for the driver and its robotised EGS gearbox, the Citroën C4 debuted a host of intelligent technology that has lifted safety, boosted comfort and cut emissions,” says Lawrie Malatios, General Manager for Citroën in New Zealand. “The new C4 adds to this list new, more effective petrol engines and a host of under-the-skin refinements that enable the Citroën C4 to maintain its position as a class benchmark.”

Behind its new grille are two new petrol engines developed in conjunction with BMW that lift performance and drop fuel consumption and emission levels, while subtle changes to trim, equipment and colours freshen up the Citroen C4.

Changes to the exterior focus on restyling the vehicle’s front end, bringing the C4 in line with the new looks of the recently launched C5. Its new bonnet features a more rounded, curvier design restyled the front bumper has also been revamped and the number plate repositioned.

In the cabin the rev counter has been relocated to the innovative translucent central display unit. As with the C4 Picasso, a plush grain is now featured on the dashboard and doors.

Citroën’s latest generation navigation system, NaviDrive, has also been introduced as an option, which features a hi-resolution 7-inch colour screen with New Zealand-wide satellite navigation, as well as an audio system with built-in 30GB hard drive. The system also offers a video auxiliary socket and a USB connection.

The C4 is now available with two new petrol engines — the 1.6 16v VTi 88 kW and the 1.6 16v THP 103 kW. Both units offer strong fuel economy, with significantly lower consumption and CO2 emissions.

The new Citroen C4 opens with the C4 VTi automatic at a recommended retail price of $34,990, while the same trim and equipment level with the 1.6 HDi diesel engine and the EGS six speed robotized manual is $39,990. With the Exclusive trim and equipment package, the Turbo 1.6 litre 103 kW petrol engine variant is $39,990 with an automatic gearbox as standard, while the 2.0 litre HDi Turbo Diesel and six speed automatic C4 Exclusive is priced at an RRP of $44,990.

Click here to read a road test of the 2008 Citroen C4 Picasso

Citroen announces details of forthcoming C3 Picasso

July 9th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


Citroën has announced details of a new addition to its Picasso family – the stylish C3 Picasso. The Company’s newest MPV will make its debut in October at the Paris Motor Show before its UK launch in mid 2009.

As you’d expect from a Citroën MPV, comfort and practicality are key priorities. With external dimensions measuring 4.08m long, 1.73m wide and 1.62m tall, the C3 Picasso is deceptively spacious internally, the modular layout provides a user-friendly environment that can allow individuals to optimise the cabin space.

The split-folding rear seats slide independently, offering the best possible legroom or load space. When extra storage space is required, the rear seats can be folded away in one effortless motion using simple seatback mounted controls, whilst a mobile boot floor provides a level loading space up to the first row seat back. To benefit fully from the space in the car, the front passenger seat can also be folded completely flat to increase the load length and to create a table top,

Just like the C4 Picasso, the C3 Picasso offers occupants a light and bright driving environment thanks largely to an innovative three-part windscreen that helps give the car one of the largest glazed areas in the segment. The high-seating position gives drivers optimum visibility, whilst the wraparound windows and a panoramic glass roof allow light to flood into the cabin.

The C3 Picasso will arrive with a choice of engines that offer both good performance and economy, with two new-generation petrol units available — the VTi 95hp and VTi 120hp — as well as two diesels, the HDi 90hp and HDi 110bhp.

With availability to the New Zealand market yet to be confirmed, Citroen New Zealand has not confirmed a launch date locally for the C3 Picasso while it examines the suitability of the C3 Picasso for the local market.

Citroen wins awards for security

June 20th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Citroën has picked up more awards than any other manufacturer at this year’s British Insurance Car Security Awards at Thatcham’s Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, the world’s leading test centre for security, theft-proofing and insurance research.

Citroen won the vehicle security awards for no less than four different models, demonstrating Citroën’s commitment to security across its range.

Citroën’s C6 picked up the top spot in the Executive class for the second year in a row, as did the C4 Picasso, clinching the Compact MPV accolade. The popular C4 and the soon to be launched in New Zealand Citroën C5 dominated the family vehicle categories, taking both the Small Family and Family titles respectively.

Citroën’s success at this year’s event means the Company has now received an unprecedented fourteen security accolades since the British Insurance Car Security Awards were launched just five years ago.

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 2008 Review

March 5th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Citroen C4 Picasso 2008 fq

Flight simulators are designed to make you feel like you’re in an aeroplane, but without the imminent danger of some nutcase trying to stab you or detonate a bomb in their sneakers.

To fool the eye into believing you’re in the plane you need a wrap around screen that encompasses pretty much your whole field of vision, and a healthy dose of technology in the form of buttons and blinking lights.

Enter the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. From your position as captain of this craft, in the armchair-style seats with their fold-down armrests your view of the road ahead is magnificent. The huge windows and soft suspension give an almost surreal sense of being in a simulator.

The fact that you don’t see any bodywork of the car from the driver’s seat, except for the wing mirrors completes the effect and any other car that’s not a convertible feels positively claustrophobic. The windscreen, which is almost as steeply raked as the bonnet, recedes above you like Prince Charles’ hairline, while innovative sun visors lie ready and waiting to slide forward to reduce glare.

Get used to some quirky (but perfectly acceptable) French placement of controls in the Picasso. The gearstick is on the top of the steering column — it feels natural when you’re used to it — and you can set it to M for manual, which allows use of the paddle change sequential shift. Even when in full auto you can override the gear by using the paddles — handy to get the car ready for overtaking.

All instrumentation is centrally mounted, and either side of the dashboard conceals large cubby holes with rubber-lined dividers for all manner of objects that might ordinarily slide around the cabin. This means there’s no central binnacle, which gives much more legroom to a passenger in the middle seat in the back. Fold down armrests for driver and passenger substitute for the elbow-resting abilities lost in the binnacle’s omission.

The handbrake is a button in the centre of the dash and, while slow to engage and disengage, it works well in conjunction with the hill start function that holds the brakes on until you push the accelerator when starting on an incline.

The MP3-compatible single-CD player sits behind a flip-up fascia in the centre of the dash. The main screen displays functions for the unit, and with the Picasso’s large expanse of glass and relatively flat wide dashboard a decent, punchy sound can be gleaned from it with a bit of tweaking.

There are more buttons on the steering wheel than you can count — audio controls, menu controls, cruise control, speed limiter and internal instrumentation lighting.

The horn isn’t the whole steering wheel but a thin strip of plastic around the bottom of the steering wheel boss which, incidentally, stays fixed while the steering wheel itself moves. Lamp illumination for the headlights and indicators sit just above the steering wheel boss, not on the dashboard. A perfume dispenser resides between the two central air vents, and the air conditioning controls are near the door.

The air conditioning is one of the highlights of the Picasso. It is quad zone. That means you, your passenger and two lucky back-seat passengers can choose a different temperature and fan speed on a digital readout. There are even vents for the third row of passengers. The C4 Picasso is a seven-seater — two children can fit in the back, and there is still some space remaining in the boot (both underneath the floor where the rear seats are stowed, and behind the rear seats.) A second wide-angle rear view mirror enables you to keep an eye on the whole car’s interior.

Six airbags, ESP and the usual electronics to assist you in an emergency are included as standard.

ne of the features I like the most is the removable rechargeable torch in the boot. It doubles as a boot light while in its slot.

On the back of the driver’s and passenger’s seat are two airline-style fold-down trays with a cup recess and elasticated strap, and each rear door window has a pull up sun blind.

Hopefully that’s established for you that on the inside the C4 Picasso comes with all the trimmings. So what’s it like to drive?

Our test model had the turbo diesel that creates 100kW and 270Nm of torque — the torque makes for quick acceleration off the line, but the lack of horsepower starts to show above 50kph, giving a 12.2s dash to 100kph. The diesel is quiet enough on the inside and the ambient noise while travelling is quite low.

Handling dynamics are set up for comfort, though. It has a beautifully compliant ride at any speed on most surfaces, but exhibits early understeer at speed — it’s definitely a cruiser rather than a racer, as you’d expect. At low speeds the steering is light. Manoeuvring is simple in reverse because of the reversing sensors, but trickier going forwards as it’s impossible to tell where the front of the car is.

Does the Citroen crash and burn, or does it soar through the stratosphere of people movers?

The C4 Picasso really is a triumph of passenger-friendly engineering. Given all the technology and functionality you get for your $49,990, it represents great value for money.

Click through to the next page to view full specs of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso

Price: from $49,990

What we like:

  • Everything except for¦

What we don’t like:

  • Can’t see the front — needs some more sensors to aid manoeuvring
  • Understeers easily

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

2.0 SX Auto 2.0 HDI Auto 2.0 SX Auto 2.0 HDI Auto
Engine Comfort and Convenience
4 speed Auto transmission ● Steering wheel, height and tilt adjustable ● ●
6 speed Auto transmission ● Windscreen, wide angle, panoramic ● ●
Power (kW/rpm) EEC 103/6000 100/4000 Steering wheel mounted controls ● ●
Torque (Nm/rpm) EEC 200/4000 270/2000 Rear air suspension o o
Fuel tank 60 60 Steering wheel, fixed hub ● ●
Cruise Control ● ●
Dimensions Speed Limiter ● ●
Length (mm) 4590 4590 Dual climate control aircon, front and rear ● ●
Width (mm) 1830 1830 Pollen and particulate filter ● ●
Height with/ without roof rails (mm) 1680/1710 1680/1710 Air quality sensor ● ●
Wheelbase (mm) 2728 2728 Airfreshener ● ●
Fuel flap, automatic ● ●
Weights/ Capacities (kg) Rain sensing wipers ● ●
Kerb weight 1600 1620 Electric side mirrors ● ●
Gross weight 2260 2320 Electric front and rear windows ● ●
Front rear weight distribution 935/665 970/650 Sun blinds, row 2 seats ● ●
Gross train weight 3660 3620 Opening tailgate window o o
Payload 660 700 Picnic trays on back of front seats ● ●
Towing weight unbraked 750 750 Roof rails ● ●
Towing weight braked with/ without weight transfer 1400/1500 1300/1500 Seven seats ● ●
Max roof rail load on hooks/on roof bars 60/80 70/80 three individual folding/sliding rear seats in row 2 ● ●
Two fold flat/sliding individual seats in row 3 ● ●
Safety and Security Height and angle adjustable front headrests ● ●
ABS with EBD and EBA ● ● Height adjustable headrests ● ●
ESP with ASR traction control ● ● Driver’s seat height adjustment ● ●
Rear parking sensors ● ● Front centre arm rests ● ●
Adaptive twin front airbags ● ● CD Radio with six speakers ● ●
Di k ibDriver knee airbag ●● ●● Di it l d t d tDigital speedometer and rev counter ●● ●●
Front side airbags ● ● Service indicator ● ●
Full length curtain airbags ● ● Exterior temperature gauge with ice alert ● ●
Child surveillance Mirror ● ● Trip computer ● ●
Electric child lock indicator ● ● Black panel function ● ●
Electric park brake (EPB) ● ● Multi colour instrument displace ● ●
Electric windows, anti pinch ● ● Body coloured bumper inserts, side rubbings,
Activation of hazard lights when sudden braking ● ● door handles and door mirrors ● ●
Power steering, variable assistance ● ● 17″ Alloy wheels ● ●
with force limiters ● ● Panoramic glass sun roof o o
Remote central locking with dead locks ● ● Premium Pack o o
Remote headlight operation ● ● Metallic or pearlescent paint o o
Seat warning for all seats ● ●
Traction control ● ● Warranty
Transponder immobilizer ● ● 3 year/100,000 kilometres ● ●
3 year 24 hour roadside assistance ● ●
Storage 12 year corrosion warranty ● ●
Twin dashboard top lockers ● ● 3 year paint warranty ● ●
Front and rear bottle storage lockers ● ●
Under floor lockers in seat row 2 ● ●
Right hand storage locker for row 3 ● ●
Front seat back pockets ● ● ● = Standard o = Optional — = Not available
Illuminated front glove box ● ●
Airconditioned front centre locker ● ●
Luggage area retractable cover ● ●
Lighting and Visibility
Headlights, Halogen, height adjustable ● ●
Remote operation of headlights ● ●
Puddle lights under door mirrors ● ●
Interior lights for all three seat rows ● ●
Boot mounted rechargeable torch ● ●