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First UK drive: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Flair BlueHDi 150
18 August 2017
Author: Debbie Wood
The popularity of the traditional MPV, or multipurpose vehicle, has been shrinking for some time now, as UK buyers move towards SUV and crossover alternatives.
Choices in this segment are becoming few and far between, with only the most popular and practical models standing the test of time.
Citroen's Grand C4 Picasso has always been a popular choice in this sector and, following a mid-life facelift in 2016, the seven-seat family car comes with more tech and comfort features to keep it up to date with the competition.
Top-of-the range luxury
You can now buy the Grand C4 Picasso in three trims here in the UK - Touch, Feel and Flair. We're testing the latter and, as you would expect from a top-of-the-range car, it comes filled to the brim with equipment as standard.
The highlights include blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone air-con with vents across all rows of seats, keyless entry, hands-free boot opening, seat back tables for rear passengers, panoramic sunroof, LED lights, 18in alloy wheels and Apple Carplay.
Inside features a futuristic and unclutted cabin that offers good quality throughout; the refreshed digital display is still split between two screens - a 7in touchpad and a 12in HD screen, which although a little tricky to understand at first, still feels modern and is a great way to display all of the information needed for the driver.
The new upgraded Connect Nav system is more intuitive than before too and features the latest connectivity software, while the new hands-free tailgate available on our test car is also really easy to operate.
The Grand C4 Picasso majors on practicality and comes stacked with interior storage options with compartments in the floor for rear passengers, large door bins, a big centre cubbie, an extra cubbie in the centre of the dashboard and a large glovebox.
As a five-seater, the car comes with 793 litres of boot space, which is more than adequate for the weekly shop or family break, and with all seven seats up, this reduces down to a still usable 165 litres.
Space inside is very good too with plenty of headroom and legroom on offer in the front and rear, while third row seats are ideal for small children. Rear passenger seats can also be slid forwards and backwards independently too, and all seats bar the drivers can be folded down, allowing longer items to be transported.
As well as spacious, the cabin also feels light and airy thanks to the large standard panoramic sunroof on Flair-spec'd models and the cars adaptable windscreen that can be enlarged or reduced to bring in more light.
There's a range of petrol and diesel engines available in the Grand C4 Picasso, including the excellent 1.2-litre PureTech range; however, its diesel takes the bulk of sales here in the UK.
This 2.0-litre 150hp unit is a popular choice as it offers a good mix of low running costs and power. With 150hp and 370Nm of torque, the car feels brisk on its feet and can officially complete the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in under ten seconds.
At low speeds, the engine can be a little noisy to accelerate at times; however, once on the motorway, the car is a comfortable cruiser, and the six-speed manual mated to the car here proved slick and well judged too, and the steering is well weighted.
Thanks to the cars small turning circle, driving around the city or parking in your local multistorey is easy work, plus there's enough grip to offer some confidence in the corners.
Official figures include a combined fuel economy of 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 111g/km, and whole-life costs are also competitive with the Grand C4 Picasso costing 66.8p a mile based on a three year and 60,000 mile cycle.
Because this latest model has been on sale since 2013, residual values have now started to dwindle and facelifts along the way, including this one in September last year, have helped keep the Citroen fresh. We think, despite the falling demand for MPVs, the Grand C4 Picasso remains one of the best practical family car choices on the market today and will continue to live on for some time yet.