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FASHION BRAIN • Motoring & Automotive

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is a sweet ride that won't break the bank... 

If you are looking for a new MPV that is stylish, comfortable and full of safety features that won’t hurt your bank balance, then check out the latest C4 Grand Picasso MPV from legendary French car manufacturer Citroen.

We were nothing short of impressed upon first seeing the vehicle in the parking lot. It looks larger than it really is and sits in the same segment as many popular Japanese and Korean compact MPVs currently on the market. But this MPV takes the game up a notch as the local Citroen dealer has priced it very competitively against lesser rivals from the East, while giving it more safety features and luxury appointments.

C4 Grand Picasso sun roofDesign speak

Its execution, within and without, remains thoughtful and intelligent, like all Citroen offerings. It seats seven people comfortably and if only five seats are used, there will be ample cargo or luggage room in the rear. Styled and sized to take up a little more space than an executive sedan, it has a typical design profile that has grown to be very popular in recent years.

In fact, if you were to take a long hard look at it you will come away thinking that it is more of a sport wagon than a family-friendly MPV. Additionally, Citroen's marketing strategy for this new C4 Grand Picasso seems targeted at not only families but also young urban singles and couples looking for a trendy lifestyle vehicle.

Light on the feet, heavy on the corners

What a fully laden MPV really needs is an engine blessed with plenty of low-end grunt, and Citroen’s two-litre four-cylinder power plant doesn’t disappoint in this respect.

The engine has a clean torque output of 1471b. ft, which makes this MPV feel pleasingly light-footed, especially when accelerating away from the lights. Since this C4 Grand Picasso is built on the same platform as a car, it's not surprising that it shares its sedan sibling's bottom-pampering ride.

Big bumps are sponged away effortlessly, with little tyre or suspension noise intruding into the cabin. The price you pay for the supple comfortable ride is a less-than-agile handling in tight bends, which is still rather impressive.

While the steering is accurate enough, the car's tall body leans heavily into corners when pushed hard with a full load. It must be mentioned that MPVs are not sports cars and on-the-limit handling is not the order of the day.

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso seat configurationSeat configuration

The seating arrangement is 2-3-2 rather than the more common 2-2-3 in other MPVS, and this means those in the second row still get their own big, comfy seats. A clever flip forward and slide mechanism allows the middle-row seat to easily flip forward for access to the third row.

Third row seats easily fold flat into the cargo floor, making luggage loading a quick and simple task. All five seats in the rear get three-point seat belts.

Citroen leads the competition by a large margin with a list of other very family-friendly features which we found really great, such as the separate air-conditioning vents and controls for the rear passengers on the rear side-pillars, full-length glass roof with power sliding cover and rear window blinds. It also has high safety features such as ESP, ABS, EBD and EBA.

Sounds interesting? Then make an appointment for a test drive – it’s the only way to truly understand the value of this MPV in a crowded market segment.

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