As a journalist you often have to do a lot of traveling in order to get to what you are writing about. For the past two weeks I have been on the road attending launches in this country and abroad, as well as journeying up and down our green and pleasant land for up and coming special features. For the first week I was driving my own personal MK3 Toyota MR2 which is a fantastic car. I haven’t had it too long so I thought “it will be nice to put some serious miles on it.” The first few hundred miles were great, don’t get me wrong, but when you are pounding the tarmac for hours its harsh ride and cabin noise starts to wear on you. A full week of many more miles than anyone should have to do in that type of car resulted in fillings being shaken out of my teeth and my lower back being ground into dust. Week two rolled around and just before heading to a hospital to be reconstructed into something that resembled a human being, I took delivery of a new 2015 Citroen C4 Grand Picasso in top of the line Exclusive trim. French luxury for the next 7 days might just be the recuperation my body requires.
Looking fantastically modern in design, the 2015 Citroen C4 Grand Picasso bathed in Teles Blue Metallic soon got the neighbours curtains twitching. Its unique thin band of LEDs that sit above the main lights stylise what is usually a bland facia in the people mover segment. Even the roof rails have been reimagined, wrapping themselves around the car makes them a design feature as well as something of function. Tasteful chrome details adds to the majestic yet futuristic profile of this car. People carriers before this one were purely machines of function and certainly not objects of desire, however, this new Picasso reimagines what a large MPV can represent.
The interior is exactly what you want from a big expensive Citroen. This vast space can house seven and, just like the exterior, features further unique design. Sitting centrally is a large widescreen digital instrument panel which is customisable as to what it displays. A touch screen sits below and serves as an interface for climate control and infotainment. Vents are highlighted with aluminium and soft touch materials coat almost everything you come into contact with. Then there are the seats! Upholstered in a fine quality of leather, these black and amber marvels are exactly what the doctor ordered for my broken back. Supportive, heated and massaging, these mobile armchairs were a godsend. The second row seats three with each chair capable of reclining. Head and leg room is able for all three occupants in this area as the transmission tunnel is almost flush with the floor. Reading lights, folding tea trays and air conditioning vents means that life in the back of this Citroen C4 Picasso is just as lavish as the front. Its rearmost seats are suitable for children or a short journey with an adult. Even with the seats in place there is still enough boot space for a few bags. All of the seats fold down and into the floor with the simple pull of a tab creating a flat load bay. This car was optioned with the larger front windscreen that extends back over your head as well as the huge glass panoramic roof. Natural light floods the cabin crating a nice airy feel as a whole.
Its quiet turbocharged 1.6 litre engine also soothed my bloodied ears as the car traveled along with a hushed tranquility. This engine does have a touch of turbo lag and the six speed manual gearbox can be a touch notchy at times, but those are my only niggles with this drivetrain. Around town the suspension soaks up road imperfections without any fuss at all and the steering is nice and light. It is a car that doesn’t demand too much of you to drive it, promoting a relaxing experience behind the wheel. Visibility is good due to all of the glass around the Picasso, but in addition to that our test car was fitted with a 360 degree birds eye camera feature which makes parking this sizeable machine easy. If parking still proves troublesome for you, the C4 Grand Picasso can be optioned with a function that allows it to park itself in either a parallel or bay space. Heading out to complete my motorway journeys this car really showed its hand. Set the cruise control, which will also slow you down as the traffic ahead does, and this French beauty will happily cruise you all the way to your destination whilst you relax a little. With some music on the stereo the miles fly by and you arrive at your final stop unflustered and calm. Best of all is that 7 people can be transported in this mobile living room.
The 2015 Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is undoubtably one of the best people carriers on sale today. From a practicality point of view it ticks the box and this diesel engine makes a strong 70.6MPG case for itself in terms of economy. Our test car may have come to £30,005 with every toy under the sun being thrown at it, but this week it was worth every penny.