Bland, boring, dull, unappetising, grey. These are all words you might use to describe the MPV segment. Let’s be honest, there is nothing sexy about a people carrier. It is a tool of function thats objective is to get a group of people from point A to point B in as few trips as possible. Style certainly isn’t top of these cars agendas, or their consumers for that matter. But what if you could have your cake and eat it? What if you could have a seven seat MPV that will transport the masses whilst delivering some flair? This is the 2017 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and it does just that.
This refreshed Picasso looks just as unique as it did at launch especially in our tests cars new signature colour, Lazuli Blue. The thin band of LEDs above its main headlights remain and presents a much more interesting and appealing facia than rivals. There is some new gloss black detailing and more brightwork to give an even more premium feel. The metallic character line that begins at the base of the windscreen and ends by curving around a rearward window is now a lighter tone and works very well with these new 18 inch Python alloy wheels. Intricate rear light clusters complete a design that is more trendy wine bar than children’s creche.
Whilst all of this fancy architecture is a nice departure from the regular MPV tedium, it still needs to function as one. There is a colossal amount of space available within the 2017 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, so much so that I actually think you could loose a child within its cavernous interior. With all seven seats in place you get 165 litres of boot space and two easily deployable jump-seats in the back which are fine for children. In 5 seater mode The boot extends to a vast 793 litres. Those three middle seats are very capable of hosting adults thanks to a flat floor and being individually adjustable. Fold all of the rear seats flat and you have a mammoth 2,181 litres. In our top specification car, with its full length glass panoramic roof and extended windscreen, natural light floods the space further promoting and airy environment. The centrally located instrument binnacle is home to a widescreen display of which is customisable. Below you will find a new 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display that benefits from new more ergonomic software. It also features Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink for Android.
The 2.0 litre diesel BlueHDi engine of this 2017 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso sounds like your stereotypical diesel at idle, but once underway it falls almost completely silent. 150 HP and 370Nm of torque provides good performance even for a car of this size. That torque in particular low in the rev range makes this a very flexible machine. Be it pottering around town or on a motorway, you never feel like there is a lack of get up and go. The tranquility of the drive is further amplified by light control weights and solid refinement traits. However, I would say that these 18 inch alloys do rumble a bit and so a smaller wheel might be a better option. Ride comfort was very cosseting even with the larger wheels. This Picasso’s 6 speed manual transmission does have a rather long throw which isn’t the most satisfying, but the ratios themselves work well with this engine. This car also receives a lot of new technology for this year. Active cruse control, lane keep assist, an active lane departure warning that will put you back in your lane if there is a car in your blindspot, and traffic sign recognition are all at your disposal. Obviously this is no sports car and so vigorous driving doesn’t come naturally to it. Whilst it does lean thought eh careers due to its centre of gravity, there is plenty of grip which is reassuring. Citroen claim that this Grand Picasso will return 65.7 MPG combined and emit just 111g/km CO2.
The 2017 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso refines an already successful recipe that certainly adds some much needed verve to the MPV segment. Beyond its looks, the Picasso is a very good family car that ticks many boxes. You can have the new Grand Picasso from £21,935. Has it done enough to remain the best in class? I certainly think so.