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Citroen C4 Picasso 2015 review: snapshot

Chris Riley road tests and reviews Citroen C4 Picasso at its Australian launch.

Citroen's biggest seller is the Berlingo delivery van, followed by the Grand Picasso, its well-regarded seven-seater with more cachet than other people-movers.

So what made the brand think that by shrinking the car and removing two seats it would sell more cars? Price for one thing.

Launched this week, the full-of-fruit C4 Picasso is priced from $40,990 plus on roads — $4000 less than its larger sibling. It's not a big difference, but Citroen likens the Picasso to a large hatch that will appeal to a different kind of buyer.

The boot with the seat up is the biggest in the segment at 537 litres

Shorter and lower than its Grand sibling, the Picasso still shares a platform with the larger car and related vehicles, including the Peugeot 308.

The rear bench is divided into three individually adjustable seats, all with ISOFIX tether points that can accommodate child seats. The boot with the seat up is the biggest in the segment at 537 litres.

The Picasso's 1.6-litre turbo (121kW/240Nm) is a version of the award-winning engine shared with BMW and Mini, retuned for better low-end response.

It is paired with a new six-speed automatic with paddle-shifters, though progress is leisurely. It's nearly 1900kg in full spec and does 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds.

Claimed thirst is 5.6L/100km — we averaged 8.7L/100km in 300km of mixed driving — and the tank holds 57L of 95 RON.

Citroen delayed the launch of the car so it could get hold of the auto, developed jointly with Aisin, instead of the robotised manual that has been the subject of much criticism.

The Picasso delivers some segment firsts such as a 360-degree view monitor. Its self-parking setup can fit into spots with as little as 20cm clearance.

Standard gear includes satnav, 17-inch alloys, panoramic glass roof, blind spot monitor, front and rear parking sensors, digital radio and dual-zone climate control aircon. The spare is a space-saver.

Drive Assist, a $2000 option, adds lane departure warning, smart beam function, active cruise control, anti-collision warning and active seat belts and electro-chromatic rear vision mirror.

Striking, almost space-age styling cloaks a smorgasbord of technology, with a cabin dominated by the large windscreen and two computer screens.

It could take up to 60 minutes to grasp how the technology works

The upper, super-wide 12-inch screen contains the two main instrument dials plus information panels including full navigation. Choose from three themes or upload your own.

The lower touch-sensitive seven-inch screen controls all on-board and vehicle functions.

It's a gadget lover's dream but many could find the Picasso daunting to drive for the first time — Citroen admits it could take up to 60 minutes to grasp how the technology works — though the driving position is high and all-round vision is good.

It's a case of selling the brand rather than the car

The car performs well with two aboard. It could be a harder slog with a five aboard and large adults may not appreciate the smallish rear seats.

Ride quality is surprisingly supple even though the suspension has not been tuned for local conditions. Citroen says the Picasso is engineered to feel "just like new" even after 45,000km.


As good as it might be, it's a case of selling the brand rather than the car.

The six-year unlimited-kilometre warranty, capped price servicing plus roadside assist and the largest boot in the segment certainly won't hurt.

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Exclusive 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $15,500 – 21,890 2015 Citroen C4 Picasso 2015 Exclusive Pricing and Specs
Exclusive Safari 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $17,700 – 24,640 2015 Citroen C4 Picasso 2015 Exclusive Safari Pricing and Specs
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