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Citroen Grand C4 Picasso vs Honda Odyssey VTi


Little French master or space odyssey? Richard Blackburn rates the people-movers

value

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

$43,990

Comes with a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, 360 degree "top-view" camera, self-parking, satnav, Bluetooth, two USB ports and three 12-volt plugs. Metallic paint adds $800 and power tailgate $1000. Service intervals are 15,000km and cost $2053 over three years. Resale is not great at 49 per cent. Warranty is generous at six years/unlimited km, as is six years roadside assist.

Honda Odyssey VTi

$38,990

It's $5000 cheaper than the Citroen, but is almost a size bigger and gets an extra seat. It misses out on the Citroen's satnav, park assist, sunroof, blind spot monitor and rear window shades, but matches the two USB ports, reversing camera and Bluetooth. Resale is a healthy 59 per cent, warranty an average three years/100,000km, and fixed price servicing is $1626.

design

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

French flair in the cabin mixes clever packaging, technology, modern finishes and thoughtful inclusions. Mix and match legroom aft with adjustable and reclinable second row seats. Middle row gets aircraft-style fold-down tables and vents for dual-zone aircon. Test car's $5000 pack includes power, heated leather seats with massaging function.

Honda Odyssey VTi

The cabin feels dowdy in comparison to the Citroen, but it offers what people-mover buyers want — space and practicality. It has significantly more rear legroom and space behind the third row seats, so it can take the kids and their luggage. And unlike the Citroen, the odyssey has air-con outlets in all three rows with separate rear controls. Sliding side doors are more carpark-friendly.

technology

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The 2.0-litre turbodiesel is ideally suited to people-moving: quiet, refined and with tonnes of pulling power for highway cruising. Fuel efficiency is exceptional, at a claimed 4.5L/100km.

Honda Odyssey VTi

The 2.4-litre four-cylinder revs freely and quietly and is frugal for a petrol engine at 7.8L/100km (thanks to stop-start) but is ultimately no match for the Citroen both in acceleration and efficiency.

safety

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Six airbags, Isofix child seat anchors, blind spot monitor, electronic parking brake and hill start assist. A $2000 pack adds radar cruise with collision alert, active seat belts and lane departure warning. Curtain airbags don't reach the third row, a major oversight.

Honda Odyssey VTi

Matches the airbag count of the Citroen, but misses out on blind spot warning. It does, however, have curtain airbags that extend to the third row.

driving

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Above average road manners for a people-mover, with accurate steering, good roadholding and a comfy ride, save for the odd loud thump over potholes. Good vision and comfortable seats make for relaxed driving.

Honda Odyssey VTi

After the car-like dynamics of the previous model, the new one is a disappointment to drive. It feels a little like a commercial van, with a bumpy ride and ponderous steering. But while it won't provide much joy to the driving enthusiast, the roomy, well-ventilated cabin will keep the kids from driving you crazy.

Verdict

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Honda Odyssey VTi

There's nothing between the two: The Picasso has style and the Odyssey has substance, and in the end, the target market needs the latter.