One of Citroen’s most consistently well-liked cars.

Introduction

The five-seat C4 Picasso and seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso are super-practical machines that tick the MPV box to a tee. They eschew the current SUV craze in the interests of optimum practicality, and are all the better for it. Two ideal models for the tricky task of carrying people and keeping them all happy.

 

Body Style: MPV Seats: 5 or 7 MRP from £20,175 - £29,900 

 

Did you know? Citroen pays royalties to the Picasso Administration for the rights to use the famous artist’s name.

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Verdict:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Citroen has been building a Picasso-branded people carrier since 1999, and has constantly perfected the formula over several generations in that time.

Design & Exterior

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Interior & Comfort

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Technology & Connectivity

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Performance & Handling

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Safety Features

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Spec & Trim Levels

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Running Costs & Fuel Economy

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Pricing

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

We Like

Family-friendly interior

Comfortable

Lots of tech for the money

We Don't Like

A bit dull to drive

Dash controls can be fiddly

No luggage space in 7st Grand C4 Picasso mode

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Design & Exterior:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

The Citroen C4 Picasso is a people carrier that’s proud of its upright stance, deep body sides and ultra-glassy cabin. It’s not trying to be something it’s not, and the the interior benefits enormously from this, as we’ll see. That’s not to say it’s dull and formulaic, though - far from it. Like many modern Citroens, this is a vehicle that’s anything but dull.

It has a classy appearance, further enhanced by greater use of chrome trim with the 2016 facelift. It also has a distinctive front end, with split headlight units placing the LED running lights up high and the main units lower down. Black roof pillars and some contrast roof colours add to the effect - it’s an MPV with which you can have almost Mini-like customisation. The C4 Picasso is the sportier and more rakish of the two, with the seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso sporting a more upright look, but one that’s still more curvaceous than box-like MPVs of old.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Interior & Comfort: ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

Inside is where the C4 Picasso needs to do well. It does, particularly with the super-airy feel afforded by its massive panoramic windscreen, although this is tempered by the fact the overall design is starting to show its age a little: it lacks the designery flair of more modern Citroens, and isn’t as premium in feel as more modern Peugeot-Citroens. It’s better-served by the technology installed within though, particularly the distinctive centre touchscreen that’s standard on all models and masterminds most of the car’s controls. Sure, it’s rather fiddly, having to press several buttons simply to change the temperature, but it’s neat tech once you’re familiar with it.

Mounted above this screen is an excellent large-format set of digital instruments, which look great. Widescreen sat nav feeds through this panel, where fitted, and it allows everyone to see where you’re going (and how fast you’re moving). Indeed, the open-plan feel to the C4 Picasso’s cockpit is one of its most appealing aspects, something reinforced by the large glass area and brilliant forward visibility from its ultra-thin windscreen pillars.

The seats up front are comfortable, and the three chairs in the middle row are good for growing families. Each slides and reclines individually, which is a nice touch, and there are fold-up tables on the front seat backs. The third-row seats in the Grand C4 Picasso are a lot more cramped, naturally, but they’re OK for kids and Citroen has been careful to engineer in oft-overlooked details such as ample space for feet. As with all the other seats, they get their own head restraints, while their occupants are well served with cupholders and air vents.

Practicality

The C4 Picasso and, in particular, the Grand C4 Picasso are designed for maximum practicality. The ingenious folding configurations of the seats are practicality personified - the base outer middle row seats springs up so you can slide it forward and open up a huge walk-through space to the third row, for example. It can also raise up to form a booster seat for children.

Seats individually fold in every which way: if you want, you can lower four rear seats and leave just the middle seat perched upright between the front seats. The third-row seats in the Grand C4 Picasso fold flat into the floor, and the middle seats also lay down flat, for a completely level van-like space.

And what space it offers. In the Grand C4 Picasso, with all the seats down, there’s an extraordinary 2181 litres of space, making it more like a van than a car. The space is well-shaped with square dimensions and plenty of width. Even the five-seat C4 Picasso has 1851 with the seats down - and 630 litres with them up. In five-seat mode, the Grand C4 Picasso has betwen 632-793 litres, depending on where you’ve positioned the sliding rear seats, but this drops to just 165 litres with all seven seats in use.

Boot space

Min: 630 litres (Grand C4 Picasso: 165 litres)
Max: 1851 litres (Grand C4 Picasso: 2181 litres) 

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Technology & Connectivity: ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

Citroen serves you well for technology and connectivity in the C4 Picasso. All models get the fancy 7in Touch Drive interface, through which is controlled the climate control, stereo and telephone. Bluetooth with media streaming is standard, as is a USB socket, and a DAB radio is controlled through steering wheel buttons. Even both Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity are included.

Move one trim up from base and Citroen throws in its Connect Box emergency contact system - if you crash, you can jab one button to speak to an operator and alert emergency services. Sat nav is standardised, as is the striking 12in panoramic HD central display. Move up to Flair and a fancy high-tech Park Assist self-parking system is standard, along with a reversing camera, blind spot monitoring and keyless go. All models get LED running lights as well.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Performance & Handling:★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

The C4 Picasso is not a sports car in disguise. It places great emphasis, quite rightly, on ride quality. Around town, it proves supple on everyday roads, absorbing bumps with a layer of reasonably soft cotton wool and not degenerating too much until roads get really gritty. The ride is quiet as well, although at higher speeds, its tall body and supple setup means passengers can roll about a bit. Beware if anyone gets carsick.

There’s much less emphasis on handling, so it doesn’t really matter that the light steering doesn’t have much feel, and it isn’t all that eager to whip through twisting roads. Best sit back and take things steady - your passengers will certainly appreciate this, particularly those in the seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso.

Most C4 Picasso owners choose diesel, and we don’t blame them. Both the 1.6 BlueHDi and 2.0 BlueHDi are effortless and easy going, with many years’ experience of making friendly diesel engines showing in their likeable nature. A surprise alternative is the petrol engine - it sounds small, at 1.2 litres, but the PureTech motor performs surprisingly well. It’s not rocket-ship fast, but it’s almost as flexible as the diesels and is less rattly around town. Given the cash saving on offer, it’s worth at least taking a test drive.

Recommended engine: 1.6 BlueHDi 120

0-62 MPH

11.7 seconds

Fuel economy

70.6 mpg

Emissions

105g/km (16in wheels)

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Safety Features: ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

In 2013, Euro NCAP awarded the C4 Picasso a five-star safety rating, with 86% for adult occupant and an even better 88% for child occupant. Pedestrian protection is less impressive but it scored well for safety assist - and improvements since the facelift mean it would likely perform similarly well today.

There are ISOFIX mounting points on all rear seats, standard cruise control with speed limiter, unfastened seatbelt warning on all seats and hazard lights that flash automatically if you slow down or change lane sharply. All models get rear parking sensors and all but base trim lacks front parking sensors. The top trim’s 360-degree around-view parking camera gives further supermarket car park safety, while faster-road convenience is aided by the availability of automatic headlight main beam assist.

Further optional active safety features include radar cruise control with collision alert, active lane departure warning and, yes, active blind spot assist. Every car has a coffee break warning as standard, and an optional driver alert system is also offered. You can even get a traffic sign recognition system.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Specs and Trim Levels:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

Colours

It’s rather a limited range of colours for the C4 Picasso: there are only seven, and four of them are very sobre: Shark grey, Cumulus grey, Soft sand and Onyx black. More vibrant is Polar white, but the two most attractive colours are Ruby red and the gorgeous Lazuli blue. You can combine them with a black roof and door mirrors for a fancier look.

Interior colours include norma Slate grey with either cloth or half-leather, a richer Dune grey and a very avant-garde Levanzo blue cloth. You can’t get full leather in a C4 Picasso.

Trim Levels

Trim levels are pleasingly simple: Touch Edition, Feel and Flair. No silly names or indecipherable letters here. Touch Edition models have 16-inch alloys, front fog lights and body-colour door handles and mirrors, so they don’t look too downmarket. Inside, they have air con, alarm, electric door mirrors and a height-adjust driver’s seat.

Feel is more popular. It adds the striking-looking 12in central instrument display, the option of Levanzo blue cloth, electric-fold door mirrors, bigger 17-inch alloys, more chrome exterior trim and fog lights that see around corners.

Flair is very well-equipped indeed. It has 18-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, reversing camera, keyless-go, part-leather seats, blind spot monitor and a front passenger seat that has extra fold-out panels so you can recline it like an aircraft seat. There’s even built-in massaging.

Size and Dimensions

The Grand C4 Picasso is longer and a little taller than the C4 Picasso. That’s because it has a longer wheelbase, which liberates more space for those in the back. They’re the same width though. Towing weights range from 640kg for the 1.2-litre C4 Picasso, to 750kg for the powerful 2.0-litre BlueHDi.

Length

4438 mm (Grand C4 Picasso: 4602 mm)

Width

1826 mm (Grand C4 Picasso: 1826 mm)

Height

1625 mm (Grand C4 Picasso: 1644 mm)

Max towing weight without brake

From 640 kg (1.2 PureTech) - 750kg (2.0 BlueHDi 150 EAT6)

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Running Costs & Fuel Economy:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

Fuel economy is eyebrow-raising. The petrol averages up to 56.5mpg in 130hp guise, even in Grand C4 Picasso form. As for the diesels, how economical do you want your people carrier? Take a C4 Picasso 1.6 BlueHDi 120 and official combined economy of 74.3mpg is yours, combined with CO2 emissions of just 100g/km. Bigger wheels will knock a few mpg off that, but it’s still impressive. Even the automatic 2.0-litre BlueHDi will averages up to 65.7mpg.

Reliability and servicing

Citroen has long been able to do better in this area, but its latest cars show it is at least getting there. The well-proven C4 Picasso is decent for dependability, though we’d perhaps avoid the top-spec Flair for ultimate long-term reliability, given all the fancy electronics fitted to it.

Petrol

12 months or 12,500 miles

Diesel

12 months or 16,000 miles

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Pricing:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso

Base petrol-engine C4 Picasso are very competitively priced. You can get a 1.2 PureTech 110 Touch Edition for just over £20,000 - that’s Ford Focus five-door hatch money. We prefer the Feel trim, mind, and that forces an upgrade to the 1.2 PureTech 130: it’s yours for £22k. Need seven seats instead of five? The Grand C4 Picasso costs around £1500 more.

Want a diesel? You’re looking at from £21k for a basic 100hp Touch Edition C4 Picasso: the preferable 1.6 BlueHDi 120 Feel is just over £23k, with the Grand C4 Picasso costing just under £25,000. Move to Flair trim and things quickly become expensive: a 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 with an auto, in seven-seat Grand guise, is £30k.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Recommendations

Cost Conscious

1.2 PureTech 100 Touch Edition - if the most for least cash is all, you won’t feel short-changed here

Large Families

1.6 BlueHDi 120 Feel Grand - the perfect family seven-seater that wants for nothing

Luxury Seeker

2.0 BlueHDi 150 EAT6 Flair Grand - limo-like space and luxury. You even get a massage seat like in a Mercedes S-Class

Rivals

Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max

More utilitarian-looking than the Citroens, both outside and in, but they’re the driver’s choice for people-lugging families

Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic

Renault has reinvented the MPV with a crossover SUV look. The Scenic looks really striking and it’s OK to drive, too

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Ageing now, but still worth a look as it’s very practical. Drives better than you’d think as well

Volkswagen Touran

It looks boxy and utilitarian, but it feels posher inside, and exhibits plenty of Germanic logic throughout

Kia Carens

The value-priced seven-seat people carrier. Again, Kia’s compact MPV is not new or particularly standout, but you get a lot for your cash

What others say

Top Gear

“The latest C4 Picasso is comfier and more versatile than the SUV crossovers that are all the rage.”

Car Buyer

“There are a number of MPV rivals able to accommodate large families, but few are as cutting-edge in design as the attractive Grand C4 Picasso.”

 

2017 Citroen C4 Picasso