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by George Skentzos

In the past, diesel-powered cars have never really found their place in Australia. Both the cars and the fuel which they ran on were more expensive than the petrol alternative – a trend which has usually been reversed in overseas markets.

However in more recent times, diesel cars have become increasingly popular thanks to the soaring price of oil and a growing awareness of environmental issues.

Citroën has taken the first step and will now offer both the 2.0 litre petrol automatic and 2.0 litre HDi automatic variants of its C4 Picasso people mover for the same price until June.

With both models now carrying a price tag of just $39,990, this represents a saving of $4,000 for the diesel model.

“People movers are, for obvious reasons, predominantly bought by families and it is families who are usually the first to feel the affects of a tightening economy,” says Miles Williams, General Manager for Citroën in Australia.

According to VFACTS, private Passenger Car diesel sales rose by 50.6 percent, non-private by 64 percent and SUV diesels by 48.5 percent while petrol powered private car sales dropped by 5.0 percent.

“This means that if a car buyer wants to maintain the space and size of a larger vehicle without fuel bills going through the roof or buy a small car, such as the Citroën C3 HDi with supremely good fuel consumption, there is only one way to go and that is to move diesel. Added to this is the fact that modern diesels, with their wealth of torque for pulling power, are the ideal power units for cars like the C4 Picasso.” says Miles Williams.

Based on the award winning Citroën C4, the new C4 Picasso is only slightly larger than the typical hatchback, and with its diesel engine returns a remarkable 5.9 litres/100 km with emissions further enhanced by a standard particulate filter.

The C4 Picasso also has the highest rating for safety, the Euro-NCAP five star rating.