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by Matt Campbell

The new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is a new car from the ground up, and joins the French brand’s local range as its most family-friendly offering yet.

The seven-seat wagon is priced from $43,990 – $4500 more than the car it replaces, but with plenty of standard equipment to offset that hike. See the full pricing and specifications of the new model here.

With one engine and gearbox option, one body style and one trim level available, Citroen is keeping it simple with this clever and compact people mover, which is shorter in length than a Mazda 6.

Here’s CarAdvice’s 10-step guide to the new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.

Pricing
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The new model is $43,990 and, at a glance, it seems pretty good value. Rather than offer a more affordable base model, Citroen has decided to go all out with a long list of standard gear. There are options such as a Lounge Pack with full leather trim ($5000) and 18-inch alloys ($1500), but most of the family essentials are already accounted for.

Performance
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Let’s face it – 0-100km/h times aren’t at the top of most seven-seat wagon buyers’ priority lists. The Citroen is no different, but this model focuses on engine efficiency as its headline act. It’s the first BlueHDi engine (which uses AdBlue to help it run cleanly) to be offered in Australia, and has a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.5L/100km – and the first diesel to gain a five-star rating from the government’s Green Vehicle Guide.

Auto
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A column shift six-speed automatic replaces the existing EGS (electronic gear shift) automated manual unit which was renowned for its clumsy shifts. Citroen claims the new ‘box has quicker shifts, less noise and returns better fuel consumption by dropping the average engine speed by 200rpm and lengthening the top gear ratios by 20 per cent. It’s also two kilograms lighter than the old EGS.

Safety
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There’s no denying that items such as a 360-degree camera, automated parking and front and rear sensors means the car is equipped for convenience – but family buyers may be concerned at the lack of airbag protection for the occupants in the rearmost seats. The curtain airbags only extend to the second row, while front occupants get head and side protection (six ‘bags in total).

Seats
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There are seven as standard, with a sliding second row and a pair of rear chairs that are designed for quick-flick, one-touch stowage. The optional Lounge Pack adds an ottoman/foot-rest for the front passenger seat ($2500 with part-leather or $5000 full leather). There are three ISOFIX child seat anchor points in the second row.

Space
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The wheelbase of the new car has been stretched by 110mm, the track has been widened by 82mm at the front and 31mm at the rear, while the body length stays the same at 4600mm. Citroen claims interior space is better for second and third row occupants, with 55mm more space in the middle and 16mm more for back seat bandits. The standard panoramic glass roof allows a whopping 5.70m2 of glazing inside the cabin.

Boot
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Citroen says the boot has increased in space by about 10 per cent, with a 632-litre capacity with the second row slid back as far as it can go (or 793L with the second row all the way forward). The boot totals 165L with all rows up, and measures 1170mm between the wheel arches. The boot door itself is largely made of composite plastic to help make it easier to close.

Screens
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With a huge 12.0-inch panoramic top screen and a lower 7.0-inch touch-operated infotainment system, the Citroen makes its rivals seem behind the times. The central top unit is used as a display for “essential driving information” such as the speedometer and tachometer, navigation and camera views, and it can even be customised with one of your favourite family pictures via USB upload. The bottom screen is the main interface, with controls for media, climate, navigation, telephone and car settings.

Lightweight
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The new model may have more packed in, but it is 100kg lighter than the car it replaces, with a kerb weight of 1440kg. Citroen says 70 per cent of the weight saving comes from the new modular platform, while the rest comes down to its lower height, plastic tailgate, aluminium bonnet and high-strength steel body reinforcement.

Testing
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Citroen says more than 3.5 million kilometres of testing was conducted to fine tune the new model, with 1000 professional and non-professional drivers involved across Germany, Sweden and Spain.

Click the Photos tab to see more images of the new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.




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