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  • Family friendly features; elegant interior; amazing visibility; smooth drive and great driving package; good price when compared to an SUV of similar size.
  • Looks of an MPV; quirky ergonomics.

LIFESTYLE RATING
9 / 10



by Benn Sykes

I’m 32-years-old, recently married and even more recently, a new father. With the little lad but four-weeks-old, my CarAdvice colleagues decided to hand me the keys to the new Citroen C4 Picasso for the weekend, to put Australia’s newest multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) through its paces.

I must confess that being a new – and first time – dad, the concept of a ‘people mover’ is something totally foreign to me. It’s therefore more than a little understandable that when I first get my hands on the Citroen C4 Picasso I’m a little indifferent.

MPVs are a very odd shape. Not an SUV – though the driver and passenger seats are somewhat elevated – but not a station wagon either. Perhaps the best way to approach it is as a hybrid of both. Whatever your view, the look of the French five-seater grows on me over the weekend.

Sitting inside, you immediately notice the bright and futuristic design Citroen has managed to create in the cockpit. The sheer amount of space taken up by the expansive wrap-around windows creates a bit of an illusion, making things feel more glasshouse than car, while the centre-mounted driver display completes the ‘spaceship’ feel.

The C4 Picasso’s contrasting two-tone leather, featured on the seats, dash and inserts, tends to divide opinion. Personally, I’m a fan. To me it feels stylish and quintessentially French. Overall for mine, the whole interior befits the Citroen’s luxury Euro tag.

2015 Citroen C4 Picasso Review: New baby weekender

Teaming a 121kW/240Nm turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic, the front-wheel-drive Picasso proves far more enjoyable to drive than I had expected. I’m sure I’m not the first father to say this, but since the arrival of the little one, I don’t seem to drive at a million miles an hour any more. It goes beyond that too.

Rather than being fixated on 0-100km/h times and razor sharp handling, I now find myself far more concerned with safety, comfort and overall ‘driveability’. And for me and my wife – and let’s assume my son – it’s in these criteria that the Citroen delivers in spades. Even on the odd occasion that I do put my foot to the floor, the car doesn’t miss a beat.

Perfection, though, is notoriously hard to attain and ergonomically the Citroen C4 Picasso takes a bit of time to figure out, The unconventional positioning of almost everything, for example, is enough to drive (pun intended) you spare.

From the steering column-mounted automatic shifter to the almost-hidden door handles and centre dash-mounted handbrake, decisions made by Citroen’s layout engineers leave me constantly trying to remember where everything is. As is often the case, though, things get easier to adjust to as the weekend wears on but it remains a recurrent frustration.

2015 Citroen C4 Picasso Review: New baby weekender

With the weekend well underway, it was time to put the MPV’s practicality to the test. Now, neither my wife nor I are the tallest people in the world. I’m five-foot nine inches on a good day and we both find getting in and out of the C4 Picasso a far easier task than climbing up and into the BMW X3 we currently own.

Thanks to the Citroen’s ISOFIX child seat anchorage points, fitting in (and later removing) our compatible child safety seat is also quick and easy. And even with the child seat in place, the 4428mm-long Citroen provides quite a bit of room for the front passenger – another luxury not afforded to us in our current car.

With the little fella comfortably settled in and all the accompaniments packed  away, it becomes clear just how capable the car is for small families like ours. The generous open plan boot – expandable from 537 litres to 630L thanks to sliding rear seats – allows us to fit our large pram and nappy bag and still have room for more.

Other family-friendly toys I previously wouldn’t have been overly excited by include windows with built-in sunblinds, fold-down tray tables fixed to the back of the front seats and ‘soft light’ globes – the latter focusing light on the child seat anchor points, ensuring baby isn’t startled every time a door is opened.

2015 Citroen C4 Picasso Review: New baby weekender

Valuing my wife’s opinion – and our new marriage – I give her some time in the driver’s seat. She immediately praises how light the car feels compared with our car. And, of course, she’s right. At 1310kg, the compact Citroen is 410kg lighter than the longer BMW.

She likes that she still feels “high up” and “safe” and, according to her, “Everything just feels light and smooth.” My wife also doesn’t struggle any where near as much as I did when it comes to familiarisation with the Citroen’s cabin ergonomics, but she dislikes the two-tone interior.

We both note how quiet things are inside too, but for us, and this might sound odd, this is more a con than a pro. Allow me to explain.

Our little one seems to like the bumps and white noise our regular SUV provides, with the hushed ambience of the C4 Picasso seemingly a little too quiet for junior. So impressive cabin noise and unconventional ergonomics aside, the Citroen C4 Picasso has the family fairly convincingly won over.

For our small – yet likely to expand – clan, the C4 Picasso works well and makes a lot of sense. Priced from $40,990 before on-road costs (another pleasing fact for the missus), it’s a very tempting proposition in the baby/child-focused market.

Would we buy one? Well, yes. It’s slightly cheaper than some similarly sized SUVs, has the potential to better them in running costs and still offers excellent space, comfort and features.

2015 Citroen C4 Picasso Review: New baby weekender

Clearly designed and built with a family like ours in mind, the Citroen C4 Picasso is not without fault, but as a new parent who is constantly making changes to my lifestyle for the sake of my son, this would be a very pleasant change to make.

Click on the Photos tab for more images of the Citroen C4 Picasso by Benn Sykes.

Read CarAdvice’s full technical Citroen C4 Picasso Review here.


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CITROEN C4 PICASSO BREAKDOWN

2015 Citroen C4 Picasso Review: New baby weekender
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  • 9.5
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Citroen C4 Picasso Specs

EXCLUSIVE : MY15 : 1.6L TURBO MPFI - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
CITROEN
Model
C4 PICASSO
Variant
EXCLUSIVE
Series
MY15
Year
2015
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$28,380 - $32,250
Dealer Retail
$28,770 - $34,210
Dealer Trade
$22,100 - $25,800
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
1.6L
Cylinders
TURBO 4
Max. Torque
240Nm @  1400rpm
Max. Power
121kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
92.4W/kg
Bore & Stroke
77x85.8mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
57Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
5.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1310
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1644mm
Length
4428mm
Width
1826mm
Ground Clearance
150mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1400  Unbrake:685
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.8
Front Rim Size
7x17
Rear Rim Size
7x17
Front Tyres
205/55 R17
Rear Tyres
205/55 R17
Wheel Base
2785
Front Track
1581
Rear Track
1584
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Hydraulic self levelling
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Sunroof
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Holder, Traction Control System
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control Rear, Power Steering, Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation, Trip Computer
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Control & Handling
Alloy Wheels Special
Exterior
Metallic Paint, Power Tailgate
Interior
Leather Upholstery
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
72 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Eng Scuttle
Country of Origin
France