Billed as a “technospace” by its manufacturer, the first new Citroen C4 Picasso in six years adopts wedgier styling than before, with low-set headlights integrated into the front bar and separate high-set LED daytime running lights.
The interior design is claimed to be “loft-like” with an “uncluttered ambience”. A panoramic windscreen continues to feature, with optional massage seats adding to what Citroen describes as achieving “business-class travel standards”. On some models, the centre console is removeable, while storage is available under both rows of seating.
A massive 12-inch panoramic HD screen sits atop the dash, with a seven-inch touchscreen below it.
New features include a 360-degree camera, auto-parking technology, active cruise control, active front seatbelts, auto high-beam dipping, lane-departure warning, and Citroen eTouch integrated emergency calling and vehicle assist technology.
Compared with its predecessor, the new Citroen C4 Picasso – unveiled first in five-seat form – is 40mm shorter, yet the wheelbase grows by 53mm and tracks extend by 82mm front and 31mm rear. Frontal overhang is reduced by a full 70mm, while the engine is mounted 50mm lower to improve centre of gravity.
The C4 Picasso is also now 140kg lighter due to the use of lightweight, but high-strength aluminium in parts of the body, and other weight-saving materials. It is built on a new PSA Citroen-Peugeot Group platform known as Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2).
Cargo capacity increases by 40-litres to 537L, or up to 630L with each of the individual centre row chairs moved forward. The middle trio of seats can also fold fully flat or recline.
A 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine model with 67kW, called the C4 Picasso e-HDi 90, mates with a six-speed automated manual gearbox to claim just 3.8L/100km combined, with corresponding 98g/km CO2
The 86kW C4 Picasso e-Hdi 115 uses 4L/100km and emits 104g/km of CO2
The first-ever Citroen turbo diesel that treats NOx emissions, the BlueHDi 150 flagship diesel, emits 110g/km of CO2
but crucially cuts air pollution emissions by 90 per cent. The engine uses the post-detonation exhaust treatment additive known as AdBlue to dramatically cut nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, which is a major contributor to respiratory illness particularly in urban centres. Diesel engines typically emit around 10 times more NOx than a petrol engine, but few diesel models include the expensive AdBlue treatment.
While a six-speed manual transmission is available on all three models, the six-speed automated manual is only available on the e-HDi 90 and e-HDi 115 models. A regular six-speed automatic will be added in the first half of 2014.
A breed of petrol engines are also expected to follow, likewise an extended-wheelbase seven-seat C4 Grand Picasso version – currently the only variant of C4 Picasso sold in Australia.
It is unclear which cars Citroen will offer here, but the new local distributor Sime Darby has committed to offering an expanded model lineup and increasing the value proposition of the French range of cars.