RAC Cars News


New Citroen C4 Picasso Revealed

By raccars Published

Sales figures from the last few years have concluded that the average family has changed. In regards to their motoring needs, the average British family has began to shy away from miniature MPVs, such as the Citroen C4 Picasso and Renault Scenic, and more in favour of cross over designs. The likes of the Nissan Qashqai have stolen the thunder of these previous best sellers due to their immense practicality and rugged good looks.

Citroen announced this week a replacement for their current C4 Picasso. The new model sits on a brand new PSA platform, and offers a great new range of engines. As Fiat have launched the 500L, could this help the resurgence of this neglected market?

The C4 Picasso's new EMP2 platform equates to a reduced overhang of 70mm at the front, a lower engine block and floor, and wider tracks. The assertive new front end boasts new look chevrons which branch out into the all-new LED daytime-running lights, positioned above the tiny headlamps and purposeful grill. The LED rear lights were inspired by Citroen's various concept cars, and create a futuristic 3D effect.

Alloy wheels on offer will be available in three different sizes: 16", 17" and 18". The new C4 Picasso will be available in eight colours, some of which consist of: Shark Grey, Aluminium, Hickory Brown, Obsidien Black, Ruby Red, Teles Blue and Kyanos Blue.

The new model will include a panoramic windscreen and a large glass roof, which will flood the cabin with extra light to create a spacious ambiance. Should buyers opt for the Lounge Pack, they will receive a front massage seat, a 'Relax' seat which allows the front passenger to stretch out their legs, and a 'Relax' headrest on all seats for comforting neck support.

Citroen claims that the driving experience will be enhanced with the new driving interface. Forged into the dashboard is a new 7" touchpad and 12" panoramic HD screen. The seven touch-sensitive buttons within the touchpad control many of the vehicles features, including: the dual-zone air conditioning, navigation, telephone, audio and driving aids.

Manoeuvrability will also become easier with the 360 VISION feature, which allows the driver to gain a bird's eye view of the blind spots around the car utilising four integrated cameras. Park Assist is also an option, which will help the driver to park the car correctly without incident.

Citroen's new C4 Picasso definitely appears intelligent with its use of space. Although 40mm shorter in length, an increase of 55mm to the wheelbase has certified the new C4 Picasso as a potential class leader for interior space. Boot space expands by an impressive 40-litres to 537-litres, or 630-litres with the rear seats folded flat. There are also many clever and convenient storage compartments around the cabin, including LED illuminated compartments in the central dashboard with an AUX-in, USB port and 220V socket.

Anorexia has clearly heavily sunk in with this latest version, with an impressive 140kg of excess weight shifted. The use of high-tech materials make the new C4 Picasso so light in fact, that it is now billed to weigh the equivalent of the smaller C3 Picasso. An emphasis on aerodynamics also promises lower carbon emissions, and ultimately an increase in fuel economy.

The new e-HDI 90 Airdream engine, mated with a new 6-speed clutchless gearbox, breaks the glass ceiling in the MPV world, emitting a minuscule 98g/km of CO2 and providing an alleged fuel economy figure of 74mpg. The New C4 Picasso will be the first Citroen model available with a BlueHDi engine meeting Euro 6 standards. The BlueHDi 150 unit emits just 110g/km of CO2 and features an SCR module (selective catalytic reduction), currently the most efficient technology for treating NOx (- 90%) and cutting CO2 emissions in all situations.

Alongside the 6-speed manual gearbox, a new 6-speed clutchless gearbox is also available. The ETG6 (6-speed Efficient Tronic Gearbox) delivers improved performance and can be integrated into the e-HDi 90 and e-HDi 115 engines. Drivers can switch from manual to automated mode whenever desired, also featuring a creep function and optimised pedal mapping, adjusting power effectively for smoother start-ups and enhanced driveability. Gear change speeds are modulated more precisely, based on driver input, for improved performance, efficiency and comfort.

A 6-speed automatic gearbox will also be available from the first half of 2014.

Safety is also billed to see an improvement on the last model, featuring: active cruise control, active driver and passenger front seatbelts, automatic high beam operation, an ultrasonic blind spot monitoring system, and Citroen's new eTouch system - which creates telephone calls in the event of any emergencies.

What do we think?

Clearly, the new C4 Picasso has the potential to take the C-segment MPV market by storm. The new chassis promises improved, and potentially class leading, space and practicality. New engines also promise to minimise CO2 emission and enhance fuel economy.

Whilst the appearance is striking, the C4 Picasso definitely boasts the influence from Pablo in its mismatch of design cues. The boot-lid appears to have been borrowed from an Audi Q5, the rear quarter panel mimics the recently released Fiat 500L, whilst the remaining body resembles the previous model with a touch of Photoshop magic.

Unfortunately, Citroen's obscure choice of headlights and front end design has rendered the new model fair unsightly. Call it Marmite, but I believe that Citroen's new C4 Picasso resembles a blind orca whale. Citroen's new 'Technospace' however fails to appear as tragic as other controversially designed MPVs, including the Fiat Multipla and Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Regardless of visual downfalls, the Citroen C4 Picasso really promises to bring the fight to the Renault Scenic, Vauxhall Zafira and Fiat 500L.

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