Citroen Grand C4 Picasso (2013-2018) Review
Proving that seven-seat people carriers don't need to be boring, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is high-tech and stylish
Strengths & weaknesses
- Versatile and roomy interior
- Engines are quiet and ride is comfortable
- Latest technology available
- Bold styling won't appeal to all tastes
- Third row of seats feels a little cramped
- Tiny boot with seven passengers on-board
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso prices from £8,290 Finance from £237.18 per month
You might dream of cruising the French Riviera in a convertible sports car, but when your reality is queuing at the port of Calais with a car full of quarrelsome kids, then you'll be grateful of a car like the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.
It's a people carrier (think small minibus) designed for family life, a longer version of the C4 Picasso with large airy windows, plenty of storage space and a flexible interior - particularly in higher-specification models - with up to seven seats. You have to choose, though, between filling all seven of those seats, or folding them down for extra luggage space, you don't get the best of both worlds like you do with a Ford Galaxy or Citroen SpaceTourer.
There are three sets of Isofix points to securely attach child seats (if they are narrow enough to fit next to each other) and a focus on comfort, for smooth progress on long journeys. It glides over rutted roads and the steering is light, which makes it easy to manoeuvre. It also makes the car feel a little less agile, which encourages you to drive more leisurely. Less calming is the road noise, which can leak into the cabin at motorway speeds. The largest diesel engine can also be raucous.
It was renamed the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer in 2018 but barely anything else changed, so it's still a modern car with current technology, particularly if you opt for a model made since September 2016 when the touchscreen was updated to become faster and more responsive. At this time, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were added across the range for simple control of your apps through the dashboard display.
The touchscreen is still a bit fiddly to use, especially on the move, as virtually everything is controlled through the screen - even the ventilation controls. Earlier models with the older display are particularly frustrating.
There was enough safety equipment to earn it a top five star rating in 2013 when it was independently tested by Euro NCAP. However, some useful technology was only available as an option, including automatic emergency braking, which can help to avoid collisions, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control, which adjusts the car's speed to maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front.
|3 years / 60,000 miles
|165 litres (all seats up) or 793 litres (row three folded)
|2117mm (including mirrors)
|£30 per year (£140 for post-April 2017 cars)
Best Citroen Grand C4 Picasso for...
Best for Economy – Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Touch Edition BlueHDi 120 S&S 6-speed manual
With an official fuel economy figure of 70.6mpg and a CO2 emissions figure of 105g/km, it is a good blend of performance and low running costs.
Best for Families – Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Feel BlueHDi 120 S&S EAT6 Auto
The mid-range engine offers the perfect balance of performance, economy and quietness, while the more affordable Feel models receive more technology to keep the entire family happy. Plus, the six-speed auto box is smooth.
Best for Performance – Citroen Grand C4 Picasso BlueHDi 150 S&S Flair 6-speed manual
It's not exactly scintillating but it is officially the fastest accelerating Grand C4 Picasso in the range and the top spec Flair trim level adds an additional layer of luxury to the interior.
One to Avoid – Citroen Grand C4 Picasso BlueHDi 100 S&S manual
The underpowered engine and five-speed manual gearbox don't make for a particularly pleasant drive. It may be cheap to buy and run but it's not really powerful enough to handle long, fully loaded road trips.
- January 2014 The latest Citroen Grand C4 Picasso goes on sale
- September 2016 The car receives a major update, with a new range of efficient diesel and petrol engines. The interior technology is improved, with more technology available.
- May 2018 The car is renamed Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer
Understanding Citroen Grand C4 Picasso names
Trim level Feel
There are three trims in total (Touch Edition, Feel and Flair). Each higher level means more equipment and a larger price.
Engine 1.6 BlueHDi 120 S&S
The size of the engine is shown in litres (here it’s 1.6). Diesel models are marked Blue HDi, while the petrol counterpart is badged PureTech. The engine’s horsepower is shown, and the letters S&S stand for start and stop, indicating that the engine automatically switches off when the car stops - at a red light for example, then restarts automatically when you want to move off.
Gearbox 6-Speed Manual
6-speed shows that the car has six gears. However, a five-speed manual is offered on the lowest-powered diesel and an EAT6 automatic gearbox is available on select engines.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Engines
Petrol: PureTech 130 S&S Diesel: BlueHDi 100 S&S, BlueHDi 120 S&S and BlueHDi 150 S&S
There is a temptation to save the pennies and opt for Citroën's entry-level BlueHDi 100 S&S diesel engine but it comes with a five-speed manual gearbox and it doesn't have the power to comfortably cruise over long distances.
Instead, we would suggest looking at the new PureTech petrol engine if lots of short hops and town use is on the cards. Only the higher-powered 130 horsepoer (hp) version is available on the Grand C4 Picasso (a 110hp version is available on the C4 Picasso) but it's actually slightly cheaper to buy than the entry-level diesel and comes with either a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox for a more relaxing drive.
Of all the engines available, the BlueHDi 120 S&S diesel engine is most flexible. It has plenty of power for overtaking, it is quiet at motorway speeds and perfectly blends performance with fuel economy and low running costs.
The EAT6 auto gearbox is also a nice addition to this powerplant, as it shifts gears quickly and allows the driver to manually override the system via steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Unfortunately, the BlueHDi 150 S&S engine feels and sounds a little agricultural compared to its smaller sibling, despite offering the most impressive performance figures. It's also more expensive to run on a daily basis.
PureTech 130 S&S
BlueHDi 100 S&S
BlueHDi 120 S&S
BlueHDi 150 S&S
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Trims
Touch Edition, Feel and Flair
The Grand C4 Picasso is available with three trim levels. They used to be VTR, VTR+ and Selection but were then replaced with a new trio of names, offering slightly more equipment.
Touch Edition includes 16-inch alloy wheels, bright halogen twin optic headlights, auto wipers, LED daytime running lights and a new two-tone soft touch upper dashboard.
Rear parking sensors also come as standard (they weren't on VTR cars), as do electric front and rear windows, which also feature anti-pinch technology to stop little fingers getting damaged. There are plenty of 12v charging sockets located throughout the cabin and handy storage cubbyholes and cup holders are abundant.
There's also a second black and white display that gives readouts of primary driving information, such as speed, revs, fuel level, water temperature, gear and driver aids.
Upgrade to Feel or Flair trim levels and that system uses a full colour 12-inch panoramic HD central display that can be set up by the driver in various colour schemes and adapted to display a plethora of different vehicle information.
Feel and Flair variants also receive Citroën's latest Connect Nav system, which offers a comprehensive range of real time navigation features. The system includes dynamic route planning, traffic information, potential hazards, weather conditions, fuel prices and even parking availability. Rear sliding seats come as standard too, making the interior more flexible.
Top-of-the-range Flair cars are undoubtedly the most luxurious models, with a panoramic sunroof, part-leather seats, reversing camera and fold-down tables for the second row of seats all included as standard. They also come with keyless entry and start, which adds the ability to open the boot by waving your foot underneath the bumper (as long as the key is with you).
The high level of standard equipment can make it difficult to find cars with optional extras added. It's worth keeping an eye out for any that come with useful safety equipment, including an active blind spot monitoring system, lane departure warning with steering input, radar-guided cruise control and a speed limit recognition system.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Reliability and warranty
Ranked as the 24th most reliable car manufacturer out of 26 in this year's Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, Citroen clearly has plenty of room for improvement on this front.
The quality of the car's interior fittings have come in for criticism in previous surveys, with owners describing rattles or fragile panels
The car came with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. Any remaining cover on second-hand models is transferred to the car's new owner and a fixed price menu of repair items for cars less than three years old helps to kep the cost of replacement parts down.
Used Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Citroën has historically battled with poor second-hand values and the Grand C4 Picasso was no exception, worth considerably less as soon as the first owners drove them away.
This is excellent news for used buyers who can pick up a year-old car for less than £15,000. Older models start at under £10,000, which is remarkable value considering that some of these seven-seat cars are just three years old - admittedly with the older and slower touchscreen.
Don't be put off by the old VTR, VTR+ abd Exclusive trim levels, but be aware that VTR cars didn't come with rear parking sensors as standard. These are virtually essential on a big car like this, and buying a car without them could prove a false economy if you don't spot a bollard behind you until it's too late.
If you're buying on finance, then you may find that a nearly new car offers excellent value: representative finance on year-old models starts at around £220 - just £30 to £40 more per month than a 2014 car.