New Citroen seven-seat people-mover
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.
Quirky is an often-used cliché when it comes to French cars.
What they have really is a unique sense of style that Australian buyers either love or hate.
Nowhere is this French style more evident than the new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. The brand’s all-new people-mover has arrived in Australia and while its looks will polarise, there’s no denying the Picasso’s design makes great use of the available space.
But there is more to the new Picasso than just style and space. The French brand started from the ground up developing the new Picasso and it features all-new underpinnings, a new engine and new gearbox as well as more equipment and technology.
Overall the new model is 100kg lighter than its predecessor – 70 per cent of that comes from the underpinnings thanks to a greater percentage of aluminium and high-strength steel.
Those new underpinnings – codenamed EMP2 - are crucial to the success of the Picasso but half of all new Citroens and Peugeots because it will service them as well. The modular underpinnings can be stretched from a small car such as the upcoming 308 from sister brand Peugeot to the Picasso and everything in-between including commercial vehicles.
Under the very short bonnet is another first for Citroen. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel – dubbed BlueHDi - is a new engine for Peugeot/Citroen and this is its first application in Australia.
Good for 110kW of power and 370Nm of torque Citroen claims it can use as little as 4.5-litres per 100km on the combined cycle. It is also the first Citroen diesel to meet the new, stricter Euro 6 emission standards thanks to a new AdBlue system that removes noxious gases from the exhaust.
But all this newness comes at a price, $4500 to be precise. Citroen is only offering a single trim level – Exclusive – and it is priced from $43,990 plus on-road and dealer costs.
That’s $4500 more than the out-going Seduction HDI model, but Citroen Australia argues that the new model is better equipped than before.
Standard gear includes the 360 degree camera, Park Assist, blindspot monitoring, dual-zone airconditioning, an 8GB music storage Jukebox, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, panoramic glass roof, inbuilt window curtains in the second row and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Citroen claims the new model has $9000 worth of extra equipment over the old model.
“We’re not trying to build the world’s cheapest car,” says Citroen Australia marketing manager, Manuel Tyras. “We’re trying to build the world’s best value people-mover.”
Whether or not it has enough value to appeal to the 300 buyers per year Citroen is hoping to attract remains to be seen.
Its well thought out interior and punchy engine make it appealing but its quirky exterior styling and higher price could be a turn-off.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso pricing and specifications
Price: $43,990 plus on-road and dealer costs.
On sale: March 1
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
Power: 110kW at 4000rpm
Torque: 370Nm at 2000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, FWD
Fuel consumption: 4.5L/100km