The new seven-seater Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate is a stylish and modern family car that’s affordable to run and well-equipped.
It’s an MPV but one that proves that cars like this don’t have to be bland. Its classy interior is a real highlight, while a third row of seats will prove useful to larger families.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate review.
Overview of the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate
On the Road
It’s a stylish car, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to strut its stuff on the road like a sports car. However, it’s nowhere near as awkward to drive as its size might have otherwise suggested.
Citroen added large windows to improve visibility and thus drivability, and they also threw a wraparound panoramic windscreen into the mixer too. A rear parking aid is standard on all models except the entry level variant, while all models get front quarter-light windows. These help to minimise blind spots.
The Grand C4 Picasso isn’t the most rewarding car to drive in this class, but it’s one of the most comfortable. Its suspension setup smooths over most lumps and bumps in the road, but the really badly broken roads will still present an issue.
There’s a fair amount of body lean as you take on bends, and its handling isn’t the sharpest. The steering might also be too light for most driver’s tastes, although it rewards you in towns and cities.
In terms of its engines, a car like this was made for diesels. Sitting at the bottom of the range is a 1.6-litre diesel unit that develops a modest 99bhp. It covers the 0-62 dash in 12.7 seconds but it’s the one we’d overlook.
A 118bhp variant of the same engine is more satisfying. It’s pretty much just as economical but covers the 0-62 sprint in a more respectable 11.3 seconds. It copes well with the car on a full load, while both variants make little noise.
Sitting at the top of the range is a 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel engine that can do 0-62 in just 9.7 seconds. It’s an appealing engine that has plenty of power but to make the most of its muscle, you will need to make a lot of gear changes. This can increase driver fatigue.
To find out more about Citroen and its 100+ years of history, read our article.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate Interior, Design and Build
There’s not much to criticise about the way the car looks and feels inside. It’s a classy cabin that’s fantastically designed and nicely put together. The large windows allow lots of light inside, while the seats are nice and comfortable.
The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, and the driver’s seat is height adjustable.
The diesels are a bit loud when they first start up, but they soon settle down and insulation is good overall. Wind and road noise is very well suppressed.
The space-age-looking dashboard might not be to everyone’s taste, and the controls do take a bit of time to get used to, but no one can deny that this is an exceptionally modern interior. Its design is incredible, with Citroen using a mixture of eye-catching plastics, colours and shapes.
Is the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate practical? It’s made for families, and comes with four storage areas, which include a pair of cubby holes that you’ll find on the dash, as well as seven seats.
Its glovebox is a bit on the small side, but because there are so many storage areas tucked away in this car, we hardly think anyone will be complaining.
Three individual chairs make up the middle row of seats, the back seats recline, and legroom and headroom is fine for everyone.
The Grand C4 Picasso lacks sliding rear doors and has door pillars but because the outer seats fold away, accessing the rear seats is easy.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 165-litres with all the seats up. Fold all the rear seats and you can increase it to a massive 2,181-litres.
Equipment and Safety of the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate
Standard kit is good across all three trim levels, with the entry level Touch model coming with a 7” touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, cruise control, air conditioning, a digital radio and 16” alloys.
The Feel trim adds bigger alloys, a 12” HD central display screen, sat-nav, parking sensors at the front, a height adjustable front passenger seat and body coloured heating and front door mirrors.
The Flair trim rounds things off with 18” alloys, a reversing camera, keyless entry and go and a semi-autonomous parking system.
In terms of how safe the car is, it hasn’t yet been crash tested by Euro NCAP. However, the five-seater C4 Picasso, with which it shares many of its parts, scored 5/5, and we thoroughly expect this one to be super safe.
Its standard safety kit includes ISOFIX child seat mount points, seatbelt warning lights, anti-lock brakes, a tyre pressure monitoring system and electronic stability control.
Costs of the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate
Prices for the new car start out from £23,420 and rise to £30,845. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, this might be a big car but its diesel engines are impressively economical. The 1.6-litre BlueHDi 100 engine that powers the entry level model returns 74.3mpg, while even the bigger 120 variant is good for 70.6mpg economy.
The powerful 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 model, meanwhile, returns 68.9mpg if you stick with the manual transmission and 65.6mpg if you specify the automatic.
CO2 will increase slightly if you pair a higher-spec model up with 18” alloys, but all Grand C4 Picasso Diesel’s cost £140 a year to tax.
How reliable is a Citroen? Read more about their reliability in our unbiased review.
Pros and Cons of the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate
Four storage spaces are just the icing on the cake of a very practical family car.
It makes for a great motorway cruiser, and insulation is impressive, too.
As well as being super versatile, this is easily one of the classiest cabins you’ll find in this sector.
Tight Third Row
It really is for kids only.
Busy Steering Wheel
In what is an otherwise clean and modern interior, the cluttered steering wheel sticks out like a sore thumb.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate vs Renault Grand Scenic Diesel vs Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate review.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate vs Renault Grand Scenic Diesel
The new Renault Grand Scenic Diesel is strikingly designed, well-equipped and doesn’t cost too much to run.
Out on the road, the Renault drives a lot like the Citroen. It’s certainly no sports car, but it’s no slouch either. It’s competent and shouldn’t present you with too many issues.
True, there is a noticeable amount of body lean in bends, but it’s such a surefooted car that you never lose your nerve.
However, we have one or two points of contention: The 20” alloys add a certain boldness to the car’s design, but buyers will be wishing Renault had given them the option of smaller ones. The manual gearbox, meanwhile, is a little too notchy for our liking.
In terms of the engines, the dCi 110 diesel sits at the bottom of the range. This is a 1.5-litre unit that completes the 0-62 dash in 12.4 seconds, and which can be paired up with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic ‘box.
A 1.6-litre dCi 130 diesel is next in line, and it’s our preferred choice. It’s a bit noisy when revved, but it gallops from a standstill to 62mph in 11.4 seconds and makes the most of its extra power. A 158bhp variant of the same engine sits at the top of the range with a 0-62 time of 10.7 seconds.
Running costs? The smallest diesel is good for returns of 70.6mpg and emits just 104g/km of CO2. Our top pick, the dCi 130 manages 65mpg, while the 158bhp diesel is good for 60mpg at best.
Inside, the amount of standard kit in even the entry level model is excellent and makes the Grand Scenic a very pleasant place to spend your time. All models get a leather steering wheel, for example, while the cabin is overall comfortable and attractive. However, the Citroen is more eye catching.
Is the Renault Grand Scenic Diesel practical? Like the Citroen, this car has seven seats. The second row of seats can easily be slid forwards to increase legroom for those seated in the third row of seats, while the third row folds flat into the boot floor.
Space on the whole is a bit tighter in here than it is in the Citroen and accessing the rear seats is awkward, but a one-touch seat-folding system is an excellent feature. However, it isn’t available with the entry level model.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 596-litres when the third row of seats is folded.
Citroen – £23,420 and rise to £30,845
Renault – £23,445 – £32,605
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate vs Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
The new Vauxhall Zafira Tourer is an affordable seven seater that’s safe, decent to drive and smartly styled.
On the road, it’s not what you’d call entertaining, but it handles well and feels fairly comfortable. It’s stable and predictable, which is what buyers interested in this car prefer. It also offers lots of grip and doesn’t lean as much as the Citroen.
There are plenty of engines available and everyone should be able to find something they like. A 1.6-litre 138bhp diesel engine impresses us with its strength and smoothness, while its 0-62 time of 10.4 seconds ensures it’s no slacker.
The meatier 2.0-litre 168bhp diesel is a better option if you’ll be filling up those seven seats all the time. It can do 0-62 in almost 9.0 seconds flat and copes very well on a full load.
Running costs? The 1.6-litre engine is able to return 62.8mpg on average, and its emissions stand at 119g/km of CO2.
The 2.0-litre CDTi diesel, meanwhile, returns 57.7mpg at best, and emits almost 130g/km of CO2.
Inside, the Zafira Tourer is a lot nicer than it was last time. It’s roomy and comfortable, and the drivers are nicely located.
The dashboard is cleaner and has less buttons, while all models get 7” infotainment touchscreens. Despite the facelift and changes, Vauxhall have kept the old physical knobs and buttons for the ventilation and heating, which we think is a good decision.
Is the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer practical? It boasts its flexible flat-folding seats that made the car such a game change a few years back, but the third row of seats remain small and are suitable only for kids.
Space in the first and second rows is plentiful, although anyone sat in the middle will have to contend with a lump in the floor. The second row of seats slides back and forth to increase legroom or boot space.
With five seats in place, the boot measures an impressive 710-litres.
Vauxhall – £20,200 – £31,165
Verdict of Our 2018 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate Review
Hands down, this is the best car in this class. It’s modern, full of quality, looks great, is cheap to run and super practical. For families who want the best, it’s very hard to look past the brand new Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Diesel Estate