Richard Hammond column: Citroen C4 Picasso masters the art of travel – Richard Hammond – Mirror Online

10 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Richard Hammond column: Citroen C4 Picasso masters the art of travel – Richard Hammond – Mirror Online
Citroen C4

Richard Hammond column New Citroen C4 Picasso masters the art of travel with style, gadgets and space to boot

Smooth: French design of the new Citroen C4 Picasso turns heads

The new Citroen C4 Picasso is motorcycle friendly, and since we love bikes, that’s great news.

It’s all thanks to the new Picasso’s relatively slim (by modern ­standards) windscreen pillars.

The pillars are forked, with a triangle of glass in between so that there’s very little blind spot.

Safety tests require a car to be able to be rolled or dropped onto its roof from a considerable height without the roof collapsing.

That’s obviously good, but the price to pay for this is often very fat A-pillars that restrict forward vision, meaning you often miss cyclists or motorcyclists when you’re pulling out of a junction.

Ever rolled a car on the road? Neither have I.

I like the Citroen C4 Picasso, I liked the last one and this one’s even better.

As we’ve said before, building family motors like the Picasso is what Citroen is really good at.

Actually, it’s really good at building luxury motors like the C6, but since nobody wants French luxury cars there’s no point making them.

The new C4 Picasso looks really smart.

There are four lamps at the front, a pair of headlamps set low and a pair of daytime running lights and indicators above them.

Overall the new model is 40mm shorter than the old one, but since the wheelbase is 55mm longer you don’t lose out on interior space.

The car is built on Citroen (and Peugeot’s) new EMP2 ­platform.

All we need to know about it is that it’s 140kg lighter than the old one.

Glassy: C4’s visibility is excellent

That’s some ­weight watching.

Inside the car there’s the usual ­collection of clever and very practical features.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s features like the elastic strap that holds drinks in place on the trays that fold down from the front seats.

That’s the sort of simple idea that really makes a difference in the real world.

The fact that your kids aren’t constantly knocking their drinks over is probably more important than that last degree of steering feel.

We’re testing the top-of-the-range Exclusive+ model or, to give it its full name, Exclusive+ e-HDI 115 ETG6. The 115 bit refers, of course, to the Picasso’s power output.

Citroen C4

There’s a 90bhp diesel engine as well as this 115bhp motor. Upgrading to the more powerful versions will remove £800 from your wallet, but it’s worth it because the extra poke provided by the more powerful motor makes a difference.

Citroen reckons most customers will choose it.

The ETG6 part of the name refers to the ­six-speed robotised gearbox, which is another good option, if you don’t mind paying for it.

As usual with the Picasso there’s loads of storage space inside.

Gizmos: Tons of tech in here

On the centre console there’s a massive storage bin which is illuminated – another good idea – and inside it are connectors for iPhones and other cables and USB gizmos.

Talking of gadgets, you can have endless entertainment jiggling the ­arrangement of the instrument binnacle.

You can over-complicate the display or fiddle around until you have a simple speedo and rev counter in front of your eyes if you want.

Once you’ve worked out the touchscreen it’s easy to use, but it may take an hour or so on the driveway with the book of words when you first get the car.

A seven-seat C4 Grand Picasso is coming next year, but in the meantime this standard-length version has 630 litres of luggage space with the rear seats folded flat and if you fold the front passenger seat down you can fit a ­2.5m-long plank of wood in. Or anything else that long if you’re not a DIY fan.

As with the last C4 Picasso, the ride is very comfortable, and thanks to the longer wheelbase, there’s even more rear legroom.

With a comfortable ride and the huge windscreen letting in loads of light, the new C4 Picasso is just as good as the old one but with better quality and a wider choice of gadgetry.

What do you think about this story? Have your say by leaving your comments below.

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