Citroen C4 Picasso


Debut: 2013
Maker: Citroen
Predecessor: C4 Picasso (2006)



 Published on 27 Jun 2013
All rights reserved. 


More compact, lighter and more efficient. This is the new generation Citroen C4 Picasso. The outgoing C4 Picasso was popular in Europe. Even in its final full year it still captured some 83,000 sales. However, after 7 years it inevitably got outdated in many areas and a full makeover is desperately needed.

The new car has changed the styling direction completely. At the first glance it looks quite weird I must say, especially the lack of alignment among its 4 side windows and the surrounding C-shape chrome (which is actually made of plastic). However, look closer and you will appreciate its finer details and higher level of elegance. Its front end design is especially tasteful. Its slim LED daytime running lights look like an extension of the upper front grille and contribute to a classy feel. Below them are the main headlights, which recess neatly into the sheet metal. The subtle curves around the wheel arches and shoulder line contribute to a sense of quality and solidity that was absent on recent Citroen designs. At the back, pronounced taillights with 3D graphics decorate the otherwise no-nonsense tailgate. Overall, the new design successfully gives the C4 Picasso a premium feel.



The new car sits on PSA's new EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform 2) platform. It will be the basis of all the group's C and D-segment cars, including the forthcoming Peugeot 308 Mk2. Like Volkswagen's MQB platform, the EMP2 emphasizes a flexible yet lightweight construction. Its common front chassis can be mated with different rear structures (thus allow different wheelbase and luggage space), powertrains and suspensions (torsion beam or multi-link). The seating height is variable, so it will allow different kinds of vehicles to be built, like sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, MPVs and coupes. The chassis is also lighter, thanks to the use of high-strength steel, aluminum parts and composite materials. Besides, the use of electric power steering, engine auto stop-start and a smoother bottom also help reducing fuel consumption.

On the C4 Picasso, torsion-beam rear suspension is adopted as the car does not intend to be sporty or luxury. The rear floor and tailgate are made of composites while the bonnet is aluminum. In addition to a slightly more compact size, the new car is a remarkable 140 kg lighter than the old one.



Measuring 4430 mm in length, 1830 mm in width and 1610 mm in height, it is 40 mm shorter and 70 mm lower than the old car. Nevertheless, its wheelbase is 55 mm longer at 2785 mm. This is made possible by a 70 mm shorter front overhang. Meanwhile, front and rear tracks have been widened by a massive 82 mm up front and 31 mm at the back. This should improve handling. Equally useful is the fact that the engine is mounted 40-50 mm lower.

Inside, the new MPV looks pretty upmarket with its expensive plastics (except those located at lower level) and twin-large LCDs. The upper one is a 12-inch high-definition screen, used to display digital instrument and driving information. The lower is a 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system and climate control. It is further supplemented with 7 touch sensitive buttons. With panoramic glass roof and a windscreen extending well into the roof, the cabin feels definitely spacious and airy. There is near class-leading room for both rows. The rear row consists of 3 individual seats, each of them can slide, fold and recline independently. This should be considered as an advantage against its Asian rivals, whose narrower bodies do not allow 3 individual seats at the back. As expected, cargo utility is outstanding. Its boot space is a massive 537 liters with the rear seats in place, 40 more than before. This can be expanded to 630 liters with the seats slide forward or 1709 liters have them folded flat onto the floor. Besides, the front passenger seat can be folded to accommodate longer items. You can't ask for more!



These days PSA doesn't have many good engines to choose from. Most European buyers will go for the 115 hp 1.6 HDI diesel or its cheaper version with 90 horsepower. Although the new Picasso is pretty light for its class – at about 1300 kg – the 90 hp engine struggles to overtake on motorway thus it is best to be forgotten. A 150 hp version is known to be available at the end of this year, but until then the best choice is the range-topping 1.6 THP direct injected turbo petrol with 156 hp and 177 lbft of torque. It provides a decent blend of flexibility and refinement, even though itself is no fireball. Comparatively, the naturally aspirated 120 hp 1.6 VTi is much weaker. Transmission is another weak point. While the 6-speed manual is decent, the 6-speed automated manual is both unresponsive and unrefined, failing to compete with rival's dual-clutch or automatic gearboxes. Ford and Volkswagen have better powertrains.



On the road, the Citroen MPV is pretty refined and comfortable. Its suspension is slightly firmer than the old car but its ride quality is still good. Noise insulation is effective, keeping the cabin free from wind, road and engine noise when cruising on motorway. Handling is improved from the old car, with significantly less body roll through corners. However, it still rolls and understeers a lot more than Ford C-Max, which is the driver's choice of the class. Its speed-sensitive electric power steering lacks feel to inspire the driver, while the brake pedal lacks initial bite. After all, it is still a comfort-oriented car, just as most MPV buyers expect it to be.

Considering this is a people and cargo carrier, the new C4 Picasso should be highly attractive. It combines an upmarket exterior and interior, outstanding accommodation and flexibility as well as decent performance (for 115hp HDI and 1.6THP at least) and running refinement. Driving excitement isn't its strength, but it is already an improvement from the old car and should be considered easily acceptable for the class. It deserves commercial success.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
C4 Picasso 1.6HDi
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4428 / 1826 / 1613 mm
2785 mm
Inline-4 diesel
1560 cc
SOHC 8 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
115 hp
210 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/60R16
1298 kg
117 mph (c)
11 (est)
-
C4 Picasso 1.6THP
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4428 / 1826 / 1613 mm
2785 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
Turbo
DI
156 hp
177 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/55R17
1296 kg
130 mph (c)
8.5 (c)
-
Grand C4 Picasso 2.0HDi
2016
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4602 / 1826 / 1638 mm
2840 mm
Inline-4 diesel
1997 cc
DOHC 16 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
150 hp
273 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/55R17
1430 kg
130 mph (c)
9.2 (c)
-




Performance tested by: -





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
C4 Picasso 1.6HDi
2016
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4438 / 1826 / 1610 mm
2785 mm
Inline-4 diesel
1560 cc
SOHC 8 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
120 hp
221 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/55R17
1320 kg
117 mph (c)
10.6 (c)
-
C4 Picasso 1.2 Puretech Turbo
2016
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4438 / 1826 / 1610 mm
2785 mm
Inline-3
1199 cc
DOHC 12 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
130 hp
170 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/55R17
1280 kg
125 mph (c)
9.5 (c)
-
C4 Picasso 1.6THP
2016
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4438 / 1826 / 1610 mm
2785 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
Turbo
DI
165 hp
177 lbft
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/55R17
1310 kg
130 mph (c)
8.1 (c)
-




Performance tested by: -





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