Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - Horsing around

  • How appealing is our long-term Picasso to non-target buyers?
  • We asked Your Horse’s Becky Statham to help find out
  • Would she swap her aging Freelander for the Citroen?

Car companies spend fortunes trying to convince various social demographic groups that their latest model is aimed specifically at them. Rarely does it work.

That chic city car piloted by fun-loving 20-somethings in the ads is more often than not trundling around with an octogenarian behind the wheel, while rugged 4x4s designed to traverse ploughed fields often tackle terrain no more challenging than the kerb outside a school.

So what of the Parkers long-term Citroen Grand C4 Picasso seven-seater? Can it really appeal to a young, no-kids-yet professional with a varied, active lifestyle?

That was the question posed to Your Horse’s Senior Writer, Becky Statham, when she spent the day with the Citroen.

Room for a stretch

"Yoga and pilates are a big part of my life and whenever possible I like to practise outside. When the weather’s bad this can make the experience unbearable, especially if you’ve specifically driven to a remote destination for the views.

"No problem in the Grand C4 Picasso: it’s so easy to fold down the middle and back rows of seats and once you have the space is huge should the weather take a turn for the worse.

"You can leave the electric tailgate open for an even closer experience to nature. Compared to my Freelander this is great as my car doesn’t have the space needed to use it for this purpose.

"Adding to the experience are the views out of the Citroen’s panoramic roof, creating the feeling of being in a loft apartment.

"While the Picasso doesn’t have the 4x4 ability to get to some of the picturesque destinations as easily as the Freelander, living in the English Midlands, this isn’t a priority – staying dry is!"

Get a jog on

"I try and run at least twice a week and enjoy finding new routes to explore.

"Typically I’ll take my Land Rover out and head to somewhere scenic. As the Freelander doesn’t have an integrated sat-nav I normally tap the postcode into an app on my phone and balance it on the dashboard.

"The Citroen’s sat-nav was so easy to use and only took a few taps of the virtual buttons to get the destination displayed on screen. It’s also handy having the option of displaying this on the larger upper screen – when driving along new routes I like to have the information right in front of me to avoid confusion."

Saddle up

"Owning a horse also means owning a lot of equipment – heavy equipment!

"There are saddles, bridles, boots, hats and more rugs than you can imagine. All this requires a lot of room and for it to be in easy reach when needed. The automatic opening and closing of the boot by pushing a button on the Picasso makes it easily accessible when you’re hands are full.

"My horse is stabled an hour away from home so the journey to the stables has to be an enjoyable one. Comfortable ride aside, the thing I found the most useful in the Citroen was the adaptive cruise control.

"There are several long stretches of open road en route to the yard, with variable speed limits on the way so having cruise control made a big difference. I suffer from a bad lower back as a consequence of horse riding falls, so putting my feet in a more comfortable ‘off pedal’ position when driving for long distances relieved considerable pressure.

"It also helped that this particular car was an automatic, not something I’m used to, but was very easy to get the hang of.

"The downside of the Picasso to the Freelander was the lack of towing ability for a horsebox, which was the main reason I bought the Land Rover.

"My horse is big so once loaded into a trailer would exceed the Citroen’s towing weight limit. This would mean I’d have to keep a 4x4 alongside the Picasso specifically to take out when travelling my horse - an expense I could do without."

Shop ’til you drop

"Parking up in shopping centre car parks can sometimes be a nightmare but with the parking sensors and reversing camera on the Picasso, this wasn’t a problem I had to face.

"The self-parking option also works well if you’re lacking confidence judging spaces but it’s not the quickest of systems to operate.

"Another feature which I found particularly reassuring were the self-tightening front seat belts, pulling you close as you set off, giving that extra sense of security when driving."

Would I buy one?

"I loved the features in the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso and would look at getting these included in my next car, however its size was too big for my needs.

"It was great for keeping all my equipment in, especially for the horse kit and shopping bags but I couldn’t justify the size of this on a day to day basis when simply travelling to and from work.

"The one thing I will miss now I’m back in my Freelander is the Picasso’s adaptive cruise control – how have I lived without it?"

Total mileage: 3,669 miles (started at 394)

Average mpg: 39.9mpg