Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - Au revoir mon ami

  • After more than 16,000 miles it’s time to say goodbye to our big Citroen
  • Grand C4 Picasso has proved comfortable and reliable over eight months
  • BlueHDi engine gets the thumbs-up but choose your trim level carefully

Strictly speaking, seeing as our Citroen Grand C4 Picasso was built in Spain, that should be ‘adiós mi amigo’, but whichever language you speak, the time’s come to bid a fond farewell to our seven-seater.

In many respects statistics paint a glowing picture of life with the Picasso: in eight months we’ve covered 16,324 miles, virtually all of it in a state of relaxation, whether travelling alone or with the kids in tow. That £2,000 two-tone leather interior upgrade may not have been cheap but it heightened the Citroen’s comfort levels as well as making it a lot easier to clean up my offspring’s detritus after long jaunts to Scotland.

Such is the nature of life as a motoring journalist that many a journey from an airport back to rural Lincolnshire is under the cover of darkness where excellent illumination is vital. Those infinity LED lights at the back come as standard on our Exclusive+ edition but the decision to upgrade the halogen lamps up front to directional xenons was a wise one. They’re not up to the same standard as the full LED units on my previous Peugeot 308 long-termer but the Picasso’s spread of light and its ability to brighten otherwise dark corners made night driving safer and more pleasurable: £750 well-spent.

Real-world fuel economy

Following unprecedented levels of mass media coverage about vehicle emissions and real-world fuel consumption in recent weeks, it’s worth reinforcing that during our time with the big Citroen it got nowhere near the official claim of 61.4mpg.

Having guzzled through 1,743.57 litres of diesel, it averaged 42.6mpg, although much of that was sat cruising at motorway speeds – it’s significantly more economical closer to 50mph as evidenced when Adam took the Grand C4 Picasso on holiday back in the summer and eked 54.5mpg from one tank. His shoes must have more helium in them than mine, as my PB was only 50.1mpg.

Personally I found the level of real-world fuel efficiency acceptable, particularly given that the Citroen’s not the most aerodynamic of cars, plus its 148bhp, 2-litre BlueHDi diesel engine was paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The latter aspect amplified the Citroen’s relaxed nature when making progress but on occasions when you did need to get up to speed quickly 370Nm of torque from 2,000rpm made it possible, frustrating many a hitherto hot hatch hero in the process.

No serious problems

It’d be disingenuous to suggest it was completely plain sailing with the Citroen but difficulties were limited to niggles rather than serious problems. One of the rear parking sensors was particularly sensitive, soon remedied by the dealer, but nothing else broke or failed.

Gripes centred around nit-picking such as the front cup-holders being positioned too close together and that baffling arrangement where the sat-nav could be displayed on either just the lower touchscreen, or both it and the upper one by the instruments, but never just the top one.

If you too are one of those drivers who likes to turn the sound down in order to see better in unfamiliar locations, then be prepared for the map to disappear while the volume’s reduced. It’s nonsensical.

Recommended seven-seater

But none of those factors are enough to stop me recommending the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso as a comfortable and flexible seven-seater bristling with clever touches. Even this engine and transmission combination gets the thumbs-up.

Check the standard equipment lists thoroughly, though, as you may find not all of the Exclusive+’s trinkets appeal – that aircraft-style front passenger foot rest for one. Note that the mid-range Exclusive is some £2,360 less expensive, enough to pay for a family holiday to Disneyland Paris. With the Grand C4 Picasso you’ve got the perfect car to travel there in, too.

Read our more in-depth updates about life with the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso: