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Which Citroen C4 Picasso makes the best company car?

  • We dissect the C4 Picasso range to find out which one we'd pick
  • It may look like a concept car but it's one of our favourite people-carriers
  • Find out how much it'll cost to tax each month and how it is on fuel

While it’s perhaps not the most obvious choice as a company car, the futuristic Citroen C4 Picasso makes a great fleet choice.

Its practicality is one of its real attributes – the three individual sliding and reclining rear seats, generous boot, clever cabin features and wide-opening back doors all make the basic recipe appealing.

Add to that a range of smooth diesel engines which return impressive fuel economy, relatively low company car tax thanks to minimal CO2 emissions and a brilliantly comfortable ride; the C4 Picasso is a compelling package.

Which engine?

Since monthly tax bills are usually towards the top of a fleet driver’s list of priorities, you might expect we’d simply pick the one with the lowest CO2 emissions. After all, low CO2 means low Benefit-in-Kind taxation.

There is a small fly in the ointment here though. For the very lowest CO2 emissions you’ll need the e-HDi 90 Airdream diesel engine, but you can only get the lowest 98g/km CO2 output when coupled with the ETG6 semi-automatic gearbox. Unfortunately this gearbox really isn’t that great to drive – it’s ponderous and feels dim-witted.

For that reason we’d make a small financial sacrifice, going for the more powerful and better-driving e-HDi 115 Airdream that can be ordered with a slick six-speed manual gearbox instead. We reckon this one is the pick of the range with regards to driving. It’s very smooth and quiet yet holds reserves of power to enable swift progress when required. It covers the 0-62mph sprint over a second quicker than the '90' version and you'll really notice that performance on the road.

Running costs

What we’re looking at here is a CO2 output of 105g/km, which equates to BIK taxation at 17 percent for the 2014/15 tax year. That’s just two percent more than the aforementioned automatic car.

With its P11d value of £20,200, a 20 percent tax payer would be in for £57 per month.

And with low CO2 emissions comes high fuel economy, Citroen claiming 70.6mpg possible if you’re capable of reproducing the lab conditions they used.

The last time we drove this model we saw closer to 50mpg during mixed driving. With those two figures in mind it’s fair to expect you’ll see a range of between 600 and 850 miles per tank of diesel.

Which trim level?

There’s a selection of four trim levels to choose from here and all get a fair amount of standard kit. Even at base-spec VTR level you get a large panoramic windscreen, dual-zone air conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The two screens – a 12-inch digital instrument panel and a seven-inch touchpad in the centre of the dashboard – serve to display information on and control features such as air-con, radio and Bluetooth telephony.

Unfortunately, the engine we’ve picked isn’t available on the bottom-spec trim. That leaves us with one choice: upgrade to VTR+ and get front fog lights and reversing sensors.

Moving up to Exclusive means loading another £1,300 onto the cost of the car, but since you get sat-nav, a reversing camera and a far classier interior finish we reckon it’s worth the extra outlay. The sat-nav especially is bound to appeal to company car drivers.

We would stop there, though. The extra £2,440 to move to the top-of-the-range model – Exclusive+ - does net you an automatic parking system, a blind spot monitoring system, a motorised tailgate and half-leather upholstery, but we think that’s a lot more cash considering the kit you get.

Optional extras

There are a couple of optional extras we may consider depending on how we were planning on using the car. You may really appreciate the motorised tailgate, and that will sting you for £400 if ordered on its own.

You can also order it as part of the Convenience Pack, which costs £849 and includes automatic parking, radar-guided cruise control, lane-departure warning and automatic high beam headlights too.

Another option pack you may consider is the Style Pack, which nets you the desirable panoramic glass sunroof along with the distinctive LED rear lights and tinted rear windows. This costs £699.

Verdict

The model which we think represents the best Citroen C4 Picasso for company car drivers is the 1.6 e-HDi 115 Exclusive.