Citroen C4 Picasso e-HDi 115 BVM6 Intensive
What is it?
Citroen’s bid to grab the top spot in the growing market for compact MPVs, its new weapon in the battle with rivals like the Renault Scenic and Ford C-Max.
What’s new about it?
Pretty much everything. Chassis, styling, some engines, cabin design, packaging, equipment. It also has clever new features, although some could do with a bit of fine-tuning.
The new C4 Picasso is 4cm shorter and the same amount lower in roofline than the previous car, and it has been put on a strict diet to make it 140kg lighter. It is also priced a notch lower than its predecessor.
What’s this new chassis all about?
This is the first car to be built on the PSA group’s new EMP2 structure – it stands for Efficient Modular Platform.
It’s Peugeot-Citroen’s equivalent to the Volkswagen Group’s acclaimed MQB chassis on which the new Golf, new Audi A3 and new SEAT Leon are based. A whole new generation of EMP2-underpinned cars is on the way over the next few years, including a seven-seater C4 Picasso arriving next January.
Looks-wise, the car has taken a big leap forward with sharper styling, including a panoramic windscreen that curves right back into the roof.
Practicality is improved, with a cabin packaged for more passenger space and a boot size increased by 37 litres to 537 litres (15 litres more than a Scenic, 66 litres bigger than a C-Max).
What’s it like to drive?
Civilised, if a touch on the soft side for some tastes. The suspension is set to be supple and the ride quality is excellent, but the compromise is a bit of body lean on some of the tighter bends. Gear ratios could do with a bit of adjustment.
It isn’t really a ‘driver’s car’, but passengers will love it.
It has a couple of novel features: the lane departure warning system makes the driver’s seat belt vibrate across your chest (a bit disconcerting for a female driver) and there is a powered footrest for the front-seat passenger. It’s a great idea, but when stowed away it still sticks out annoyingly behind your legs.
- CO2 emissions of 105g/km in this e-HDi 116PS, the expected best-seller, is good for a compact MPV and keeps company car tax to 16%
- There is also a 98g/km version, the e-HDI 90 Airdream, with 74mpg economy and company car tax of only 14%
- Euro 6-compliant BlueHDi 150 combines power with 110g/km CO2
- New six-speed clutchless gearbox, the ETG6 (six-speed Efficient Tronic Gearbox) available on e-HDi 90 and e-HDi 115
- Sleek body styling makes the car much more of a looker than its predecessor
- Compact dimensions, 4.43 metres long, 1.83 metres wide and 1.61 metres tall
- Turning circle only 10.8 metres for good manoeuvrability
- Slim LED daytime running lights look good
- Very narrow front pillars provide excellent forward vision
- Big windscreen and large 5.3 square metres glass area scoop lots of light into the interior
- Classy cabin, nicely kitted out
- Dashboard design with 12-inch built-in monitor makes everything easy to read at a glance; also a tablet-style seven-inch touchpad interface
- Big boot at 537 litres, beats its rivals, and can be increased to 630 litres with rear seats pushed forward
- Weight efficiency, 140kg lighter than the old C4 Picasso
- Lounge Pack adds a club class feel with massaging front seats and a front passenger leg-rest
- Front passenger seat folds to create a 2.5 metre load floor length for carrying long items
- Electric tailgate available
- Park Assist offered as an option
- Good to drive but not a ‘driver’s car’
- Some body lean on the bends
- Not as dynamic as, say, a Ford C-Max
- Gear ratios not ideal, seems a bit high-geared for economy
- Lane departure warning system vibrates the driver’s seatbelt, disconcerting if you are female
- Passenger club class airline-style footrest does not stow fully away under the seat
- Least powerful e-HDi with only 89bhp has great economy but slow off the mark
Business Car Manager car review verdict
The C4 Picasso has taken a leap forward in the desirability stakes, and its new pricing makes it a more attractive prospect for company car drivers, who are expected to account for 50 per cent of buyers.
We test drove the model likely to be the company car favourite, and company car tax would cost a basic rate tax payer £65 a month. Combined with the impressive 70.6mpg that makes for frugal running costs
With smart new styling, a swish cabin and more boot room than either of its principal rivals, it is well worth considering if a compact MPV suits your business car and family needs.
The Low Down…
|Doors and body style||5-door MPV|
|Engine/gearbox||1.6 litre 4 cyl turbodiesel/6-speed manual|
…and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||N/A|
|Road tax (VED)||Band B|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2013/14 to 2015/16||16%, 17%, 19%|
|Benefit in kind 2013/14 to 2015/16||£3920, £4165, £4655|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£675/£56|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£1350/£112|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£784/£65|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£1568/£130|
|Figures correct at time of posting|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|