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Citroen C4 Picasso in SA: But is it art?

2014-06-09 11:33

C'EST MAGNIFIQUE! C4 PICASSO IN SA: Citroen’s stylish C4 Picasso arrives in South Africa. Will it’s new design and chic interior be enough to take on the likes of Mercedes-Benz B-Class or Toyota’s Verso? Image: Citroen


2014 Citroen C4 Picasso

2014-06-06 10:07

Citroen hopes its stylish C4 Picasso will be a trendsetter in South Africa and marks an aggressive vehicle assault for the automaker locally.

Sergio Davids

  • Luxury interior - new tech
  • Superb comfort behind the wheel
  New Citroens on way for SA
  • Citroen, DS to split

GEORGE, Western Cape - Citroen returns to its roots by offering a premium MPV that's as great to look at as it's to drive with the launch of its new C4 Picasso in South Africa.

The C4 Picasso also marks the beginning of a local model assault for the french automaker as well as a big shift for Citroen as it splits from its DS sub-brand... more on that later in the article.

GALLERY: 2014 Citroen C4 Picasso

Using its new lightweight platform, the Efficient modular platform (EMP2), Citroen shaved 140kg from the Picasso’s weight (compared to its predecessor) courtesy of an aluminium bonnet and composite rear to achieve a slimmer 1298kg. The EMP2 will also underpin the new C3, DS3 and WR6.

Peugeot/Citroen SA general manager of marketing Grant Bowring explains: “It's new platform is significantly lighter than the previous version and provides the opportunity to lower the engine, thereby the centre of gravity, making the car more stable while also providing extra interior space.”


The new MPV is available in two derivatives (Seduction and Intensive), each powered by a 1.6 e-HDi 115 turbodiesel capable of 85kW/270Nm. Power is driven to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

The turbodiesel enables the C4 Picasso to reach 100km/h in 11.8sec and a claimed top speed of 190km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at four litres/100km (a saving of one litre/100km compared to its predecessor) with CO2 emissions of 105g/km.


It's size belies a sprightly, comfortable and surprisingly agile mom's taxi; If you're in the market for an MPV its safe to say you'll be relegated to school-runs. Though behind the wheel of the C4 Picasso you'll be doing so in extreme comfort and safety.

The diesel 1.6 is pleasantly swift allowing the C4 Picasso to keep up fast-moving traffic without feeling under strain. As expected from an MPV of its size, body-roll is present especially through bends, though it feels controlled despite the lack-lustre steering.

Its suspension is great at soaking up uneven surfaces and there's a fair amount of grip during spirited driving through corners... though within limits, it's an MPV after all.

Its forte is comfort and it’s this area where the new Picasso excels. The suspension is tuned for comfort, drivers have a commanding view of the road ahead and its cruise control will take out the tedium of long journeys (it'll even brake and maintain distance to cars ahead).

If Citroen's brief to its designers/engineers was to create a car that provides premium interior with comfortable driving, then they've done so with aplomb.


The interior can best be described as "business class" for a car as the seats are modeled on those found in premium airplane cabins.

The seats have wrap-around head-rests and passenger has access to an extendable footrest. The interior has premium design as soft-touch materials and chromed details abound.

The dashboard is stylish mixture of curves and angles and sports central-mounted instrument binnacle.

If MPV means "boring" to you, Citroen's latest offering will shift perceptions, as its new Picasso's bold and modern interior make it unlike any other car you'll likely find yourself in 2014.


It's is equipped with a 17cm touch screen though it can be fitted with an optional 30cm HD version. The screen offers drivers the options of displaying a personal photo as a screen backdrop. Citroen believes that having a picture of your loved ones as a backdrop, might curb bad driving habits.

Standard equipments includes cruise control, electric handbrake, hill-start assistance and auto headlights. The Intensive version adds diode lights, kerb lighting, removable and rechargeable boot light/torch, interior “mood” lighting, retractable rear window-blinds, rear-seat mirror and fog light with cornering function.


Both derivatives are equipped with parking assistance though the Intensive spec adds parallel parking assistance. Luggage space is rated at 537 litres which can be increased to 1851 with the seats folded.

It terms of safety, it has anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, emergency braking assistance, electronic stability and traction control, six airbags and a 'soft-tyre' warning.

The C4 Picasso uses an auto parking system to help drivers maneuver the large MPV into bays, useful when driving in city centres. Word of caution though - since it's mated to a manual system drivers, will have to employ clutch control and maintain throttle. Should you stall, you'll have to switch on the ignition and restart the process.

There are no plans to introduce the larger Grand Picasso in South Africa.


The C4 Picasso faces a tough battle in the local premium MPV market as it takes on the likes of Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Toyota Verso and Peugeot 3008.

Other rivals include Renault Grand Scenic, Chevrolet Orlando, Volkswagen Touran and the upcoming BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.


Despite its steep price-tag, the Citroen C4 Picasso is a worthy contender in the premium MPV market. It offers drivers superb styling, a competent engine, loads of practicality and an opulent interior that can be further bolstered with options.

Most of all, it stands out from the MPV pack - It's a mom's taxi in a tuxedo and is neither boring to look at (read: stare) nor dull behind the wheel. Credit where it's due - Citroen has nailed the premium MPV offering!


The new C4 Picasso marks a shift in model focus for PC SA as it plans to expands its range of vehicles locally.

Citroen's managing director Francis Harnie said: “We announced an aggressive new model introduction policy for Citroen in South Africa at the time of the recent restructuring of our business in terms of the establishment of Peugeot Citroen SA.

“The launch of the C4 Picasso MPV is the first step in a programme which will increase the Citroen range of innovative, trend-setting cars.”

Citroen struggled in 2013 as local sales suffered due to a supply drop in its C3 range. Much like South Africa, strikes halted production at its factory in Paris resulting in a severe shortage of models.


Since it's launch in 2010, Citroen's DS brand has sold 450 000 models to date. In 2014, the automaker has announced it will split from its sportier DS brand. The reason? Citroen believes DS targets "different customers" as 34% of its sales in 2013 were DS models.

New DS models won't sport the traditional Citroen chevron. Fans of DS cars can look forward to two - three new SUVs being launched in the near future.


Citroen has the unenviable task of swaying hearts and minds of South African drivers that its cars are reliable. To facilitate this, the Citroen C4 Picasso is sold with a three-year or 100 000km warranty, five-year or 100 000km service plan, three years of 24-hour roadside assistance.

The warranty can be extended to five-years or 100 000km. Buyers can opt for Citroen Freedrive - a five-year or 100 00km warranty and a five-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.

Potential buyers also have the access to Citroen's "buy-back" policy; the automaker offers a three-year or 60 000km trade-in assistance (terms and conditions apply).

C4 Picasso Seduction - R325 900
C4 Picasso Intensive - R345 900

Click here for full specifications

Read more on:    citroen  |  south africa  |  mpv  |  new models

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