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C4 Picasso: It's Citroen's gadget wagon

2014-08-27 12:12

C'EST MAGNIFIQUE! C4 PICASSO DRIVEN: Citroen’s stylish C4 Picasso is now in South Africa. Will its new design and chic cabin be enough to take on the likes of Mercedes' 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.


I’m not exactly a techno-phobe but gadgets are not really my thing. Let’s just say I still prefer using a Blackberry. Until now that is, when my long-lost childhood respect for Inspector Gadget returned tenfold when the keys of Citroen’s C4 Picasso landed in my lap.

So much so that memories of Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701) flashed back rather vividly and I almost felt like Captain James Kirk while driving the C4 Picasso.  Perhaps it’s that vast dashboard with two huge monitors – one 17cm for driver information and the other optional 30cm for various options such as a slide of personal photos, wallpaper, navigation map, etc.

The C4 Picasso was launched in South Africa in June 2014 and it's available in two derivatives - Seduction and Intensive. The car is powered by a 1.6 e-HDi 115 turbodiesel good for 85kW/270Nm and it's mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It reaches 100km/h in 11.8sec and has a claimed top speed of 190km/h.

GALLERY: 2014 Citroen C4 Picasso

The biggest highlight about this car is probably its self-parking function. Yep, you can literally sit arms crossed and let the car do the work with some throttle assistance from the driver that is.


When the car was delivered with a demo instruction and a few practice rounds in the office parking, it was a breeze to do. You select the auto-park function and drive slowly - less than 20km/h – as the car scans and measures a suitable parking space. Once it does, you select the direction to park from i.e. by indicating left or right or into a parallel bay; select reverse and the car will steer itself into the selected bay automatically.

You might have to move back and forth a bit yourself, if you’re fussy. Also, the car has five cameras and you can check the car's surroundings via a bird's eye-view menu button.

Heck, I was so excited to show it off to everyone when the opportunity presented itself but then when it came down to trying it out in real time – when in a shopping mall parking area – my patience and that of other drivers behind me didn’t appreciate it.

You have to drive real slow and if you reach the end of the car park, the camera stops scanning for a suitable bay and you have to reverse or drive around again and start all over. I hate shopping so generally being at any mall/centre needs swift movements – get what you want and get out. Driving into an available bay and parking yourself is just easier and faster.

And, if you are terrible driving a manual model, the auto park function will definitely be a nightmare more than anything else since it needs manual assistance and is not completely automatic. The car might stall and then you have to start the whole process all over.

It’s still a pretty cool function, especially if you’re into automated gadgetry and perhaps for younger drivers who are not yet comfortable with parking, or even older drivers who have lost their confidence. I just didn’t have the patience to use it.

But back to all the other goodies I did enjoy…


Citroen claims a combined fuel consumption of four litres/100km. It’s safe to say this car daintily sips fuel rather than guzzles it. I was averaging about 6.3-litres/100km on the open road or 16.8km/litre on both urban and rural roads; I achieved 700km from one tank of fuel.

Putting some mileage on the clock is never an issue for me since there’s always a road trip to be driven. This particular week saw my better half playing a rugby match in Ceres via the Swartland. By the way, I had asked him what he liked most about this car and he said “Everything!”

The roads are not the greatest, but at least it’s not mangled by potholes. The drive up Bain's Kloof Pass was comfortable at cruising speeds in the 1.6-litre diesel, which isn’t very noisy either.

As it's positions as a "mom’s taxi", don’t expect to be hitting tight bends at warp speed even though it’s quite capable of spirited(ish) driving. I didn’t quite feel too comfortable with the noticeable body-roll and even the steering could do with a touch of refinement.


The space in this car rates top-notch in my book. The rear row is uber spacious and comfortable with convenient trays which can flip down for the kiddies or for passengers to keep any items such as cell phones or even use it as desk space to work on.

Legroom is just bonkers and a vertically challenged individual like myself can easily stretch out my legs.

The space for the front passenger is ample - it even has a foot rest which is electrically controlled and as the rest comes up, the backrest of the seat automatically goes down. I told my finance to put it down immediately as I was too jealous while driving.

But, both front seats have massage functions so that made up for it’s a little bit. You can choose how strong you want the pulse setting to be and needless to say, mine was on all the time, along with the heatable seat function.

Back to the spaceship technology (read personal computer), the C4 Picasso’s facia is clutter-free and the two monitors displays all the controls re air conditioning, car and audio settings. There’s even a calculator and full calendar and you can upload personal photos and set it as desktop wallpaper. According to Citroen, "having a picture of your loved ones as a backdrop, might curb bad driving habits". Everything is super user-friendly, buttons are, well, what you see is what you get - just the way I like it.


Even though the seat itself sits comfortably - to boot with armrests - for driver and front passenger, the driver seat can’t go much lower and the steering wheel should be built so that it can reach further back into the dash.

I also feel that the pedals could be positioned just a tiny bit higher, since the seat is so high. I battled to get a decent driving position and it irked me to no end. Eventually I got used to it, but it’s definitely something that should be considered with the next upgrade to the model. Perhaps an auto model should also be added to the model range, and soon!


Man, I loved this car. So it’s not a Victoria Secret model in terms of looks but rather a voluptuous Nigella. With all that space in the rear and an ample boot for prams and things, fitting baby seats and accessing the kids is convenient and is vital for not fussing about and getting the youngens in and out of the car swiftly.

If anyone is looking to buy an MPV. I rate this car second to none. At first I reckoned the car would cost close to R500 000 with all the standard goodies but it’s R325 900 for the cheapest model, the Seduction version which I was driving. Perhaps a bit steep, considering items such as the second monitor is optional and so forth. 

It comes with a three-year or 100 000km warranty, five-year or 100 000km service plan, three years of 24-hour roadside assistance while the warranty can be extended to five-years or 100 000km. There’s also an optional Citroen Freedrive plan - a five-year or 100 00km warranty and a five-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.


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

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