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MPV MASTERPIECE? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Citroen's stylish seven-seat Grand C4 Space Tourer people carrier is a good showcase for the brand's 1.6 BlueHDi 120 diesel engine and semi-auto, paddle-shift EAT6 transmission. Jonathan Crouch reports.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 87
Citroen's classy, glassy mid-sized 7-seat people moved, once called the Grand C4 Picasso and now known as the Grand C4 Space Tourer, brought a new level of sophistication to the People Carrying market at its launch in 2013 - and still does. Today's improved design features extra safety kit and, in this BlueHDi 120 guise, an efficient BlueHDi diesel engine mated to the option of an improved EAT6 paddle-shift gearbox. For growing families, this avant garde people carrier continues to combine style and substance like little else.
Backgroundword count: 152
Style isn't generally high on the list of attributes that typical family buyers are looking for when it comes to the purchase of a 7-seat MPV. Still, it's nice to have - and could be the deciding factor if you're faced with options that all seem much of a muchness in terms of price and practicality. Such is the appeal of Citroen's Grand C4 Picasso, the 7-seat version of the brand's 5-seat C4 Picasso model. Both cars are now well into their second generation model run, the new design first introduced back in 2013, but since improved with more efficient BlueHDi diesel and PureTech petrol engines. Now the car has had a minor facelift too. The version most 'Grand' customers choose is the one with the mid-range 'BlueHDi 120' diesel engine and we thought we'd check it out with the brand's improved EAT6 semi-auto gearbox, a good match for the torquey powerplant.
Driving Experienceword count: 212
Citroen is offering two 1.6-litre diesel options to Grand C4 Space Tourer buyers, a base 100bhp unit and the 120bhp variant we're looking at here, which has the advantage that it can be optionally mated to the efficient 6-speed semi-automatic EAT6 gearbox we tried. None of the 1.6-litre BlueHDi derivatives have the power to really set the heart racing, 62mph from rest in the BlueHDi 120 EAT6 variant needing 11.2s en route to 117mph. Until you master it and lift off between changes made via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, the EAT6 transmission can seem jerky and unresponsive, though it's better in this respect than the previous EGS 'box that was previously fitted to the old Picasso model. Once you adjust though, the system actually works very well. We can see though, why many would be more comfortable with a more conventional manual 'box. While lacking the sharpness and feel of more dynamic rivals, the Grand C4 Picasso still turns into corners with confidence, and despite more body movement, always remains composed. The ride is also accomplished - it soaks up bumps with ease and is supple enough to isolate imperfections from the cabin. The self-levelling rear suspension and long wheelbase give the car a very relaxed gait, and excellent straightline stability.
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Category: MPV People Carriers
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