Citroen's new C4 Picasso has lost weight, boasts more cabin space, and enough touchscreen gadgetry inside to embarrass a branch of Currys.
What's under the skin of the new Citroen C4 Picasso?
Underpinning the car is PSA Peugeot-Citroen's new do-it-all platform. The aluminium architecture is 70kg lighter than the old car's chassis, while a stretched wheelbase and shrink-wrapped overall dimensions mean the overall weight savings compared to the outgoing C4 Picasso is 140kg. Citroen claims the C4 Picasso now weighs the same as its smaller stablemate, the C3 Picasso, while boasting a bigger cabin, and a class-best boot-space of 537 litres. Engines are mounted 40-50mm lower than the old car, for a double-whammy of lower centre of gravity and pedestrian-friendly crash protection.
The lighter platform is known as EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform). Like the Volkswagen Group's MQB underpinnings, Peugeot-Citroen's one-size fits all is not only lighter than older chassis, but allows easy, cheap extensions of wheelbase, length and width. Lots of cars can be spun from the same platform, lowering production costs across the board. Not only will the Citroen range move to EMP2 in the coming years, but Peugeot will too, starting with the 'new 308' family hatchback, due in around 2015.
Will the new Citroen C4 Picasso cost me less to run?
Yes, thanks in part to a tax band drop from a 30g/km average CO2 reduction. C4 Picassos fitted with the most efficient diesel engine (e-HDi 90 Airdream) duck under the 100g/km barrier, and will score a claimed 74mpg in six-speed clutchless manual guise. The best the old car could manage was 112g/km and 56.5mpg.
All engine choices are 1.6-litre units at launch: the most popular is expected to be the e-HDi 115, good for a claimed 104-105g/km, 70mpg and 115bhp. You can choose from a conventional six-speed manual gearbox or the slightly more efficient clutchless manual – a regular six-speed automatic will join the range in 2014.
I've just spotted those monster screens inside the new C4 Picasso...
Dominating the five-seat cabin is a dual-screen interface which handles navigation, entertainment and 360-degree around-car vision when parking, thanks to four exterior-mounted cameras activated at low speed. Drivers can select a bird’s eye view, a rear view or a panoramic front view on the upper 12in HD display, while the lower 7in touchscreen monitor controls in-vehicle functions. From 2014, you'll be able to access Citroen's 'Multicity Connect' app store from the car, allowing live weather, traffic and local amenity updates to be streamed to the cabin.
Will the new Citroen C4 Picasso keep my family safe?
There are a heap of safety features available in the new Picasso. You can spec radar-guided cruise control, a lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring and active seat-belts which hold passengers tight if an imminent collision is sensed.
When can I see a Citroen C4 Picasso in the metal?
The new Picasso goes on sale in France first, in June 2013. Europe-wide sales will follow this autumn, with prices likely to range from £18,000-23,000.