Cockburn Gazette - - DRIVE WAY - Robert Buys

LIKE one of Pablo Pi­casso's art­works, the Citroen named af­ter him is an ab­stract mix of clever de­sign.

But it also has func­tion­al­ity that in many cases sur­passes sim­i­lar-sized MPV and SUV ri­vals.

As you drive along, it is like a crime the Pink Pan­ther is try­ing to solve. No­body has a clue what it is. Nor that the Pi­casso is so cool to be in.

It is a very clev­erly thoughtout ma­chine that dif­fers in looks from most mid-sized hatches.

There are some in­ter­est­ing fea­tures if you are into tech gad­getry, like a 360-de­gree bird's-eye view mon­i­tor, park as­sist (self­park), blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing and ve­hi­cle de­tec­tion.

Things im­me­di­ately to like are the 12-inch cen­tre dis­play with dual TFT twin fil­ter trans­fer screens show­ing all on-board di­ag­nos­tics. There is also a seven- inch screen that mod­u­lates var­i­ous func­tions and they are in turn dis­played on the big screen above, in­clud­ing the driv­ing dis­plays.

There is a mas­sive glass wind- screen with re­tractable sun­shields and huge glass roof, with a to­tally re­tractable screen.

There are more stor­age pock­ets in the Pi­casso than in French For­eign Le­gion fa­tigues.

The cen­tre con­sole is deep enough to fit an en­tire hand­bag or one of those trendy pet dogs so pop­u­lar in France.

The space in­side is enor­mous. At 533 litres, the Pi­casso has the big­gest boot space in its class.

My per­sonal favourite is the dou­ble A pil­lar. It has glass be­tween the two points giv­ing un­ob­structed for­ward vi­sion.

The 1.6 turbo-charged en­gine punches 121kW with 240Nm and has re­ceived the pres­ti­gious 2014 En­gine of the Year award. The Pi­casso reaches 100km/h from rest in 9.2 sec­onds.

The en­gine is said to con­sume 5.6L/100km but th­ese fig­ures were a lit­tle higher on a com­bined runaround over a week.

Citroen backs its cus­tomers with a six-year un­lim­ited kilo­me­tre war­ranty with road­side as­sist and capped-price ser­vic­ing.

Priced from $40,990, the Pi­casso has a lot to of­fer. Op­tions adding to the price are metal­lic paint, power tail­gate, leather in­te­rior and spe­cial al­loy wheels.

Citroen has been around for 96 years for those who have no clue. They do leave plenty of ev­i­dence to the fact they have been in­no­va­tors of the au­to­mo­bile and the beau­ti­fully fin­ished Pi­casso dis­plays this per­fectly.

Ver­dict: A classy and very live­able ver­sa­tile hatch.

The Pi­casso is a mo­torised work of art.

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