Cue best

Citroen’s Pi­casso, the new leader in the people-mover class

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Front Page - PAUL POT­TINGER CARS­GUIDE EDI­TOR paul.pot­[email protected]­guide.com.au

CAN 250,000 buy­ers a year be wrong? Yes. They buy com­pact SUVs in the lem­ming-like mind­set that it’s a fam­ily car.

Com­pact SUVs pro­lif­er­ate yet there’s not a sin­gle out­stand­ing ex­am­ple, be­cause it’s in­her­ently com­pro­mised, a cross of small hatch­back and off-roader that typ­i­cally has the lim­i­ta­tions of both and the as­sets of nei­ther. If you’ve the least re­gard for those ge­netic repli­ca­tions of yourself in the back, buy a people-mover.

The only real lim­i­ta­tion of such a ve­hi­cle is its la­bel. Yes, they can move seven (some­times eight) people in vary­ing de­grees of com­fort.

Yet a people-mover’s great at­trac­tion is ver­sa­til­ity. You can have seven up, just the driver or un­told com­bi­na­tions of hu­man and/or inan­i­mate cargo.

Nor are “people-movers” merely fam­ily cars. Any­one whose re­cre­ation ne­ces­si­tates large pieces of ex­pen­sive equip­ment need look no fur­ther. Euro­peans call them MPVs — multi-pur­pose ve­hi­cles — but do we need an­other acro­nym?

So Citroen’s Grand C4 Pi­casso, re­leased this week, de­serves recog­ni­tion be­yond its Fran­cophile devo­tees.

VALUE

At $43,990 be­fore op­tions (of which there are few), it looks com­pelling, as would a still taller price tag from this driver’s seat (which is slightly el­e­vated and so an­other rea­son not to de­lude yourself with an SUV). The in­stru­ment dis­play is sin­gu­lar in the Citroen fash­ion, its form firmly func­tional.

Stan­dard fix­tures in­clude 12-inch high-def­i­ni­tion screen aug­mented by a seven-inch touch­screen with multimedia con­trols. Only last year did a sim­i­lar setup de­but in Benz’s flag­ship S-Class.

The en­try price in­cludes blind spot warn­ing, 17-inch al­loys, light­weight mo­torised tail­gate, sat­nav, park as­sist and — most im­pres­sively — rearview and 360-de­gree cam­era.

The $2K Drive As­sist Pack brings lane de­par­ture warn­ing, smart head­lights, ac­tive cruise, anti-col­li­sion warn­ing and ac­tive seat belts.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The diesel, the sole en­gine, is the first oiler to earn five stars in the Green Ve­hi­cle Guide — even if the eye-widen­ing 4.5L/100km (on stan­dard 17inch wheels) achieved in of­fi­cial test­ing will sel­dom be re­alised in fully bur­dened ur­ban re­al­ity.

The six-speed au­to­matic (with a torque con­verter) drives the front wheels. De­spite car­ry­ing the C4 des­ig­na­tion, the Pi­casso rides on a new plat­form and weighs in a good

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