The C4 Picasso introduces a number of advanced features to the class, each designed to make the driving experience safe and stress-free. A parking space measurement system helps drivers to locate a space when parallel parking, and is the first such system on the market, while the standard fitment of Hill Start Assist eases pulling away when stopped on a slope.
The impressive list of equipment offered goes on to include front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and speed limiter, a high quality hi-fi system developed with Philips, and a NaviDrive colour satellite navigation system with built-in telephone and voice recognition facility.
Citroen places a great emphasis on safety so it is no surprise that EuroNCAP has already awarded the C4 Picasso a maximum 5 star adult occupant protection rating. ABS with EBD and EBA, ESP with traction control and seven airbags are standard on all models, while a Lane Departure Warning System and Xenon dual-function directional headlamps are also available.
Four Isofix seats, a child mirror in the front, anti-pinch functions on the windows and an electric child lock system reinforce the safety features on this family car. Meanwhile, keeping the vehicle and its contents secure, laminated side windows, an alarm, remote control central locking with deadlocks and automatic locking of the vehicle when in motion are all available.
To provide a purposeful blend of roadholding and comfort, the running gear of the C4 Picasso has been redesigned from that of the C4 on which it is based, to take into account the extra demands placed on a seven seat Compact MPV.
In another class first, top-of-the-range models are fitted with self-levelling pneumatic rear suspension. By maintaining a constant ride height, regardless of load, this system benefits handling and safety. It also allows the height of the rear sill to be raised or lowered independently for easier loading.
Depending on model, buyers can select either a 5-speed manual transmission, or Citroen's advanced new 6-speed electronic gearbox system. With a choice of manually-operated paddleshift gearchange or an automatic mode, this hi-tech system offers the benefits of ease-of-use and lower fuel consumption.
The new C4 Picasso range is powered by a choice of four engines: 127hp 1.8i 16V and 143hp 2.0i 16V petrol units, as well as 110hp 1.6HDi and 138hp 2.0HDi diesel powerplants. Both diesel engines are fitted with Diesel Particulate Filter Systems while CO 2 emissions are as low as 150g/km. Fuel economy for all four versions is impressive, with the 1.6HDi capable of returning some 50mpg on the combined cycle.
With its arrival in January 2007, the new C4 Picasso will become the latest addition to the line-up of one of the biggest players in the UK MPV market, joining the five seat Xsara Picasso Compact MPV, which will continue to form part of Citroen's line-up, the Berlingo Multispace Budget MPV and the C8 full-size MPV.
Xavier Duchemin, managing director at Citroen UK, said: "The C4 Picasso sets new standards in its class. Customers looking for a new Compact MPV offering unprecedented levels of safety and practicality as well as a fresh new style, all wrapped up in an affordable package, will find that the new C4 Picasso is hard to beat. Its arrival will strengthen Citroen's MPV line-up, which has proved so popular with UK customers in recent years."
Prices range from £14,995 for the 1.8i LX 16V 5-speed manual petrol model to £21,695 for the 2.0HDi Exclusive 6-speed electronic gearbox system.Published 8 December 2006