Behind the steering wheel, attached to the rake and reach-adjustable steering column are the normal indicator and wiper stalks.
Behind the steering wheel, attached to the rake and reach-adjustable steering column are the normal indicator and wiper stalks. On manual models this set-up of stalks, push-buttons and thumb-wheels can be quite daunting but in cars with the Electronic Gearbox System (EGS), it is even more bewildering - until you get used to it.
With EGS comes a further attachment to the top of the column with a selection lever for Reverse, Neutral, Manual and Automatic but no P for Park. In this system, choosing Manual brings into play the gear selector paddles (right for up and left for downshifts) mounted behind the steering wheel and in front of the stalks. So, now the driver is faced with five different levels in front of them. The idea is to centralise the controls within easy access and limit the need to take your eyes from the road or your hands from the wheel. It is clever but initially confusing.
The other advantage is that it frees the fascia from clutter for a cleaner and more relaxing environment. The centre console is no more than an information screen in a slim, centrally positioned, dash-top binnacle. Depending on the trim level and options, this section contains either a large single information screen with digital readouts for rpm, gear selection, fuel and speed as well as other functional information. Alternatively, the information panel is broken up into two outer screens and the centre panel is used as a multi-functional info screen or for the Sat-Nav. The base of the binnacle is also where you will find a small flap/lever for the automatic, electronic parking brake, which comes on as soon as the engine stops and releases when you pull away.
Below the central air-vents is a lidded panel that looks as if it should contain a cigar lighter and ashtray but actually houses the audio system, except on the LX, which, as far as I can tell doesn’t have one. On the SX and VTR+ the audio system comprises of a radio/CD player and in the Exclusive it is MP3 compatible. There is a Phillips HiFi system for the Exclusive, which adds £400 to the list price but includes laminated, privacy windows. NaviDrive, Satellite Navigation is available as a £1,800 pack for the Exclusive but is not compatible with the Bluetooth telephone system.
On the manual models, the gearshift is sited in the lower fascia panel, whereas this space is used as a cooled cubby hole on the EGS versions. Climate controls are situated at the outermost edges of the fascia while the large expanse of dash-top features large storage pods with the one in front of the driver containing the CD autochanger, where fitted.
The lack of clutter in the front of the car does make for a more relaxed atmosphere and the absence of central tunnel makes it easy to get between the front seats to the second row or the under-floor storage just ahead of them.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 2.0i Exclusive|
|Colour||Artic Steel Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||121 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Electronic Gearbox System|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||45.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||2-Years' unlimited mileage manufacturer's warranty and no fee customer option of 3rd year dealer provided extended warranty, up to a 3-Year total of 60,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 14/05/07)||£19,845|