We found ourselves drifting out of lane. It was the car, your see! It was like a voyage of discovery trying to figure out which control did what.
The first observation we would make about the Citroen C4 Picasso is that you should spend a few minutes familiarising yourself with the controls before you take to the road.
The C4 Picasso is not only well endowed, it is positively packed with gadgets and driving aids.
In this regard this stylish Citroen is in a class of its own. It was while try to get a handle on some of the controls that we drifted. No harm done. It was a quiet afternoon on the motorway, but be warned.
Since our drive the C4 Picasso won the Continental Irish Car of the Year 2014 title. Not a surprise! Here is a car that ticks all the right boxes - style (loved the general detail, and especially the use of chrome around windows and the door handles), comfort (5 individual seats, lots of space), economy (over 60mpg), safety (see spec sheet) and it is a good drive to boot.
The C4 Picasso is a compact MPV offering four trim levels - VTR, VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+ - with prices ranging from €24,495 to €35,095 .
Our drive was in the 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel. From kick off this unit is eager and strong. You won’t be falling back on the smooth 6-speed gearbox to keep the drive on the boil. No, this is a high kicking unit.
The high driving position places you behind a panoramic windscreen that is like a great bay window giving you a superior view of the world. The hi tech dash is all electronic with twin central displays, the lower one being a touchscreen to shift from sat nav, phone, heating and ventilation and entertainment system.
As the C4 Picasso is aimed mainly at the family buyer, space is important. There is lots, in the bright, airy cabin, of course, and the boot benefits from sliding rear seats that ups the capacity from 537 to 630 litres. Storage options abound.
Citroen reckon the main market is among young families with one or two children or older couples with grown up children. They could be wrong there. This car could sell on style alone, and the buyer would then find a treasure-trove within.
Standard features (VTR) include ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and EBA, electronic stability control with traction control, cruise control with speed limiter, air con with dual zone temperature setting, automatic electronic parking brake, driver and front passenger airbags cut off device, panoramic windscreen, daytime running Leds, 16” Viper alloy wheels, 3 separate full size rear seats with adjustable recline angle, 7” Touch Drive interface (controls all vehicle functions), three 12 volt power sockets, get you home spare wheel.
Citroen C4 Picasso Exclusive 1.6-litre e-HDi €28,995; 1,560cc, 4-cylinders, turbodiesel, 113bhp at 3,600rpm, 199lb ft torque at 1,750 to 2,500rpm, 6-speed manual gearbox; top speed 11mph, 0 to 62mph in 11.8 seconds; C02 emissions 105g/km, annual road tax €190 .