Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer Review
The Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer is a spacious and very practical seven-seat MPV with a cool, futuristic design, but it’s not quite as good to drive as many alternatives
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The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer is a roomy seven-seat MPV with a massive boot and an eye-catching design that helps it stand out from the likes of the Volkswagen Touran, Kia Carens and Ford S-Max. The current model was launched in 2013 but received a few styling tweaks in 2016 to keep it looking fresh. If you are unfamiliar with the name, it used to be called the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.
Thankfully, Citroen didn’t change too much of the old car’s already futuristic interior. You get plenty of plush plastics dotted around its minimalist cabin and the same neat central speedometer. It certainly feels more special inside than the comparatively bland Touran, but its confusing infotainment system can’t hold a candle to VW’s super-intuitive touchscreen.
Sure, you get sat-nav and smartphone mirroring as standard in all but entry-level Touch cars, but the sluggish menus and fiddly on-screen buttons for the climate control make it quite tricky to use on the move.
What the Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer lacks in easy-to-use infotainment, it claws back in passenger space. There’s room for six-foot-tall adults to sit in all three rows (for short journeys at least) and you can fit a child seat to each of the separate sliding middle seats.
The futuristic-looking Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer makes other boxy MPVs look like they belong in an episode of the Flintstones
Sadly, it’s not all good news. Folding the Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer’s middle and rearmost seats down is much more difficult than in the VW and Kia. Thankfully, once you’ve faffed about with the many tethers and carpeted covers you’ll open up a huge boot that’s streets ahead of the Touran and Carens.
If you plan to regularly fill your Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer’s seven seats or do plenty of long journeys, you’ll want to pick a 120hp 1.6-litre diesel model – it’s cheaper to buy and more frugal than the bigger 2.0-litre diesel. If short trips around town are more your thing, the 1.2-litre petrol will be right up your street.
Whichever model you pick, you’ll find the Citroen C4 Grand SpaceTourer easy to drive. Its huge windows and light steering make it relatively easy to thread through tight city streets – for a bulky MPV, at least – although it isn’t as comfortable as the VW and leans more in tight corners.
It might not come with quite the same amount of high-tech safety kit as the Touran but the more affordable Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer is still a safe and hugely practical large family car that’ll be just as happy on the school run as it will be helping you move house.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer comes with one of the biggest boots around and seven seats that are just about big enough for adults, but folding them flat is unnecessarily complicated
Folding all the Citroen’s seats perfectly flat feels like a challenge cooked up by the creators of The Crystal Maze – one false move and you’ll have to start all over again
You won’t have any trouble getting comfortable in the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer front seats. There’s loads of head and legroom and plenty of adjustment to help you find your perfect driving position.
Entry-level cars come with height adjustment for both front seats as standard, while Feel and Flair models get electric lumbar support for the driver’s seat so you won’t have to worry about lower-back pain ruining your next road trip.
Space in the middle seats is just as generous as in the front. Unlike most cars its size, the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer comes with three separate middle seats and a completely flat rear floor. As a result, there’s more than enough shoulder room and foot space for three adults to sit side-by-side.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer large windows make it feel roomier inside than most seven-seat MPVs – especially with the optional panoramic glass roof fitted. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news – the SpaceTourer’s middle seats are lower to the floor than in the Touran, which can make sitting in them for long periods a bit uncomfortable. You can slide and recline them separately, however, which is a nice touch.
Climbing into the rearmost seats isn’t quite as easy as in a Touran – you have to flip the middle seat bases up before pulling a lever to slide them forwards. Fortunately, once you’ve clambered in you’ll find there’s enough legroom for adults to sit relatively comfortably. Headroom is tighter than in the Touran, but it feels much less claustrophobic than the cramped Kia Carens.
Unlike most MPVs, the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer comes with three pairs of Isofix anchor points in the middle row so you can fit three child seats side-by-side. It might not be quite as easy to locate these Isofix anchors as in the Touran but the Grand C4 SpaceTourer’s tall roof and wide door openings make it a doddle to lift in a bulky seat.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to storage spaces. The front door bins are big enough to hold a one-litre and a 500ml bottle each and there’s a neat central storage draw under the infotainment screen. The glovebox, however, is absolutely tiny.
You can get an extra removable storage drawer that sits between the front seats but it’s only standard on Feel and Flair models. At least it’ll be easy to hose down if your passengers ever spill something sticky on it…
The rear door bins aren’t quite as spacious as those in the front but you do get some neat folding tray tables built into the back of the front seats in Feel and Flair cars. You also get two netted cubbies for storing maps and a handy reading light but your passengers in the rearmost seats will have to share a single cupholder between them.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer really lives up to its name when it comes to bootspace – ‘Grand’ that is, not ‘SpaceTourer’. With all seven seats in place, there’s still enough space left over in its 165-litre boot for a baby stroller – something neither the Kia Carens nor the VW Touran can manage.
Flip the rearmost seats down and the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer’s boot grows to a spacious 632 litres – that’s big enough for two large and two small suitcases. Unfortunately, unlike in the VW, there’s nowhere handy to store the load cover if you need to remove it to carry very tall boxes.
Fold all but the front seats down and the Citroen’s 2,181-litre load bay easily trumps the 1,857-litre VW and 1,650-litre Kia. It’s easily big enough to carry bulky furniture and you can flip the front passenger seat down to carry exceptionally long luggage such as a ladder.
Sadly, outright capacity doesn’t tell the whole story. Sure, the Citroen’s huge boot and low load lip make it easy to load but folding its seats down is much trickier than in either the VW or Kia. You have to pull on some hard-to-reach fabric tethers to flip each seat down before unfolding some carpeted covers that make crafting a perfect origami swan feel like child’s play.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer does claw some points back with its handy tether hooks, neat removable torch and a handy 12V socket in the boot that’ll let you plug in a cleaner to hoover it out without trailing a cable all the way through the cabin.
Despite its large size, the window-laden Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer pretty easy to drive around town but its wallowy suspension might make your passengers feel a tad car-sick on longer journeys
You don’t expect a big, practical MPV to feel sporty to drive but the Grand C4 SpaceTourer leans and wallows in corners like warm jelly on an exercise ball
You can get the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer with four engines – one petrol and three diesels. The 130hp 1.2-litre petrol is well worth considering if you do lots of town driving but it’ll struggle slightly if you ask it to pull you and six passengers up some particularly steep hills. Citroen claims it’ll return 56.5mpg but you can expect to see a figure in the mid-forties in normal driving conditions.
If you do lots of long motorway journeys, one of the three diesels will be more suitable. There are two 1.6-litre models to choose from, producing 100hp and 120hp. The cheaper 100hp version feels pretty sluggish but the perkier 120hp model is fast enough to cruise along happily at motorway speeds. It’s smoother than the more powerful (and more expensive) 150hp 2.0-litre diesel model and returns a claimed 70.6mpg compared to the 2.0-litre car’s 65.7mpg.
Every Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but you can get a six-speed automatic in all but 100hp 1.6-litre diesel cars to give your left leg a rest in heavy traffic but it’ll set you back an extra £1,350. Sadly, considering how much it costs, the ‘box fitted to 1.2-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel models isn’t particularly smooth and the version you’ll find in 2.0-litre cars feels lethargic and unresponsive.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer’s huge windows and raised seating position give you a great view out which helps make it a doddle to drive around town. Sure, it might not be the most manoeuvrable car but its light steering means your arms won’t start to ache every time you squeeze it into a tight parking space.
Speaking of tight spaces, you get rear parking sensors as standard and front parking sensors on Feel and Flair models to help you avoid bumps and scrapes. If the thought of parallel parking still fills you with dread, these versions also come with a system that’ll steer you into parking spots automatically.
Head out of town and you’ll find the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer is a little noisier at speed than the VW Touran – although you’ll still be able to talk to your passengers in the back without raising your voice.
Its body leans significantly more than the VW on twisty country roads too, which can make those in the rearmost seats feel a little queasy on long drives. At least it’s reasonably comfortable but large potholes will send an unpleasant jolt through the cabin and uneven road surfaces can cause it to bounce and rock more than many alternatives.
Thankfully, all models come with cruise control as standard to help make long journeys as relaxing as possible but you can’t get an adaptive system that’ll brake and accelerate for you to keep up with traffic like in the Touran.
The Grand C4 SpaceTourer hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP but the slightly smaller five-seat C4 SpaceTourer earned a full five-star rating back in 2013. As a result, you can expect this seven-seat model to offer similar protection in a crash. Unfortunately, you can’t get it with a similar automatic emergency braking system to the VW’s that’ll help prevent slow-speed collisions by performing an emergency stop if the car detects an obstacle ahead.
The Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer’s cabin looks just as modern as its space-age exterior but you’ll need a degree in astrophysics to understand its complicated infotainment system