Despite its large size, the window-laden Citroen’s pretty easy to drive around town but its wallowy suspension might make your passengers feel a tad car-sick on longer journeys
You can get the 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.
You don’t expect a big, practical MPV to feel sporty to drive but the Grand Picasso leans and wallows in corners like warm jelly on an exercise ball
All models come 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 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 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.