Curvy C4 Picasso is Solid

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

When a usually quiet car maker such as Citroen invites you to look at a new car, curiosity gets the better of you.

Though affected by interest rate hikes and other factors in recent months, the South African car market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

Even the quietest of car makers, such as Citroen, are out to get a slice of the cake.

Citroen South Africa unveiled the new C4 Picasso in Kimberley last week.

The exterior of the new C4 Picasso looks slightly thinner than the outgoing model, though the interior tells a different story.

The new model looks like a perfect mommy's taxi in every direction.

It was launched with petrol and diesel engines. Both engines are mated to five-speed gearboxes.

The petrol engine is a 1,8i 16V unit developing maximum power of 92 kW and torque of 170 Nm.

Alongside the petrol is the 1,6 HDi, producing 80kW of power and torque of 260Nm.

The wave-shaped recess of the body line below the windows on the rear doors increases the angle of side visibility.

On the road the newcomer is stable and solid. It actually handled exceptionally well for a larger MPV.

But there was an annoying rattle coming from the driver's side of the dashboard in the diesel car I drove.

The same car later lost its windscreen. But the Citroen team promised to look into the matter and rectify it. We hope not many problematic units will reach the buyer.

Both C4 Picasso models have a 3-year/100 000km warranty and 4-year/75 000km service plan as standard and will be covered by Citroën's comprehensive one-year roadside assistance programme.

The petrol engine is priced at R220000, while diesel retails for R247000. A bit disappointing - I expected pricing to start at about R180000.