For quite a while now we’ve been considering buying a new car.
The kids were cramped in the back of our old car and it wasn’t getting any younger.
A few weeks ago we finally decided to take the plunge and get a nearly new Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.
With less than 5,000 miles on the clock it set us back a pretty penny.
But it was significantly less than if we’d bought the car new.
OK, So It’s Got A Diesel Engine
I know that diesel engines have taken a bit of a knock recently but with very few used petrol engine versions out there we decided to go ahead.
It’s good to know that the engine is based on the Euro 6 emission standard which reduces emissions as much as possible.
The car has an Adblue tank which injects a solution of urea and water into the car’s exhaust system to significantly reduce harmful gases.
It would have been nice to buy a hybrid car but they’re out of our price range at the moment.
Where we live in Musselburgh, the High Street often has high pollution levels so I’m aware of the need to for cleaner vehicles.
The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso that we bought also has a Stop & Start feature.
When you’re stuck in traffic or you’re at a red light, the engine will stop if you put the car into neutral and release the clutch.
As soon as you press the clutch again, the engine restarts and you can drive away.
The Space Goes On And On
When we were researching our next car, we were conscious that we wanted more space and potentially seven seats.
Not only for comfort but also because it means we can travel with grandparents and the kids in one car when we go and visit.
Going around in two cars is a pain and also adds to the pollution in the air.
The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso has space in abundance.
I’m six foot tall so I have the seat quite far back when I’m driving.
My daughter still has plenty of room behind me in the back seat though whereas in the old car her legs were squashed.
Each seat in the back is also a full seat rather than the middle one being a compromised smaller space.
The magic begins in the boot where you can pull up two further seats to make it a seven seater car.
There’s enough head room for most kids sitting in those seats although an adult might be less comfortable.
When the extra seats are lowered the car boot has an extensive space.
And if you need more the second row of seats can also be flattened.
Technology Has Moved On
The central console of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is packed with all kinds of technology – something I wasn’t used to in our old car.
You can connect your phone via bluetooth and have a conversation with any of your contacts over the car’s speaker system.
It also hooks up to Spotify in the same way so you can stream your favourite tunes.
Our model includes Android Auto, Mirror Link and Apple Carplay for even more integration with a smartphone.
Just in front of the gear stick there’s a storage compartment which includes a usb socket.
So you can easily plug in your phone to charge as well as keep it tucked away for a safer journey.
The car also has satellite navigation with TomTom traffic and means I don’t have to rely on my mobile phone to get from A to B.
If anyone driving ever has an accident the car will also make a localised emergency call if any of the air bags get set off.
You can also manually make an emergency call using the SOS button in the car.
It’s Got All Kinds Of Sensors
The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is quite a long car and parking it takes some getting used to.
It’s handy that the model we bought has front and rear sensors which really helps when parking in a tight space.
The sensors give both a visual and audible warning signal as you get closer to an object.
I’ve found parallel parking the car pretty easy with the help of the sensors because you know exactly when to stop.
It also has a sensor built in to turn on the windscreen wipers when it starts to rain.
And in addition, the lights will also automatically turn on when there are low light conditions.
The car will even warn you if it senses that you’ve been driving too long and need a break.
Unfortunately it doesn’t make coffee for you though!
Things That Could Have Gone Better
The Connect Nav system in the car includes a free three year subscription to TomTom traffic from date of registration.
When we bought the car I knew about this and queried it with the salesman, who had no idea what I was talking about.
I was passed from pillar to post and back again before I eventually found the right person to help me.
It took about three weeks to get it sorted but all it needed was to add me to a Citroen database.
Once I was on there and the subscription was activated the TomTom traffic worked almost instantly.
The fact that there’s no handbrake now in the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso really threw me when I did the test drive.
It was a bit of a struggle at junctions because I was used to putting the handbrake on if I needed to stop.
The car has a hill start assist feature so that you don’t roll back at junctions or if you’re parked on a hill.
It automatically keeps the brake on for two seconds to give you time to press the accelerator and raise the clutch.
It does take some getting used to.
Overall Thoughts On The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
Having only had Vauxhall cars in the past, getting used to driving a different brand wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be.
The technology in the car is a bit overwhelming at first because a great many things are controlled via the central console.
But you soon get the hang of where everything is.
I thought it might feel weird not having the speedometer directly in front of me might feel a bit odd too.
It’s actually located in the panoramic console which is slightly to the left of the driver.
And in reality it’s easier to see than if it’s behind the steering wheel in front of you.
It’s also easier for everyone to see too so they’ll know if you’re speeding!
I love the extra space that the car gives us as a family and it’s overall versatility with configuration of the seats.
I know that we will spend much more time going on road trips now that we can all be more comfortable in the car.