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French without tears

French without tears

Steve Orme, 2017-05-16

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THIS Brexit malarkey is getting a bit tedious.

There are few more boring events than a drawn out divorce, conducted in the public bar, by protagonists who both claim ownership of the CD collection and cannot even decide whose mother gifted the fondue set.

Look, get on with it. As a continent we haven't had sex since our honeymoon and it has been clear for some time that the only thing which keeps the union together is mutual enjoyment of a good slanging match.

We will walk away with the things which matter, the Range Rover, Aston Martin and holiday home in Wales while Europe gets a chunk of the bank account and warmer weather.

What we will be leaving behind is a continental motor industry which has never been in better shape, especially in France.

Peugeot is producing innovative quality products to match the best of Germany and Citroen is not far behind and it is at the door of the republique PSA we draw up the tumbril today.

Specifically in the form of the Grand C4 Picasso.

Now this may be a Picasso but it has nothing whatsoever in common with cubism.

Yes, it's a bus but a well-rounded seven-seater which defies the truth about its cavernous insides.

Obviously this is the importantbit of the deal.

No slouch, 150bhp from two-litres pushing on to 62mph in a quick-feeling 10.1 seconds, but you have been looking into this area of the car marketplace probably due to an ignorance of the YKK zipper company's excellent products.

Maybe you have no large family yourself but an increasing trend toward involving young people in all sorts of extra-curricular activities brings with it car sharing and load lugging so it is there we should focus.

With just the five seats employed the Picasso has masses of boot space but then often people are the cargo two extra seats fold flat into the space behind the automated tailgate.

The rear seats recline and slide but remembering the co-pilot on long hauls the passenger seat folds flat as well as offering a massage and electric foot rest.

So, we have them all in where does the detritus of modern life go?

Into the illuminated center storage for a start, as well as under seat and underfloor compartments, in the seat pockets and on the folding aircraft trays.

Obviously if you are carting modern kids around there will be more demand for connectivity than at a speed-dating night.

All that, USBs, AUX and Car Play are up front - excellent negotiation tools, well short of my day of belt up or you will get something to cry for.

Right, just supposing your last child left home years ago and you secretly moved house to avoid any grand-kids how much use to you is a seven-seat Picasso?

A lot if there is any inclination towards touring, days out in the country, tea cups in a layby, that sort of thing.

The Flair level Picasso, which costs £30,000 with metallic paint, comes fully leathered and heavily kitted out.

There is a sunroof and all sorts of dipping and folding lights to add to privacy glass, reversing sensors and a rear camera.

The driving position is dominated by a 12-inch central display and a touch screen display to control all vehicle functions, radio, Bluetooth air con front and back, you get my drift.

It would be a struggle to find a better long-range people carrier, the noise levels are muted and a high seating position helps with tireless journeys.

This version comes with 18-inch Python wheels, I'll avoid the obvious jokes but shut up in the back Cleese.

For a small bus it handles well but you are hardly in the market for a bit of jiggy-jiggy over the hilltops, of greater interest is a possible 64.2mpg overall.

Of course who would get what in the event of divorce is down to the lawyers but let's stay away from the bitterness of Barbie and Ken's split.

Half the house is fine but half a speedboat is no use to man nor beast.

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