Citroen C4

SpaceTourer Rip Curl

Citroen SpaceTourer Rip Curl, 2018, front, action
Citroen SpaceTourer Rip Curl, 2018, front
Citroen SpaceTourer Rip Curl, 2018, rear
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, interior
Citroen SpaceTourer Rip Curl, 2018, front, action, wide
Citroen SpaceTourer Rip Curl, 2018, front, wide

BEFORE SUVs effectively took over the automotive world a large MPV was the main way to transport seven people around.

For a time they proliferated, with the Chrysler Grand Voyager being the pace-setter.

Other car makers got in on the act too - among them Ford, Volkswagen Kia and Hyundai.

For some reason or other, over time these large MPVs fell out of favour.

The main criticism seemed to be that they were a little too van-like in their driving manners.

Perhaps as a result MPVs became a little more compact and were engineered to deliver more a more car-like driving experience.

The result saw the emergence of vehicles like the Ford S-Max, Vauxhall Zafira and Volkswagen Touran.

Car-like driving manners generally demand a compromise or two and essentially that has meant more compact MPVs could not offer the kind of space and comfort that characterised those larger MPVs like the Volkswagen Sharan and Kia Sedona.

SUVs stepped in to fill the seven-seater gap to some degree but again they have limitations when it comes to passenger space and comfort.

As a result we have seen the rise in commercially-based MPVs which can carry seven, or even eight, passengers in some degree of comfort - while still having room for luggage too.

Citroen's SpaceTourer is one of the current crop.

The Rip Curl special edition represents a partnership with the surfing brand of the same name and it is based on the Feel trim with a few extras too.

Perhaps strangely it comes as either an eight-seater or a five-seater.

Having a five-seat version kind of seems to defeat the object of a vehicle like this, though perhaps if you play in a band or have a similar such need to be able to transport large objects of some description (ie surfing gear), along with people, then I guess it makes sense.

Similarly as a vehicle for a family camping trip it would be perfect.

Alternatively you might just appreciate the versatility of something that is big and van-like.

This was the eight-seat version and has the capability of transporting eight people around in considerable comfort.

There are two front seats and two rows of three behind, with sliding doors offering access to the rear seats.

The Rip Curl special edition comes with beefed-up styling, enhanced traction control and quite a bit more standard equipment.

Getting into the cabin it still has something of a commercial feel but it also has enough in the way of creature comforts and car-like accessories to ensure it doesn't feel like a minibus.

You sit high up, but not really much more than in a large SUV.

The gear lever doesn't feel like it's several feet away from the driving seat and once you get used to the sheer bulk and the inevitable but of pitch and roll when cornering it does not feel overtly cumbersome or awkward.

Given it is essentially a commercial vehicle that has had its panelled loadspace replaced by two rows of seats and windows Citroen have done a pretty decent job.

The dashboard features a laser engraved design in silver, which also covers the side panels, front and rear.

Standard features include touchscreen navigation, a leather steering wheel, driver's head-up display, keyless entry and panoramic sunroof.

The Rip Curl version also comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, black door mirrors and twin side sliding doors.

On top of that buyers also get Grip Control and winter tyres, meaning it has soft-roading capabilities. There are even driving modes for sand, mud and snow.

Five Rip Curl colours are available - Polar White, Arctic Steel, Platinum Grey, Black, and Soft Sand.

There are special Rip Curl graphics on the doors and black side rubbing strips too.

Two diesel engines are available, both of which are mated to a smooth and slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C4 SpaceTourer Rip Curl

Price: £36,895

Mechanical: 150ps, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 11 seconds

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions: 143g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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