Citroen C4

SpaceTourer Flair

Blue HDi 130

Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, front
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, dynamic
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, profile
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, rear
Citroen C4 SpaceTourer, interior

IF you think the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer has a familiar look about it then you would be right.

After almost two decades, the French car maker quietly axed the Picasso name from its range, and overnight the C4 variants became SpaceTourers instead.

The new moniker couldn't be more apt, though, as this five-seat MPV has oodles of room inside and eats up the miles on longer trips in an easy going and relaxed fashion.

With a healthy dollop of French flair complementing the traditional people carrier strengths of practicality and versatility, it's an eye-catching family motor that proves there are still some attractive options outside of the SUVs and faux 4x4s that currently dominate the market.

With three trim levels and a range of petrol and diesel engines variously available with manual and automatic gearboxes there should be a C4 SpaceTourer for most tastes and budgets, with prices starting from £22,365.

The 1.5-litre diesel-power pack paired with a six-speed manual transmission offers solid rather than spectacular performance but it does respond positively and pull well through the mid-range - and claimed fuel economy of more than 70 miles per gallon will be the key stat for many family buyers.

The manual gear shift can be a little notchy and imprecise but otherwise driving the C4 SpaceTourer is a straightforward proposition. The steering is light but accurate and the car handles well for a people carrier, with less roll in corners than might be expected and a settled ride for the most part, despite a suspension which is set up for comfort.

Inside, the cabin is dominated by Citroen's dual-screen layout with a 12-inch digital display sitting centrally atop the dashboard and relaying all the essential driver information, removing the need for a traditional instrument binnacle behind the steering wheel.

Beneath this is the touchscreen infotainment interface which is also used to access functions such as the climate control and, on all but entry-level cars, the navigation system.

The other striking thing about the interior is just how light and airy it feels thanks to the vast amount of glass real-estate that Citroen has incorporated. The windscreen is one of the most expansive in any car and when coupled with the panoramic sunroof on flagship versions allows natural light to flood the cabin.

Head and leg room is generous all around and a flat rear footwell along with three individual rear seats, which all slide forward and backwards independently, mean that five adults will travel in relative comfort, while kids will have plenty of room.

Storage compartments are dotted around the interior and include discreet cubbies beneath the front seats and under the rear floor on higher trim levels while soft-touch surfaces feature prominently, helping to make the C4 SpaceTourer a thoroughly pleasant space in which to travel.

Rear passengers in Flair spec cars also get window blinds and foldaway airline-style trays on the back of the front seats, which have reading lamps and elastic straps to ensure items don't fall off when on the move.

The boot, at 637-litres, should be big enough to cope with most family holidays and rises to a whopping 1,851 litres with the rear seats folded down. On all but entry-level cars the front passenger seat even folds flat so that items up to 2.5 metres long can be carried.

Stepping above the entry-level Touch Edition grade to Feel or Flair versions also gets some generous levels of kit, with the range-topper boasting 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, dual-zone air conditioning, digital radio and keyless entry and ignition on top of the items already mentioned.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C4 SpaceTourer Flair Blue HDi 130

Price: £27,470

Mechanical:130ps, 1,499cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 123mph

0-62mph: 10.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 70.6

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 105g/km

Bik rating: 26%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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