Citroen Grand C4

Space Tourer Flair

Blue HDi 160

Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, side static 2
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, side static
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, front static 1
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, front static 2
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, rear static 2
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, rear static
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, boot 3
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, boot 2
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, row 3
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, rear seats
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, dashboard
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, rear seats
Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer, boot 1

PABLO Picasso never knew Citroen named a series of cars after him but the family of the most famous painter of the last century enjoyed royalties for years after his death.

But no more; the final cars to carry Pablo's name went some months ago, replaced by the SpaceTourer. Perhaps the family will have to flog a picture or two to keep up their standard of living. Or perhaps not.

Does make you wonder, though, if a Picasso was ever driven by a Picasso. If not, they missed out on a rather impressive family moving machine, whatever it's now called.

Here is a car that in Grand C4 SpaceTourer guise is big enough to move seven adults about in three rows of seats and turn into an echoing van when you need space for things, not people.

And it's all wrapped in a body that makes a fair attempt not to look like a box on wheels. In gleaming black (the only colour that doesn't add to the cost of the car, incidentally) it wouldn't look out of place dropping off someone smartly attired outside an... art gallery?

They would find alighting from the third row easier than perhaps expected, thanks to a brilliantly simple slide and fold system for the middle row of seats, which give enough access to the rear not to embarrass a set of older limbs.

All this room comes courtesy of a stretch of both body and distance between front and rear wheels that adds the Grand name to the shorter and simply named C4 SpaceTourer, as well as popping £1,700 extra on the bottom line.

Money well spent if you really do need to move lots of people about on a regular basis and all done cleverly enough to leave the resulting longer, heavier Grand C4 SpaceTourer a decent drive.

Part of the way it reacts crisply to a driver's demands comes from suspension that copes well with most roads but turns a bit stiff and pattery on the worst of them. Still, a reasonable trade off if you enjoy driving.

Add in a diesel engine that stays quietly in the background at all times and an automatic gearbox that is always smooth changing and only occasionally reluctant to do your bidding and here's a car that will continue to surprise (in a nice way).

Those good looks continue inside, where you'll also find lots of practical touches with big door pockets, fold-up picnic tables for the middle row of seats and a vast storage cubby between driver and front seat passenger.

Middle row occupants will relish their own controllable air outlets and the two in the rearmost seats have their own cupholders - so this is a thoroughly thought through family holdall.

A touchscreen-heavy dashboard with too few buttons was an annoying demerit but the biggest windscreen in the business lets you enjoy passing cloud formations and a dash readout of 45.5mpg brought a feeling of contentment in a high mileage sesseion at the wheel.

FAST FACTS

Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer Flair Blue HDi 160 auto

Price:£32,965

Mechanical:159bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:130mph

0-62mph:9.2 secs

Combined MPG:58.9

Insurance Group:29

C02 emissions:127g/km

Bik rating:28%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000miles

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