The C4 Picasso has for years blended affordable style with practicality and the latest iteration is an attempt to push the envelope in terms of contemporary, mass-market exterior styling with a host of sensible and family-friendly features.
Based on its recently revealed 'Technospace' concept, first shown at the Geneva Motor Show, the 2013 C4 Picasso boasts the largest boot space (537 liters) in its category, driver and passenger seats inspired by first-class air travel and a number of driver aids designed to promote a relaxed journey -- chief among which are park assist to make identifying and manoeuvring into a space as easy as possible (all the driver need do is control the accelerator and brake) and 360 Vision.
Similar to the system on the vastly more expensive Range Rover, 360 Vision provides the occupants with a clear view of everything in the car's immediate external environment. Using external cameras, users can gain a bird's eye view of the car, a rear view or a panoramic front view. One of the cameras also doubles as a reversing camera for identifying obstacles that might be missed by traditional radar parking sensors.
Other excellent, until-now premium, features include an ultrasonic blind spot monitoring system which alerts the driver if a car, motorbike or cyclist is alongside the vehicle but invisible to the wing mirror, and active lane departure sensors that make the driver's seat vibrate if the car strays out of lane on a motorway or dual carriageway.
To reduce internal clutter, the car also offers the driver a 7-inch touch screen interface for accessing many of the vehicle's systems and features plus a 12-inch HD display that can be customized to display only the information that the driver needs.
Citroen has also revealed that like a number of its competitors, it will be launching its own connected car platform, complete with optimized app ecosystem, that will officially launch in 2014 and that the new C4 Picasso will support. Initial apps will include a fuel station locator, weather updates, traffic reports and a database for searching nearby hotels and restaurants.
However, at launch the car will already feature a number of connected features under the Citroen eTouch umbrella, including localized emergency call and assistance and GPS positioning so that first responders can quickly locate the vehicle.
The C4 Picasso is due to go on sale this summer at which point the company will confirm pricing for each territory as well as country specific features and specifications.