Citroen C4 Picasso review

Technique

Technically, the C4 Picasso is the first generation of the “conventional” Citroen C4, it is also based on the PSA PF2 platform, although the motor range of the van is different from the compact hatch: the car is heavier, so more traction units were needed. The drive here is only front, the motors (all of them are in-line fours) are transversely arranged, the boxes are mechanics, the hydromechanical automatic machine and the robot with one clutch. The body is made of steel. The front suspension is McPherson, the rear suspension is a twisted beam.

C4 Picasso is famous for its unusual interior solutions, first of all – a huge area of glazing. It is difficult to surprise by the central location of the devices – according to the same logic it is organized in the mass hatch of C4. But the ACS selector in the form of a lever on the steering column can be considered an innovative solution – something like this will appear in Mercedes only in a few years. Another unusual thing is the climate control unit to the left of the driver, an optional self-levelling rear suspension.

Timeline

November 2006. Launch of production C4 Grand Picasso with 7 seats. Gasoline atmospheric 1,8 and 2,0 liter engines, 125 and 140 hp EW series and diesel 2,0 136 hp DW series and 1,6 109 hp DV6 series. All gasoline engines and 2-liter diesel were combined with a 5-speed MCP or 4-speed automatic, the junior diesel was only with mechanics.

February, 2007. Production of the five-seater C4 Picasso was launched.

July 2008. Expansion of the motor range. There appeared the engines of the new Prince series at that time: atmospheric 1.6 120 hp and THP version with supercharged 140 and 150 hp; 140 hp version could be combined with 5-speed mechanics and 4-speed hydro-mechanical ACP, 120 hp – only with 5MKP, and 150 hp version could be combined with a new robotic box or 6-speed MKP. The version with the old engine 1.8 was taken out of production.

September 2010. Restyling. Once again revised range of motors. Removed from production gasoline engine 2.0, “Turbo Prince” 1.6 THP upgraded and has a capacity of 156 hp. Diesel 2.0 received versions 150 and 163 hp, 136-horsepower version has been discontinued. Diesel 1.6 in the new version is a little more powerful, 112 hp.

March 2013. Production of C4 Picasso first generation is over.

Body

Exterior Panels

If you have already read my review of Citroen C4 first and second generations, you will be bored, because all the nuances of these machines are characteristic of the C4 Picasso.

Almost all body panels are made of metal with one-sided galvanizing and well painted. In combination with the front plastic wings, this creates good prerequisites for a long life of the design. The main weak point of the body – the thresholds, but the minivan compared to hatchback, they are reinforced, and therefore less trouble with them. Another problem area – the inner arch of the rear wheel – here again, better sealed. However, if the thresholds were jammed or damaged PKP in the place of contact with the door seal, the paint starts to cling and the threshold can rot to holes.

Citroen C4 Picasso review

Other typical problems are chips and rust on the hood edge and slow corrosion of the rear arch edges. However, the latter also goes from the bottom, from the threshold.

Scratches on the handles, swelling moldings on the doors are also found, as well as rotten on the lower edge of the door, but this is not a serious problem, and is rare.

Citroen C4 Picasso review

The front edge of the roof here is almost completely safe, because the shape of the windshield fully protects it, but if there are blows, it is to serious problems. Most likely, the technology was broken when replacing the glass, the scratches on the edge have not been processed, and you will have to cut the glass and repair the frame, otherwise you may face leaks or even cracking of a very expensive windshield.

Citroen C4 Picasso review

Bottom of

The inspection should begin, of course, with the thresholds. At the initial stage, the process of rust spraying from their edges is best seen from below.

The bottom of the body itself is not very well protected, but the metal rusts very slowly due to galvanization. The main problem points are the welded joints near the rear suspension mounting points. The load on these areas is high and dirt accumulates there. Ungrateful owners who neglect bottom wash and anti-corrosion, in the area of the tank niche and around the spare wheel (it is located here under the bottom) may already have areas of laminated rust, which never dries out. Of course, cars with such problems should be avoided.

A variety of brackets also rust intensely, but so far there are no threats to the integrity of the bottom of the body as a whole.

Citroen C4 Picasso review
Citroen C4 Picasso review

The doors are also worth looking at from below. Maternal “soreness” C4 in the form of accumulation of water in the inner cavity is also on Picasso. It is necessary to remove one or two clips fixing the bottom lining and do not forget about the anti-corrosion. Some owners drill the door in the corners to organize new drain holes. If the bottom seam is already swollen with rust, the process can be greatly slowed down by drying, liquid anticorrows and replacing the upper outer seals of the door glass. Experience shows that in this case, just a good layer of galvanizing the door panel. The back door has a similar problem. Rust comes out along the bottom lining attachment if there is moisture inside.

Inspection of the interior from the inside is almost mandatory. At a minimum, check the presence of moisture in the carpets on the driver’s side. Wet floor carpet – it is almost always a lot of corrosion in the area of the site for the rest of the left leg of the driver and with a high probability – rusty floor in the area of seat sled fastening. In addition, there are wiring connectors, so the electrician is also in danger. Be sure to inspect the side niches of the trunk, high humidity often leads to corrosion of the floors from the inside, and the rear door on these cars, as mentioned above, does not differ high tightness.

Citroen C4 Picasso review

In the engine compartment, pay attention to the humidity in the above-motor niche. Side drain valves that clog up lead to wire flooding, water ingress into the climate system and joint corrosion. If there is a lot of dirt, then the valves have been removed too late. All corners should be cleaned for inspection. Not that corrosion in this area is a sentence to the machine, but the weakening of the structure in the most responsible part will manifest itself over the years, and cleaning and restoration of suture sealants are associated with increased attention to this machine in the future.

Citroen C4 Picasso review
Occasionally, there are instances of corrosion of the seams of the front suspension cups. It seems to be a consequence of increased loads from the suspension or aggressive chemistry. The phenomenon is not a mass one, but it is worth checking. Especially unpleasant are the problems with the right cup of the body where the VIN is located.

Body equipment

Despite the good overall quality of PLC and low chance of serious corrosion, the machine body can be a lot of trouble. There are branded problems with deformation of metal bumper and wing brackets, and broken rails, weak fixing of bumper decorative elements, grilles, inserts and frames, weak door seals, corrosion of aluminum mirror brackets. Engine compartment dusters and fuel filter protection are usually broken and lost, thanks to bad roads and low ground clearance.

Don’t forget about the cost of the windshield as well – it’s about twice as expensive as most light bulbs. The price of the original is not less than 30 thousand rubles, and the complex shape of glass contributes to the distortion at the top of it. As a result, the glass will have to be selected from several specimens.

The janitor drive here is independent, with separate gear motors for each, failures occur many times more often than with a conventional system. Synchronization failure, overload, etc. are often the reasons for system failure. Clogging soft headlights are also a typical problem. In addition, gas discharge lenses burn out relatively quickly.

Salon

The main joy of the owner of such a car is a volumetric salon with good possibilities of transformation, besides it is qualitatively finished. But, of course, he has weak points.

Citroen C4 Picasso review
Citroen C4 Picasso review
Citroen C4 Picasso review

In terms of resource, the leather braiding of the steering wheel is a nightmare. Already after a hundred thousand runs it rubs off, and after the 200+ run it clatters with holes. White patches on the central lock buttons are also not uncommon. Often it is simply painted over.

Citroen C4 Picasso review
Citroen C4 Picasso review

Scratches on the central box of machines with ACS (for machines with “mechanics” here the console lever box) is no longer so easy to fix, soft-lux plastic is very much scratched and loses its appearance. The elements of the central tunnel are also scratched if children walk on them with their feet. Flying lid of the box under the windshield on the passenger side – usually a consequence of overheating the cabin in the sun and careless handling.

The condition of the seats is highly dependent on the combination of driver and passengers. Heavy saddle is the sentence of the seat, it sprawls at the seams. But in general, the seats and door cards are saved quite well. There are at least some scratches, and even the silver covering does not climb.

The climate system is quite successful. Antifreeze does not flow into the cabin, as in the usual first generation C4, the air conditioner is as strong. There is only one problem. Since all cars are equipped with a dual-zone automatic climate control, all have a mixing flap on the driver’s side. And it is prone to breakage. A typical problem is turning of the drive shaft sleeve or breakage of the traction. This is due to a malfunction in the control unit, it “forgets” the calibration after disconnecting the battery. Be sure to calibrate if you see a temperature difference between left and right. Or after each power failure. Fixing yourself is possible, but you will have to master plastic recovery with reinforcement and recovery with cyanoacrylate and soda. It will not be possible just to glue.

Citroen C4 Picasso review

Electric

For C4 Picasso is also relevant scary about blocks BSM and BSI, which is written in detail, for example, in the material about Peugeot 307. But since the machine is newer, the problems are manifested to a much lesser extent. Firmware blocks fly off rarely, they are not afraid of power failure, in the block BSM relay became more reliable.

However, on gasoline engines 1.6 THP still have a problem with the relay life of the gasoline pump, and to replace it is almost unreal – to improve reliability have changed the design of the unit and the compounds that are flooded with the board. So, the presence of redundant wires between fuses most likely means “light collective farming” with the petrol pump connected to another circuit.

Citroen C4 Picasso review
Otherwise, you only need to be afraid of problems with the wiring harness of the driver’s door, malfunctioning connectors of pillows under the seats and so on. In machines with motors 1,8 and 2,0 suffers from engine wiring, but such copies in the population are few, and the reliability of the motors as a whole redeems these small problems. Motors 1.6 have a lot of problems with sensors, thermostat and other motor elements, their life is relatively small, and with the mileage of 150-200 thousand you will certainly come across them.

Intermediate total

With careful consideration it turns out that Picasso, all other equals, is obtained stronger and more reliable than their fellow hatchback brothers of both generations. The experiments with ergonomics have not affected the potential ergonomics and passed, we can say, with impunity. About power units and running gear of this van we will tell in the second part of the review.

Citroen C4 Picasso review

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