If you need a seven-seater people carrier that’s spacious, relatively efficient and affordable then the Citroën Grand C4 Space Tourer could be your answer.
As Citroen has been selling large comfortable family cars for a number of years you’d expect that the offerings would have been continuously improved, so is the Grand C4 Space Tourer the best of the breed?
The Citroën Grand C4 Space Tourer BlueHDi 130 has a 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine and an EAT8 automatic 8-speed gearbox.
It’s got seven seats, and if you don’t need all seven seats to be in use, then there’s a large boot: 793 litres with five seats in use (or 165 litres with seven seats in use and a van-like 2,181 litres with all the rear seats lowered). There are three wide seats in the middle row, with good legroom.
The headline is that the Citroën Grand C4 Space Tourer is spacious and has a comfortable ride – which is probably what you’re hoping for from a car such as this.
There are no drive mode options but nevertheless the powertrain is perfectly fit for purpose for normal driving, and the driving experience is generally refined. One area when it does feel out of its comfort zone is accelerating at motorway speeds, when there’s not much response. The front wheels can also struggle for grip when accelerating out of wet junctions. Handling is as you would expect from a large seven-seat people carrier; don’t be expecting agility.
The dashboard layout basically consists of two screens in the centre of the car and nothing in front of the driver – apart from the gear selector, which sticks out from the top right of the steering column. While we’re on the subject of the gear selector, you pull it down to choose Drive, but when you do this, the last setting is Manual, which is all too easy to select in error. There’s a similar issue when going back to select what you think is Park, when Reverse can be selected in error; there’s another dog leg to negotiate to select Park.
So when you’re driving, the space directly in front of you isn’t used for anything helpful – the only thing there is the gear selector, which means that you can’t clearly see critical things such as the speedometer – to see your speed you have to take your eyes away from the road to look left to the central screen. This is not a good way to help you keep to speed limits. The central touchscreen also contains other important controls such as heating and ventilation, so you always have to go into the touchscreen to change cabin temperature settings.
Although there’s no screen in front of the driver, it is possible to choose which of the two central screens you want to display certain information, for example the satnav map can be moved between the top and bottom screens.
The Grand C4 Space Tourer has a very tall windscreen, resulting in the need for a fairly complex set of options for the positioning of the sun visors.
The official WLTP combined fuel economy for the Citroën Grand C4 Space Tourer BlueHDi 130 is 57.3 – 48.7 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 101 – 108g/km (based on the older NEDC test). For its size, the Space Tourer was actually relatively efficient in the real-world on long journeys, averaging 52.2mpg on the motorway. However due to the weight of the car, fuel economy around town wasn’t as good; overall after a week of mixed driving the Space Tourer averaged 49.7mpg. It also displayed a useful driving range of 584 miles with a full tank – something that an EV couldn’t do.
The Citroën Grand C4 Space Tourer Flair BlueHDi 130 EAT8 auto costs £31,390. Options fitted to our test car included metallic paint (£545), driver assist pack (£710) and convenience park assist pack (£710), taking the total cost of our test car to £33,255.
As well as the BlueHDi 130 as tested there’s a BlueHDi 160, and two petrol engines. Trim levels are Touch Edition, Feel and Flair.
The Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer Flair BlueHDi 130 EAT8 auto is generally fit for purpose: it’s a large, spacious seven-seater which is decent to drive, comfortable, reasonably efficient on long runs and relatively affordable. The main downside is that we don’t believe that a car that requires you to look away from the road in front of you to view critical information in the centre of the car such as your speed is a safe idea. And of course an electric seven-seater would be ideal, but we’re not quite there at this price point yet.
But perhaps one of the best bits about the car is its name: surely ‘Space Tourer’ must go down well with any kids into Star Wars or other Sci Fi movies who are occupying the rear seats.
The Citroen Grand C4 Space Tourer Flair BlueHDi 130 EAT8 auto gains a Green Car Guide rating of 7 out of 10.