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Vision for the future; BILL CAVEN reports on the imaginative styling in Citroen's new C4 Picasso.

Byline: BILL CAVEN

FAMILY fortunes have never been as good thanks to Citroen. The French car giant have revealed plans to strengthen their hand in the people carrier sector.

Their new stylish seven-seat compact MPV - the C4 Picasso - is spacious and practical. It's due to make its word debut at next month's Paris Motor Show and it may go on sale in the UK before the end of the year.

Citroen wanted to offer something fresh. And in the looks department they've done it. The striking lines of the C4 Picasso envelop one of its most notable features - a unique super wide-angle panoramic windscreen that rises up and over the front seat occupants.

Narrow pillars and large quarter lights further enhance the MPV's excellent visibility levels.

Indeed, the combination of the vast windscreen, the biggest sunroof in the class and the large side windows allows the newcomer to offer the largest glazed area of any compact MPV.

Inside, close attention has been paid to levels of refinement with the use of quality materials that are not only pleasing to the eye but also to the touch.

The attractive chrome and gloss black detailing is complemented by the exceptionally fine finish to the grain of the dash and door panels.

The interior is smart and uncluttered with an imaginative dashboard, aided by the clever integration of the new six-speed electronic gearbox system.

For any people carrier to succeed these days it must offer plenty of storage space to house the inevitable family clutter.

Thanks to the new dashboard layout Citroen were able to accommodate four closed storage compartments including a large, refrigerated cubby in the centre.

The fresh, tidy look is completed by the installation of a dash-mounted electric parking brake.

Versatility is very much the key for the C4 Picasso. Flexible seating allows the second and third rows of seats to be neatly folded away under the floor without the need to remove headrests.

Load-lugging capacity ranges from 576 litres when five seats are in use, or 1951 litres when the seats are folded away.

The car will have a 143bhp two-litre petrol engine or the 138bhp HDi diesel powerplant.

Factfile

Model: Citroen C4 Engine: Two-litre petrol or diesel Power:143/138bhp

Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles Price: Expected to be from pounds 17,000 On sale: End of 2006
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Sep 8, 2006
Words:391
Previous Article:Wheel entertainment.
Next Article:A matter of Corsa; Vauxhall raise the tempo to give their new supermini the style and looks it needs to succeed, writes RUSSELL BRAY.
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