We had problems right from day one as the previous owner had hand controls fitted to the steering column (many C4 Grand Picassos with EGS are ex-Motability). This had meant some re-wiring in the Comms 2000 computer (this is mostly to do with stalks, steering wheel input, gear selection etc) that sits above the steering wheel.
Thanks to this, the auto lights didn't work and maybe some other stuff too. We took it back to the dealer who fitted a brand new Comms 2000 without any fuss. Problem solved!
Around the 22k mile mark, the back suspension started dropping. At first when parked, and then sometimes when on the move. Whilst the suspension was trying to recover to a fully up position, an air leak could be heard.
The dealer was excellent in taking the car in, diagnosing the problem (perished seals on the suspension air bags) and replacing both sides under warranty.
Car seems OK, for now...
This was both a car we really wanted, but also one that scares us a little. Firstly, we were very keen to have an economical car, but retain some form of automatic box that we're used to.
With high fuel prices and the threat of ever higher road tax, we decided to plump for the 1.6 HDI with 110bhp, and the single clutch automated gearbox that Citroën calls "EGS".
This is what scares me. Citroën aren't best known for making cars bulletproof (see suspension problems on the faults section) so having an automated manual gearbox seems like a huge risk. The jury is still out on the reliability, but in terms of day-to-day usage, it's great. Despite only having a single clutch (as opposed to VW's clever twin clutch DSG system) gear changes are very smooth, as long as you don't accelerate too quickly. The car is also smooth at slow speeds, unlike the DSG box, which can be jerky in those conditions - in my experience. This is a surprise, the generally unknown Citroën system actually does something better than VW's highly lauded clever box...
To accelerate more quickly, I'd recommend changing out from the fully automatic mode and using the nicely shaped paddles to change gear manually. This produces excellent results.
However, the hill start assist can kick in sometimes when you're trying to move slowly to park on a slope, and that can be a pain. Also, the hill start doesn't seem to work when you shift from R to A or M1, and that can take you by surprise too.
The engine is surprisingly gutsy for a 1.6 diesel. It revs cleanly, runs quietly, and provides ample power for shifting around such a large car. Any car equipped with this same engine, whether it be a small Fiesta or a large Volvo, would have to be taken seriously. It's a great unit. Fuel economy seems on a par with official figures.
The car is very well equipped, with multi zone digital climate control, laminated windows, 5, yes 5 built in sun blinds for the kids, a tailgate window that opens separately to the boot (and Citroën seem to have addressed the old fault from the C5 estate by moving the release switch too...), a very fancy computerised dashboard, auto wipers and lights, and self levelling rear suspension - although not *proper* Citroën suspension, just a cheap compressed air system. And other stuff, of course. The list is nearly endless! How about a button to raise and lower the back of the car to aid loading? Check. Ambient lighting all around the cabin? Check. Panoramic windscreen? Check. Etc.
The car is full of nice touches, showing real attention to detail, such as the lights in the door pockets that come on when your hand reaches down to find something, and an air-conditioned cubby hole where the gear stick would otherwise be. The rear seats fold flat with just one pull on a lever too (this is the 7 seat Grand Picasso version), which is so much better than our old Zafira.
I'm impressed with the huge array of storage spaces, although the doors and centre console could do with better shaped cupholders for drinks. The doors and fridge seem to be shaped for the size of a standard wine bottle... C'est tres important, non?
I guess there's only two things I actually dislike about the car. One, the "Economy Mode" that shuts everything electrical off unless the engine is running cuts in way too quickly, plus the interior lights turn off too fast when strapping kids into seats, and two, the foot rest is too close to the driver, it should be about 2-3 inches further back to line up with the other pedals. Other than that, it's very good.
Overall, we're very impressed so far. How things go as the miles and months go by will be another story, no doubt. My feeling is that the compromise of having such a richly featured car for the list price (when new) means money may have been saved elsewhere... We'll see!
14th Jan 2012, 03:27
I have a 2011 C3 Exclusive hatch, not your model. But I also find the 'economy mode' a real pain. If I want to listen to the radio while my wife pops in the shop, I get about 4 minutes!! This is nonsensical. Even worse, there seems to be no way to adjust it, which I was convinced that there would be (so I spent an hour going through the handbook to find it, to no avail).
Citroen need to address this, as well as the lack of cup holders, poor siting of the bonnet release, and lack of anywhere to hang a jacket!