Alex on: Family Cars

In the first of a series, our very own Alex will be writing on what's bothering him. This time around -- family cars.

Citroen

Is there a one-size-fits-all car? It needs space for Timmy and toys, but needs to look good enough that I'm proud to call it my own.

My mind instantly flicked over to the Audi RS 6, a 189 mph monster of a machine that makes some lovely noises and goes faster than is really necessary. Then I remembered that it costs lots and lots of money not only to buy, but probably to service too. Also, the leather seats that you'll be gunning for will be a nightmare to pick chunks of dinner out of.

What about a Golf? Well, it's a solid motor and comes in an Alex-pleasing GTI spec, too. But it's a bit too mass produced for me. Everyone's got a Golf, haven't they? If not a Golf then a BMW 1 Series.

I've been floating the idea of a 997.1 Porsche 911 as that would be a) awesome, b) a little bit off the wall, and c) not all that expensive to buy (comparatively). Still, I doubt a buggy will fit in its boot/bonnet/luggage hole. And again, its upholstery would take a pounding.

Then an outsider struck me -- a Citroen. Citroen's been making big 'ol family cars for years and people really like them. The first Picasso sold in its thousands, and the second generation C4 Picasso looked pretty damn good in grey. There's a new one out now, and it's really rather good. I drove the seven-seat C4 Grand Picasso for a while and you know what? It ticks most boxes.

Citroen

For one, it's decent to drive. No, it won't out corner the aforementioned RS 6, but it'll absorb lumps and bumps nicely. And that keeps upholstery clean. There's body roll if you go in to a bend too quickly, but if you've a car full of Timmy you shouldn't really be driving like a berk.

To keep the likes of Norm happy, the manual 115 Airdream (the biggest seller, Citroen thinks) is economical. Its 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine will do 70.6 mpg (UK) on the combined cycle. It's not the quickest thing in the world though. Zero to 62 mph takes 12.1 seconds, which will upset Bob. Bob, though, will be distracted. Because he'll be staring at it.

The Citroen C4 Grand Picasso looks like a space egg. And it's awesome. It looks as though it would fit in happily alongside the USS Enterprise (the more recent one, not the balsa wood jobby from the '60s). I love its tiny headlamps, its roof rail that falls down the D-pillar and its C-shaped rear lights.

Citroen

I still maintain that an MPV of any sort marks the death of your dreams to some extent, but...Norm will be happy with the C4 GP's space and economy, and Bob? He'll be happy because even though it's not the quickest thing in the world it looks so much different from your average child-ferrying box.

So you don't have to buy a horrible box to ferry children any more. You have to buy an egg-shaped box. From space.

And if you were wondering why I wanted that RS 6, watch the video below.

 

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