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Thursday, 20 September 2018
SO if you had £40,000 to spend on a car. what would you go for? A mid-spec SUV (sport utility vehicle) perhaps, or a top of the range quick hatchback? Maybe you would treat yourself to a nice little sports car.
It is unlikely that your first thoughts might turn to the kind of car I have been driving this week — and yet it has been a most enjoyable experience and a real eye-opener.
You see, ordinarily potential new car customers might not think of the Citroën SpaceTourer as their first choice of a private ride simply because they might believe that it would not suit their needs.
Surely this car would be better suited to a limousine-style transfer service from airport to hotel or small-party excursions to the tourist hot spots around Britain — such as the Cotswolds, where I live.
Well, yes, Citroën does do a Business SpaceTourer and indeed, in those tourist hot spots around these parts, such as the quintessential English village of Bibury, we see these types of vehicles all the time and with good reason.
The Citroën SpaceTourer has super levels of comfort, space, handling and road presence — and being up to a nine-seater it is ideal for small groups of discerning visitors to get about in style.
And I have to say I would be happy to run this car as my own because at a reasonable price for what you get (recommended on the road price £38,870 but with options, £40,810) this is a great value MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) or what we used to call not so long ago a people carrier.
My father knew all about the joys of what was then called a minibus, which was ideal for transporting a large family.
The Citroën SpaceTourer would have no difficulties in a similar capacity. You can configure the vehicle to suit you in the same way as if you were choosing to buy a large SUV or today practically any other car through a car maker’s website.
Actually, we will see more of the SpaceTourer name in future Citroën cars because the brand this month has confirmed that it is dropping the Picasso name in favour of the SpaceTourer tag. Citroën says the new brand name is “a unique signature to identify modern and complementary products that can transport five to nine people by offering enhanced design, comfort and latest-generation technologies and engines”.
I think this is a smart move by Citroën and in keeping with the drive by car makers towards creating a “family” of models to suit all tastes.
So as Citroën reveals this month the prices for the new C4 SpaceTourer and Grand C4 SpaceTourer (both of which I hope to review at a later date) it is not too much of a stretch to consider the largest SpaceTourer as an option.
What I particularly liked about it was the heads-up display that projects your speed on to a small screen directly in front of the driver; the neat short, gear change stick that was positioned below the dashboard so that there was no interference in the floorspace below; and the sliding doors that made great and safe accessibility to the rear passenger area. Above all, the easy handling of this car had to be a real pleasure for any driver.
The Citroën SpaceTourer is available in three lengths — the XS at 4.6m, M at 4.96m and XL at 5.3m — including a compact version accommodating up to nine people.
The dashboard is in a good position, in as much as everything is to hand. The control dials, seven-inch touch screen, heating controls, storage compartments, even the release button for the electric sliding side doors are within comfortable reach.
The large glass roof, which is concealed in two separate parts allows occupants to enjoy natural light if desired.
Citroën Connect Nav is Citroën’s new 3D navigation system, and can be controlled by voice recognition or via the touch screen.
The SpaceTourer is available in eight colours: Black, Imperial Blue, Rich Oak, Platinum Grey, Arctic Steel, Tourmaline Orange, Soft Sand and Polar White.
Adaptive cruise control enables the SpaceTourer to adapt its speed to vehicles in front.
The technology reduces speed by up to 12.5 mph in unpredictable traffic conditions, such as on busy motorways.
So, in short, this vehicle which is big on heart and comfort might suit your needs even though this type of MPV might not previously have crossed your mind as a potential buy.
Citroën SpaceTourer Flair BlueHDi 150 XS
• Total cost of test vehicle including options fitted: £40,810
• Warranty: two-year unlimited mileage / three-year 100,000 miles
• Engine capacity: 1,997cc/diesel
• Combined cycle mpg: 53.3mpg
• Options include: grip control plus 17in alloy wheels (£670); driver assist pack (£450);
demountable tow bar (£300)
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