Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

18 July 2014

South Africa: Citroën C4 Picasso - the Art of the Crossover

analysis

In a function- and value-driven motoring world, aesthetic design is often overshadowed by function. By the time space utilisation, aerodynamics and cost efficiencies have been taken into account, there's precious little room for aesthetic manoeuvring. But the new Citroën C4 Picasso is proof that utility can be stylish, too.

Citroën has a reputation for creating quirky, characterful cars - and I mean that in the best possible way. However, that individuality has often limited the brand's appeal in a generally conservative market dominated by conventional cars.

Enter the Citroen C4 Picasso - a compact people carrier that mixes style and practicality in an attractive package.

The French marque has never been scared of creating cars that are different, both in terms of mechanical innovation and upstart design. The ugly-duckling 2CV, or 'Deux Cheveaux' is still hailed as an icon of automotive engineering and design, while the comfort and style of the DS20, with its hydro-pneumatic suspension, is the stuff of legends.

However, it's also true that Citroën's upstream approach has not always earned it commercial success. The brand is still considered left of centre, which may attract admiration, but doesn't always sit well with more conservative motoring...

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