Citroen has stolen a march on all the big players in the Australian car market by becoming the first company to offer a six-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and roadside-assistance program.
The new warranty has been applied to Citroen’s new Grand C4 Picasso and its DS range.
After conducting research we really hope they didn't spend too much money on, Citroen discovered that Australian buyers would be twice as likely to consider buying the French car if it came with a five-year warranty (60 percent) as opposed to a three-year one (31 percent). So it decided to make some PR noise by stretching it to six years.
But there are a lot of other reasons you'd consider buying the new Picasso, which was launched this week.
First and most obvious is the design, with its Iron Man-helmet front end and sleek LED headlights, which manage the seemingly impossible task of making an MPV look good.
From behind, the 3D-effect lights and DS cues look neat and sharp as well, and overall it's hard to believe you're looking at an MPV (albeit one that's only 4.6 metres long).
The interior is airily pleasant as well, with a giant glass roof, split A-pillars for excellent vision and two lush dash screens – a 12-inch monitor displaying everything from speed and revs to your choice of photos, and a 7-inch touch interface that runs all kinds of functions.
It also offers self-parking and a 360-degree view-from-above feature sometimes known as God's view.
It's a comfortable, pleasant, smooth and quiet bus to drive, too, although the third-row jump seats are only for emergency use because legroom is minimal and the boot space disappears entirely. So it's kind of a five-plus-two rather than a proper people-carrier.
A new lightweight platform combines with a quiet and – thanks to the use of emissions-cleaning AdBlue fluid kept in a tank under the rear seats – pleasantly non-smelly 2.0-litre diesel engine to provide some startling figures. The Picasso's emissions figure is almost hybrid-worthy at 117 grams of CO2 per kilometre, and its fuel economy is in the Prius range at 4.5 litres per 100km (although we saw closer to 6L/100km over the enthusiastic 300km launch drive).
The $43,990 price tag for a car reasonably well-laden with equipment – though the lovely full nappa leather will sting you $5000 more – will appeal to plenty of buyers, but it's the peace of mind of that six-year warranty that will get a lot of people to at least consider going French.
We're tipping possibly more than the 250 a year the local Citroen folk are predicting it will sell.