Some cars are well named, like the Skoda Superb, super by name, superb by nature. Recently I drove another appropriately named motor the Citroen Spacetourer. It can be an eight or nine-seater and it certainly has oodles of space.
With families getting smaller all the time you won’t find many what you might call ‘regular’ family drivers buying one, but it would I think, be ideal for taxi or celebrity type work.
The Spacetourer is based on a version of the C4 Picasso/Grand Picasso platform and it certainly is one big people carrier. What I liked most about it is the two sliding rear doors, which are ideal for entry and egress.
I drove an eight-seat version with two seats in the front and then two more rows of three-seaters. However, if you have seven passengers on board there wouldn’t be any space for bulky suit cases. So if you were ferrying passengers with large suitcases you would have to fold down the third row. It’s so tight at the back that the full-size spare wheel is located under the car. Initially I thought it was red, but the official colour of my test car was Tourmaline Orange.
It’s a long motor and you will certainly appreciate the reversing camera when parking. However, I found the turning circle very good which was a great help. I drove a manual 1.6 diesel engine version with 115 brake horse power and it was powerful, but frugal, even in heavy city traffic.
It’s a fine comfortable car on the open road. But South Dublin County Council recently installed a large number of ramps on my local access road and as Larry Gogan might say in his famous ‘Just a Minute’ quiz, the ramps didn’t really suit the Spacetourer.
Prices start at €38,300 and road tax is €280. Add in metallic paint and park assist and the price of the car as tested comes to €40,010. The only thing missing in the cabin were proper cup holders. There are gadgets on the dash to hold coins or maybe they could be ash tray, but does anybody smoke in cars anymore? There is so much space between the driver and the front seat passenger and plenty of space to fit in a cup holder or two.
It’s a high motor and my wife, who has a touch of arthritis, found she had to be careful when getting out of the car. There is a step to help you, but if you are robust enough you can just slide out, but then that might not be good for your back.
I really liked the sliding doors, both of which have a small sliding window. The sliding doors are so handy when parking in tight places because I think cars get lonely as people park so close to me in shopping centres!
I can see this spacious people carrier being very popular with taxi drivers or with companies who transport celebrities. And I can visualise a hen party heading for Temple Bar of some other hot spot around the country crowding into this Spacetourer. Now where is my new taxi uniform?
by Sean Creedon