Monday, March 04, 2013



For those expanding their families and wondering how to fit all the baby seats in the car, here's the lowdown on the best-value 7-seater family car on the market.

We had to upgrade cars after we had our third child. Because our estate car just wasn't big enough.

Since we bought the car last year, two of my friends have also bought the same car. We're like car triplets!

It took us a full year of reseach into 7-seaters before we finally took the plunge and bought our Citroen C4 Grand Picasso. We're a bit slow thorough like that.

Some days my mama wagon is often filled with a kid in every seat.
Apart from the driver, of course.

We settled on the Citroen over the Ford S-Max, which were our two favourites, because of price, safety, reliability and comfort. It ticked all the boxes.

Citroen is loads cheaper than the S-Max and in Ireland, the tax is about half the price. By importing from the UK, we saved a couple of thousand Euro off the Irish price, probably the most expensive car prices in Europe.

So here's the good, the bad, the ugly on this car...


So much space. We thought our old Volvo estate was big before we a) had kids b) got this. Oh. My. God. The difference. This makes the Volvo seem tiny inside. It's like a tardis, because it doesn't look that big from the outside but inside it's lovely and roomy. There's no gearstick in mine so the whole middle column is a massive storage space for bags and the hubby has even customised a basket for the space so I can store hats and drinks: all those little things that normally end up scattered on the floor of a family car (if you don't have a handy basket like this).

It fits 3 child seats comfortably in the back - we used to have 2 toddler seats before we moved onto the next stage seat and they all had plenty of space. We use rigid seat belt extenders for fastening the seat belts between the seats. They save my sanity every time I'm fastening them all in.
There's plenty of leg room too for the times when we have 4 adults and 3 kids in the car (which happens when we take my parents out for day trips). It's lovely for us to all fit in one car.
Plenty of space in the boot for buggies and luggage. Love the fact that there's space under the boot seat for wellies and shoes (see stuffed Ikea bag under back flap).

It's great to drive too. Very smooth. I never thought I'd be a fan of automatic cars, but when you're a mum with 3 kids in the back, anything to make your life easier is a massive bonus. Suddenly not having to use the left side of my body for changing gear was a revelation - my left leg and left arm were suddenly free of having to make cumbersome gear changes, so I could pass biscuits back to my kids in the back to stop their screaming at junctions. Houray for labour saving devices like automatic cars!


The boot latch is half-automatic and half-manual, which means it's often man-mandled and gets stuck - it's a known weak point of the car. Two of my friends have had their boot latch replaced at E80 a pop. One of my friend's husbands now compares the sensitive latch to a women's special bits - it should be approached with care and a delicate, light touch!


It was only after a few months and noticing a self-imposed scratch on the back bumper that we realised it was made of plastic! Some of the more rounded parts of the car are fashioned from plastic, rather than metal.

Closing the boot can feel a bit tinny and the back of the seats  (also hardened plastic) is getting scratch far too easily (but then I do have 3 kids that refuse to look after anything nicely).


I love it. It's changed my life. I just throw in loads of kids and off we go. The kids love sitting in the boot best. I love not having to drive very hard, just foot down, steer and go.

The best thing is that because it's only 1.6c and low emissions, the tax is among the lowest you'll get for a family car. However, I still pay E390 a year.

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