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Best MPV at the 2013 Next Green Car Awards

Barely out of the starting blocks, following its UK launch in July, our New C4 Picasso people carrier is already celebrating success. It was named Best MPV at the 2013 Next Green Car Awards this month, seeing off some stiff competition to take the title.

Dr Ben Lane, Managing Editor of Next Green Car, said: "We have been very impressed by the New Citroën C4 Picasso, which not only offers families an attractive, responsive, economical and compact MPV but also should be congratulated for being the first conventionally-powered MPV to break through the 100g CO2/km barrier with the resultant efficiencies."

It’s great to be recognised by Next Green Car who honour the most innovative and well-designed low emission models with its annual Awards, and we’re equally delighted with the verdict from Euro NCAP, which offers impartial adjudications on safety.

In June this year our New C4 Picasso people carrier was awarded a full set of five stars after undergoing Euro NCAP’s gruelling battery of impact tests. We aim to make our cars both strong and safe, so we were obviously very pleased with this result.

We take the safety of our customers and their passengers extremely seriously, and applaud the work Euro NCAP has done to publicise and encourage motoring safety. Euro NCAP is an entirely voluntary scheme, and you may not realise that it carries out tests that go far beyond the legal requirements.

Every car sold in Europe must pass a battery of internationally agreed crash tests. For example, cars must protect occupants in a frontal impact carried out at 56km/h (35mph) against a special uniform barrier. However, Euro NCAP encourages superior safety by running its own head-on tests at 64km/h (40mph).

A modest 5mph increase in speed might not sound like much, but it increases the energy of the impact by 30 per cent. This means Euro NCAP sets a much higher bar than the legal minimum, making a good score all the more pleasing.

Similarly, Euro NCAP has taken a stance on advanced electronic safety technology that can help avoid a crash in the first place, rewarding fitment and even withholding five-star ratings from cars that fall short in this area. We take a similar view, which is why every New C4 Picasso comes fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Braking Assistance (EBA) – all of which are designed to help the driver brake effectively and remain in control during emergencies.

According to figures referenced by Euro NCAP, the fitment of ESC systems can cut accidents involving skids by as much as a third. And with skidding accidents accounting for 40% of fatal road accidents, it’s clear that lives really are at stake.