What used to be a love affair between Europeans and the multi-purpose vehicle is now nothing more than a distant memory. SUVs have taken over, prompting automakers to adjust their lineups to the new market trends. Citroën doesn't go as far as to say the SUV effectively killed the MPV as it has a more subtle way to signal its demise: "changing expectations in terms of modernity, style and use have turned customers away from the MPV market."
After nearly 30 years of selling MPVs in Europe, the company with the double chevron is leaving the segment. Indeed, the Grand C4 SpaceTourer will be no more as production is scheduled to come to an end at the beginning of July. Citroën has been selling a multi-purpose vehicle since 1994 when it introduced the Evasion before giving it a mid-cycle facelift in 1998. It was sold until 2002, racking up a total of more than 120,000 sales.
2018 Citroen C4 Spacetourer and Grand C4 SpaceTourer
The larger C8 arrived in 2002 and stuck around for 12 years before being retired in June 2014 after 150,000 sales. However, it was the Xsara Picasso that made the MPV segment explode, with no fewer than 180,000 vehicles sold in 1999, its first year on sale. The French automaker kept this model in its portfolio until 2012, managing to sell a whopping 1.76 million in total.
As for the Grand C4 SpaceTourer pictured here, it traces its roots to 2006 when the original C4 Picasso was launched. The second-generation model took over in 2013, complete with split headlights before they were all the rage. At the beginning of 2018, it changed its name to C4 SpaceTourer, which also impacted the bigger version dubbed Grand C4 SpaceTourer. The shorter five-seat model bowed out in 2020, and now the writing is on the wall for the seven-seat MPV as well.
MPVs Are Still Around In Europe, But For How Long?
The best year for Citroën in terms of MPV demand was 2007 when it moved 115,000 Xsara Picassos and 215,000 C4 Picassos. It's not the end of the line for family haulers as the commercial van-based Berlingo and SpaceTourer are still available, complete with electric powertrains.