What was once a love story between Europeans and utility vehicles is now nothing more than a distant memory. SUVs have taken over, prompting automakers to adapt their lineups to new market trends. Citroën doesn’t say that SUVs effectively kill MPVs because they have a more subtle way of signaling their demise: “changing expectations in terms of modernity, style and usage have driven customers away from the MPV market.”
After nearly 30 years of selling MPVs in Europe, the dual-chevron company is leaving the segment. Indeed, the Grand C4 SpaceTourer will no longer be around as production is slated to end in early July. Citroën has been selling multipurpose vehicles since 1994 when it introduced the Evasion before giving it a mid-cycle facelift in 1998. It was on sale until 2002, accumulating a total of over 120,000 sales.
The larger C8 arrived in 2002 and lasted 12 years before retiring in June 2014 after 150,000 sales. However, it was the Xsara Picasso that made the MPV segment explode, with no less than 180,000 vehicles sold in 1999, its first year of sales. The French automaker kept this model in its portfolio until 2012, selling a total of 1.76 million.
As for the Grand C4 SpaceTourer pictured here, it traces its roots to 2006 when the original C4 Picasso launched. The second generation model took over in 2013, complete with split headlamps before they were all popular. In early 2018, it changed its name to the C4 SpaceTourer, which also affected a larger version dubbed the Grand C4 SpaceTourer. The shorter five-seat model was eliminated in 2020, and now the writing on the wall is for the seven-seat MPV too.
The best year for Citroën in terms of MPV demand was in 2007 when it moved 115,000 Xsara Picassos and 215,000 C4 Picassos. This isn’t the end of the lineup of family carriers as the commercial van-based Berlingo and SpaceTourer are still available, complete with electric powertrains.