£16,575 - £18,640 Price range
56 - 72 MPG
The C3 Picasso is a small MPV that gains glowing reviews from critics.
They say that it’s very practical, good value and they like its looks. The appeal for most is that fact that it’s not a big car on the outside, but has loads of room inside.
Based on its style, versatility and sense of character it’s a real contender in its class.
Cheapest to buy: 1.2-litre PureTech Edition petrol
Cheapest to run: 1.6-litre BlueHDi Edition diesel
Fastest model: 1.6-litre BlueHDi Platinum diesel
Most popular: 1.2-litre PureTech Edition petrol
It’s much more spacious inside than the normal C3 hatchback, with plenty of leg and headroom in the back. You can even slide the rear seats forward for more boot space or backwards for more legroom.
The boot is a good size, as big as some estates, and if you need more space the back row folds down effortlessly to give you a good 500 litres of room.
Quality is very good as most of the plastics have textures that are friendly to the touch. The funky styling on the outside has influenced the inside too.
Anyone can get comfy behind the wheel thanks to a wide range of adjustments in the seat and steering wheel. Once in place you have great visibility out of the front since the cleverly designed A pillars are very thin and you have a pair of big quarter lights on each side.
In town the steering is light, which makes parking and going round mini-roundabouts a piece of cake. Once you’re at higher speeds it weights up to give you more confidence.
Citroens are famous for having soft suspension and the little Picasso keeps up with tradition. While it’s comfy over rough areas, it means the nose dives down and rises up every time you’re aggressive with the throttle. It also means a lot of body roll in the corners.
Tyre and wind noise are also nice and quiet which makes the little Citroen good on motorway journeys.
Four are on offer: a 1.4 VTi Petrol, a 1.6VTi petrol and a couple of 1.6HDi diesels with either 91 or 107bhp. The smallest petrol is only recommendable if you only intend on driving around town most of the time since it’s on the weak side. The 1.6 petrol has more grunt, but it’s not as economical as the strong diesels.
The smallest and cheapest engine you can get with the C3 Picasso is the 1.4 VTi petrol which produces 94bhp and 100 lb ft of torque. The unit takes the car from 0-60mph in 12.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 111mph.
It’s also the cheapest of the petrol engines to run as it returns up to 44.1mpg and has a CO2 rating of 149g/km.
It’s perfectly fine if you only intend to dot about town in the little Picasso but it’s not the reviewer’s favourite engine as it can feel weak at times. They say the bigger 1.6 petrol or one of the 1.6 diesel are worth paying extra for.
You can get this engine with the basic VT, the mid range VTR+ and the high end Exclusive trim.
The biggest diesel engine in the range is the 1.6 HDi 110 which comes with 107bhp and 170lb ft of torque (the same amount of torque as the smaller 1.6 diesel). The unit takes the car from standstill to 60mph in 11.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 114mph.
The acceleration is not as that far off the 1.6 petrol but this diesel engine is more economical. It returns up to 58.8 mpg and has a CO2 rating of 125g/km.
One thing that reviewer’s noted is that this particular engine is only available in the most expensive Exclusive trim and is the most expensive engine to buy overall. This means that this engine only makes financial sense if you do many miles.
If you’re after punch then take a look at the 1.6 petrol but if you’re after better economy then take a look at the smaller 1.6 diesel with 91bhp.
The smallest diesel engine in the range is the 1.6 HDi 90 which produces 91bhp (which is the same as the 1.4 petrol) and 170lb ft or torque. The unit takes the car from standstill to 60mph in 13.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 108mph.
This is the most economical power plant available with the Picasso as it returns up to 61.4mpg and has a CO2 rating of 119g/km, which means road tax will be very cheap annually.
It’s the perfect engine for anyone who wants low running costs and decent performance. It’s also a good choice for motorway sluggers.
This engine is available in VT, VTR+, Code, Connexion and Exclusive models. The favourite trim being the VTR+ as it has enough equipment and is reasonably priced.
The biggest petrol engine available with the C3 Picasso is the 1.6 VTi which produces 118bhp and 118lb ft of torque. This takes the funky Citroen from 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 117mph.
It’s the reviewer’s favourite engine thanks to being punchy and smooth.
Even though it’s bigger than the 1.4 petrol, it actually has similar running costs. The unit returns up to 44.1mpg and has a CO2 rating of 149g/km.
If you want that power but with better running costs then check out the 1.6 diesel with 110bhp, as it returns 58.8mpg. Mind you that’s the most expensive engine in the range as it’s only available in Exclusive trim.
The 1.6 petrol is available in VTR+ and Exclusive models, with the VTR+ being the favourite as it’s reasonably priced and comes with enough equipment.
All but the basic models get standard stability control, but for that reason the C3 Picasso only scores a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating. However, all models in the range get airbags and ABS brakes, as well as the now ubiquitous LED daytime running lights.
It’s actually one of the more expensive small MPVs but if Citroen keep up to the tradition of giving discounts then you might get one for a good price. Standard equipment is not bad, with every car getting remote locking, front electric windows and a CD player. You’d have to go further up the range to get features such as parking sensors, rear electric windows and air conditioning.
If you need the versatility of a small MPV but want to stand out in the crowd and look stylish then the Citroen C3 Picasso is hard to beat.
What also sets it apart from rivals is that it has a real sense of fun about it!