£18,995 - £27,725 Price range
48 - 74 MPG
The Citroen C4 Picasso is a five-seater MPV that has stylish looks and a comfortable ride. Its rivals are the Ford C-Max, Renault Scenic and VW Golf SV – a more practical version of the standard Golf.
The C4 Picasso has a great interior – the dashboard looks and feels upmarket, while the large windows give the cabin an airy and spacious feel. The three seats in the back easily sit adults and have a wide range of adjustability. The boot, meanwhile, is one of the biggest in class.
Comfort is a very sought-after characteristic when choosing an MPV and the C4 Picasso has the most cosseting ride in its class. It’s also quiet at motorway speeds, but tends to roll a bit in corners.
There is a broad choice of engines for the C4 Picasso – all are modern and refined and, in the case of the diesels, very cheap to run. The 115hp diesel is recommended by experts for it’s impressive fuel economy, while if you plan to only travel short urban trips, then the 130hp petrol makes more sense.
Equipment levels are generous with entry-level cars getting air-conditioning, all-round electric windows, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a panoramic windscreen as standard. Check out our handy C4 Picasso colours guide for a breakdown on all the shades available for the Citroen.
Citroen has unveiled a subtly facelifted C4 Picasso with a slightly revised interior and an upgraded infotainment system, read all about it in our dedicated article.
This is where MPVs have to excel and few criticisms are levelled at the C4 Picasso. The quality of the materials has much improved over the old model and now it’s a very pleasant premium feel inside, brought by the stylish design of the dashboard combining light and dark materials as well as the aluminium trim pieces all around the cabin. The central touchscreen minimises button clutter, but testers reckon the infotainment systems on rivals are easier to navigate and more responsive. However, the steering wheel remains button-heavy and overly complicated for some.
Citroen C4 Picasso passenger space
The Citroen C4 Picasso can sit five six-foot adults and those five people have it pretty good, with comfortable seats and lots of light thanks to the large windows. The driver also gets a great overview of the road ahead and the small quarter glass windows in the A-pillars are really helpful in urban areas – none of the Picasso’s rivals have better all-round visibility. Each of the rear seats is independent, can recline and has Isofix child seat mounting points.
Citroen C4 Picasso boot space
Testers say the boot in particular is more than spacious enough to worry its rivals, with a healthy 537 to 630 litres depending on where you slide the adjustable rear seat. With them folded flat, you get up to 1,851 litres – more than the Ford (476-1,684 litres), the Volkswagen (590-1,520 litres) and the Renault (522-1,837 litres).
The C4 Picasso also isn’t short on storage areas with a large bin between the front seats (with 12V power supply and USB connection), underfloor storage in the rear footwells, drawers under the front seats, 1.5-litre water bottle door bins, lots of cupholders, but due to a large fusebox – a disappointingly small glovebox.
Citroen has shed 140kgs from the old model thanks to a more modern construction. That benefits economy and helps you get more from some of the smaller engines, but it hasn’t turned the Picasso into a real driver’s car – several other MPVs – the Ford C-Max in particular – are more involving to drive. There are a few misgivings about the controls – the gearbox is slick, but the clutch feels odd to some. There’s little steering feel either and plenty of body roll to contend with.
More important to most buyers is the fact that all models ride well and your comfort is aided further by soft seats and a cabin that is very quiet at motorway speeds.
If you’re buying a Citroen Picasso, low running costs are bound to be a priority, which makes one of the diesel models an obvious choice. You can also pick between auto and manual gearboxes with six speeds, though the former’s slow responses make it feel outdated compared to the quick-shifting twin-clutch auto available in a Volkswagen Touran.
Citroen C4 Picasso diesel engines
The 1.6-litre 100hp BlueHDi is the least-powerful engine, but with fuel economy of more than 74mpg and free road tax (if you go for the smaller wheels), few will complain about this.
Going for the 120hp version buys you a useful step in performance, but gets the basic model’s fuel economy and is also free to tax unless you go for the optional 17-inch wheels, in which case it’ll set you back £20 a year.
Even the 2.0 litre model can return 70mpg and with 150hp on tap, plus a healthy slug of pulling power, it is the Picasso to choose if you plan to tow a caravan or trailer.
Citroen C4 Picasso petrol engines
The basic three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol sips fuel at 56mpg and costs £30 to tax, but testers say it feels a little slow on the road – that will be particularly true if it’s loaded down with people and their kit.
That leaves the 160hp 1.6-litre petrol. It gets from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, but in the real world it’ll be little quicker than the top-of-the-range diesel. Most people won’t see the point when it has the highest fuel consumption in the range (48mpg) and requires £110 a year to tax.
The mixed reviews are more to do with the car itself than the engine, which is generally rated well. Comments range from "reasonably punchy" and "an eager performer" in 115-horsepower form to "refined", while the six-speed gearbox is described as "slick and easy to operate".
If you're looking at a C4 Picasso, this is definitely the engine to have.
That's the model recommended by the sole HDi review here, though the tester does say the engine is smooth. At 67 mpg, it's commendably economical too - just a little slow. The 12.9-second 0-60 run is backed up is described as "a bit short of go", and needs effort to keep it rolling along if you fall out of the turbocharger's boost.
That's probably unfair, since the engine is praised for being "incredibly quiet" and "keen to accelerate", with a 0-60 time of just 9 seconds.
The main problem though is that for cash-strapped families, the diesels - particularly the 1.6 e-HDi - simply make more sense. The THP costs £100 a year more to tax and only averages 47 mpg to the diesel's 70-plus. A good engine then, but not the most sensible option.
There are no reviews of the VTi as yet, but keep checking back as we'll update this page when the experts have driven the car.
Unfortunately, there are no reviews of this engine as yet, but keep checking back as we'll update this page when reviews start to filter in.
Euro NCAP testing gave the C4 Picasso a five-star overall rating for safety, which is exactly what you want to hear for such a family-oriented type of vehicle.
The standard form of the Picasso offers all the airbags and stuff that you would expect, but there’s also a lot of very up-to-date optional equipment available if safety is a big deal to you and you’re prepared to pay more it.
Optional safety equipment includes things such as a blind spot monitoring system, ‘Intelligent Beam Lights’ that dip the full beam automatically in the dark and a pretty cool lane departure warning system, which vibrates the driver’s seatbelt if you don’t indicate and you cross a white line on the road.
The C4 Picasso has five trim levels – VTR, VTR+, Selection, Exclusive and Exclusive+. All Picassos come with nice features such as panoramic windscreen, rear seats that recline and three 12V charging sockets.
Citroen C4 Picasso VTR
The entry-level C4 Picasso gets the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment, cruise control to ease long motorway journeys, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and keyless entry for convenience.
Citroen C4 Picasso VTR+
VTR+ have rear parking sensors that ease parking in the city, dual zone-climate control with separate dials for the driver and front passenger as well as automatic lights and wipers driving.
Citreon C4 Picasso Selection
The Selection limited edition gives you a panoramic sunroof for an even more airy feel inside and distinctive 17-inch alloy wheels.
Citroen C4 Picasso Exclusive
The Exclusive trim level boosts safety by adding two more curtain airbags in the rear and convenience by adding a 12-inch central screen and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Citroen C4 Picasso Exclusive+
The top-of-the-range trim adds a lot of kit for the money: an emergency city braking system that is invaluable in congested city centres, massage seats with an electric foot rest for the front passenger for added comfort on long journeys and a separate air-vent control for the rear seat passengers. Electric rear blinds and blind spot monitoring concludes the more notable equipment on the list.
For most reviewers, the new C4 Picasso marks a big improvement over its predecessor. Not only is it a striking looker both inside and out, but Citroen has made further strides in quality.
The low weight helps improve economy (along with a range of frugal engines) and importantly, it’s comfortable and spacious. If you don’t need more than that – and relish a bit of French style – it’s possibly the car for you.