Citroen will unveil its radical new MPV called the C3 Picasso at the Paris motor show
8 July 2008

Citroen will launch its smallest and most radical MPV yet, the C3 Picasso, at next September’s Paris Show. The new model, which has a close mechanical relationship with the PSA’s Peugeot 207 family, sets out to ditch the “worthy” image associated with MPVs.

When it goes on sale early next year, it will be the fifth people-carrier in Citroen’s fast-expanding range, and the third to use the Picasso name.

Citroen aims to take advantage of growing demand for Vauxhall Meriva-class MPVs over the next few years. Sales exploded from 20,000 in 1998 to 600,000 in 2005, but receded 15 percent, Citroen believes, following buyer disappointment with products that failed to offer the promised convenience. The advent of “smarter” models like C3 Picasso, they claim, will push sales beyond the former peak.

The C3 Picasso’s jaunty two-box styling — Citroen design bosses claim “devilish charm” — makes a complete break with other Citroen MPVs, though there are enough cues to maintain a family look. Its 4.08 metre length places it squarely between the C3 saloon (3.85m) and Xsara Picasso MPV (4.28m). However, the C3 Picasso’s generous 1.62m height, near-vertical tailgate and straight body sides give it the biggest seats-down luggage capacity in the class.

Two 1.6 litre diesel engines (90 bhp and 110 bhp) and two 1.6 litre BMW-PSA petrol engines (95 bhp and 120 bhp) will be offered in a range Citroen bosses plan to keep simple. They believe C3 Picasso can make life tough for the class-leading Meriva, whose European sales last year receded to 125,000 from the previous year’s 160,000-plus.

Steve Cropley

Our Verdict

Citroën C3

The Citroën C3 is a competent and interesting supermini, but it doesn’t hit any high notes

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8 July 2008

I love it - it's different and truly innovative. I actually think the colour suits it too - Lime is back in fashion - you only need to look at the New Fiesta, Seat Ibiza, Ford Focus RS and this to see that. It's innovative and different - and Citroen deserve praise for doing things their way again! Apparently, the windscreen was inspired by the old DS!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

9 July 2008

Very refreshing design and quite a departure from the recent Citroen 'face'. The interior pic looks wonderfully light and airy too. Yes, I certainly do agree that the lively lime metallic hue goes well with the lines and don't forget another recent entrant that looks good in electric green is the Scirocco.

It certainly does look like Citroen is on the right track and should achieve success with this model. Keeping the range simple should also keep costs down, I would think, as long as sales volume is strong.

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