There is nothing unusual about the Picasso’s exterior dimensions, which are close to the class norm for length, width and height. But by making the cabin cube-shaped within this external perimeter, a class-leading package has been achieved.
Perhaps more important to those who care as much about how they look as what they drive, the smart and contemporary execution of its design detailing has turned a decidedly bland silhouette into one of the most striking MPVs available at any price.
It is not the job of the Autocar road test to dwell for long on matters as subjective as appearance, but it is instructive to note the considerable and uniformly positive attention this car attracts from the pavement when anything more than zero can usually be considered a result for an MPV.
Climb into the C3 Picasso for the first time and you’ll be reminded of your last ride in a cable car. The glasshouse is unfeasibly large and all-round visibility among the best of any car on the road. Those slim A-pillars and remarkable quarterlights produce a side vision angle of 29.5 degrees, unrivalled in its class, while upward visibility extends to 26 degrees.
If you specify the near full-length panoramic sunroof (available only on Platinum models), the total glazed area extends to 4.5 square metres, which is more like a small conservatory than a compact MPV.
The extravagant design doesn’t quite carry through to the cabin, which is more conservative, but nonetheless stylish with plenty of clever touches.
A decent selection of options can further enhance your C3 Picasso, and these often form the basis of special editions with snazzy paintwork and matching or contrasting alloy wheels.