What is it?
This is the Citroen C3 Picasso 1.6 HDi 90 VT. It’s the first time we’ve got behind the wheel of a diesel version of Citroen’s funky new people mover, and the first time we’ve tested it on UK roads.
What’s it like?
Look at the facts and the new Citroen C3 Picasso is nothing special. Just like the Nissan Note or Ford Fusion, it’s a higher-riding hatchback with a jacked-up driving position and more practicality than the lower-slung alternatives.
The difference is that Citroen’s offering is the first one you’d probably want to be seen in. Few car makers are producing so many design hits as Citroen right now and you can add the C3 Picasso to the list. No, it’s not quite as outlandish as some of the company’s recent concept cars, but it’s a fresh and funky take on the small, boxy MPV.
The theme continues on the inside too. Whatever perch you’re occupying there’s visibility and the dash is both good looking and easy to navigate – even if none of the materials below knee level are that special.
The figures indicate that the Picasso has more cabin and luggage space than its immediate rivals and there’s no reason to argue. One downside is that aside from a sliding rear bench there are no other MPV party tricks.
Away from the kerbside it’s on a par with rivals, but nothing better. It rides well though, soaking up most of the worst excess of UK asphalt, and it’s quiet. Spend most of your time fully laden and you’ll probably want more punch than the 90bhp diesel provides, however; something that is available in the pricier 110bhp version. Weightier steering and a more precise gear change would be welcome, too.
Should I buy one?
Yes. Despite some of the dynamic deficiencies, the C3 Picasso has finally given us a small MPV that’s going to be enjoyable to own. In fact, one of the most uncomfortable truths may be for Citroen itself. Is there any need to pay more for a 5-seat C4 Picasso?
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