The third-most row of seats are hidden beneath the boot floor, while the second row of seats can be pushed forwards or removed altogether to create more space. There’s ample room in the second row for two adults, but fitting three shoulder to shoulder here will spark complaints on long trips - such is the case with mid-sized MPVs like this.
Up front, space isn’t an issue. Both driver and front passenger get comfortable seating, while the refreshed interior of the Picasso is a real shining point.
Avoid the monochrome screen setup found on lower trim levels and instead opt for the full HD colour screen, and the central infotainment display is a real treat for drivers.
Its dual-screen layout might be a tad more distracting than the traditional instruments most drivers are used to, but it’s easy to navigate with well-designed menus and layouts.
The e-HDi 115 diesel engine we tried sits in the middle of a three-strong diesel launch range. Below it sits an e-HDi 90 Airdream engine with 91bhp and headline-grabbing figures of 98g/km of CO2 and 74.3mpg.
At the top of the range comes a 148bhp BlueHDi 150, which is Euro 6 emissions compliant and comes with a Selective Catalytic Reduction system.
The 114bhp e-HDi 115 is a strong, but quiet engine. There’s minimal noise intrusion in the cabin, and the only vibrations from the 1.6-litre unit come at idle. It’s an excellent puller, too, accompanied by good mechanical refinement throughout the rev range.
A six-speed manual transmission was fitted to our test car, but a six-speed automated manual is also available. The manual has well-spaced ratios, with none of the notchiness between first and second we found on our road test car.
Steering is a little light for some tastes, but soon firms up with speed. We’d like more feedback, but such is the common drawback of modern electrically assisted systems.
At speed, there’s also a surprising amount of wind noise from the A-pillars and around the wing mirrors, but not to a level that becomes an annoyance.
The real advantage of the new EMP2 platform comes with the Grand Picasso’s ride, which is vastly improved over the old model. Where the outgoing car would lurch and roll through the corners, the new Grand Picasso stays flat.
The ride quality is acceptable too, and seemingly not compromised by the 18-inch wheels fitted to our test car.