Citroen C3 Picasso 1.6 VTI review

Oct 29, 2010

Trying to make "practical" cool is easier said than done, but has Citroen succeeded with the C3 Picasso? Read our review to find out

"It's a Citroen with style that's deserving of Picasso's signature"

Immediately from the outside you can tell that the Citroen C3 Picasso has been designed to turn heads on the school run. There's a big, imposing front grille, beefy wheelarches and nice wraparound headlights. For once Citroen has made a car with looks deserving of the Picasso signature.

Inside the C3 Picasso is as unique as the exterior, with a curvaceous dashboard featuring chromed vents and a premium-looking piano black centre console. Three ‘pods’ in the centre of the dashboard give an electronic readout for the speedometer and trip computer.

Adding to the sense of space is the amount of glass in the C3 Picasso. With the optional glass panoramic roof fitted, the Citroen really does feel like a greenhouse inside. Actually, it's a bit classier than somewhere to grow tomatoes – it's more of a conservatory.

All this glass gives you great visibility out on the road, which will come in especially useful where the C3 Picasso will spend most of its life - in supermarkets and negotiating multi-story car parks.

About town, the 1.6-litre petrol engine has plenty of poke. However, if it's immediate response you’re after, I’d opt for the torquey top spec 1.6-litre HDi 120hp diesel unit.

On more open roads, the C3 Picasso handles impressively and doesn’t feel like you are driving a box. The steering weights up nicely at speed and the body-roll is minimal, the latter being something I wasn’t expecting.

However letting down the driving experience is something that seems unbelievable to overlook. The handbrake is mounted down very low between the seats. I’m 6’2” and have to lean a long way over to engage it. If you happen to be a short person, the distance to grab the handbrake will be even greater with the seat jacked up, and will be a pain for doing hill-starts.

So, braking aside, has the French manufacturer managed to stay at the top of the mini-MPV game? Definitely. The C3 Picasso looks great; it comes with excellent engine options and is hugely practical. Up against the
Kia Soul

Toyota Urban Cruiser,

the C3 Picasso is the clear leader of the pack.

Car Specs - Citroen C3 Picasso 1.6 petrol VTI

1.6-litre petrol, 120hp

10.9 seconds

Top speed:

40.9mpg/159g/km CO2

Price/On sale

We rate:

Quirky looks
Practical interior
Choice of engines

We slate:

Silly handbrake positioning
Paying extra for black bumpers!
Has old Citroen badges


: 4 out of 5


by Craig McAlpine

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