Citroen C4 Picasso MPV
Price £18,270 - £26,760
- Cheaper than rivals
- Wide choice of engines
- Good looks
- Some reliability issues
- Rivals handle better
- Some versions poorly equipped
At a glance
"The Citroen C4 Picasso is cheap, spacious and good looking – everything you’d want in a family car.”
As far as MPVs go, the Citroen C4 Picasso takes the crown in the beauty pageant. Although the build quality and solid reliability of the Volkswagen Sharan and SEAT Alhambra may trump the Citroen, they’re hardly what you’d call head-turning.
While a Picasso painting will set you back millions, Citroen's namesake piece of art is one of the cheapest cars in its class, starting at a mere £18,270 compared to the VW Sharan's £26,300 or the entry-level Ford Galaxy's £26,695.
Inside, the Picasso comfortably fits a large family, including plenty of space for luggage in the boot, complemented by a versatile seating system. The car's suspension also keeps things comfortable, even on bumpy roads.
There are four trims to choose from in addition to the special-edition Selection model, available from £21,210. The VTR trim kicks things off, while the range also includes the VTR+, Exclusive and Exclusive+.
Of course, the VTR's low price is partly reflected in a pretty limited amount of standard equipment. That's why we recommend the Exclusive trim at the very least, as it includes fold-flat and reclining seats in row two, front and rear parking sensors, sat nav and a 12-inch central display screen. If you’re looking to go all out, the Exclusive+ also has massaging seats for the driver and front passenger, keyless entry and start and parking assistance.
The Picasso has myriad engines to choose from, with two petrol and five diesel options. The manual-transmission petrol (128bhp) is limited to the VTR and VTR+, while the automatic (163bhp) is available with the two higher-spec models.
While the smallest HDi 100 (99bhp) diesel is manual-only (six-speed), the 118bhp and 148bhp are available with either manual or automatic transmission depending on the model. We’d recommend the most powerful diesel with a manual gearbox, as it's also the most efficient on the Exclusive trim's 17-inch alloys, returning up to 67.3mpg and emitting 102g/km of CO2.
The disadvantages of the Picasso are its questionable handling and reliability. Build quality is something of a sticking point with Citroen, especially when it comes to electronics and gearboxes.
While the 148bhp engine is more than capable of hauling a full load of passengers and luggage, the Picasso leans a lot more when cornering compared to rivals such as the Ford C-MAX. On the plus side, the car received the full five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash-testing.
Citroen C4 Picasso diesel models have very low running costs
The Citroen C4 Picasso isn't as fun to drive as a Ford C-MAX, but smooth engines impress
The Citroen C4 Picasso features comfortable seats and the interior is quiet at motorway speeds
The Citroen C4 Picasso has a big boot and generously sized rear seats are perfect for families
Reliability has been something of a weak point for Citroen