Review

Citroen C4 Picasso MPV

Price  £17,505 - £25,155

Citroen C4 Picasso MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Eye-catching design
  • Big boot
  • Impressive economy and emissions
Cons
  • Not as good to drive as a Ford C-MAX
  • Only gets a two-year unlimited warranty
  • Suspension thuds over potholes

At a glance

The greenest
e-HDi 90 Airdream ETG6 VTR+ 5dr £20,155
The cheapest
VTi 120 VTR 5dr £17,505
The fastest
THP 155 manual 6-speed Exclusive+ 5dr £23,465
Top of the range
BlueHDi 150 6-speed Exclusive+ 5dr £25,155

"The Citroen C4 Picasso is comfortable, quick and cheap to run. There's plenty of space inside, too"

The Citroen C4 Picasso's bold, compact dimensions are genuinely eye-catching, making it an MPV that really does stand out from the crowd. It's lower and shorter than the previous generation of C4 Picasso, but actually has a extra 57mm between the front and rear wheels, which creates more space inside the car. In fact, it even has the largest boot in the compact-MPV class, plus a range of engines that are very efficient and a high-quality interior that is surprisingly stylish. We’d recommend the e-HDi 115 diesel engine, thanks to its blend of acceleration and low running costs. The less powerful 90 version feels far too underpowered when the MPV is fully loaded. And, to be honest, any buyers looking for the best handling MPV should probably consider giving the Ford C-MAX a go.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.2 / 5

Low running costs in the diesel models

If you want the best fuel economy and tax-free CO2 emissions, we’d suggest going for the e-HDi 90, which is capable of returning 74.3mpg in combined fuel economy, while emitting only 98g/km of CO2. The engine we’d go for, though, is the e-HDi 115, which offers better performance but still manages to return an excellent 70.6mpg in economy. We do also think it's probably worth being cautious and investing in Citroen's 36-month/35,000-mile servicing package for only £449, just to make sure that long-term costs stay down. And you can even pay in installments of £12.49 per month if needs must.

Interior & comfort

3.7 / 5

Seats are comfy and the interior is quiet at motorway speeds

The latest C4 Picasso has a more comfortable ride and comfier seats than the previous model, generally proving to be improved in all areas of comfort – it even drives over the roughest roads without any major bumps or judders. It only develops any difficulties when driven over deep potholes or train tracks, which cause the suspension to thud loudly, shaking the car about. It's also a bit unstable when driven at higher speeds, fidgeting about a bit. Fortunately it is very quiet when driven on the motorway, with hardly any audible wind noise. Passengers also have plenty of space in both the front and the back. If you add the optional Lounge Package then the front passenger also get an electrically extendable leg rest.

Practicality & boot space

3.5 / 5

Big boot and generously sized rear seats are perfect for families

Normally, cars that look especially cool make you sceptical about what sacrifices have been made inside in terms of space, flexibility and usability. Luckily, the C4 Picasso bucks this trend, excelling in this category. You get a big boot that offers 537 litres of space. That's more space than in the Ford C-MAX, Renault Scenic or Volkswagen Touran. Even better, the rears seats can be slid forward individually to expand the boot to 630 litres or to increase legroom depending on your needs at any given time. Or, of course, you can fold them flat to expand the total capacity to an impressive 1,851 litres. All three rear seats are the exact same size, which makes it easy to sit three adults comfortably at once, and also to easily fit three child seats – which is likely to be key factor for many growing families. Headroom does get a bit cramped in the car's outer seats because of the bubble-like dimensions. If you choose the C4 Picasso Exclusive or Exclusive+ then you also get an electric boot lid, while all models come fitted with a clever hidden storage compartment underneath the boot floor.

Reliability & safety

2.6 / 5

Reliability should be about average

Citroen still carries a bit of a stink on its reputation for reliability, and it looks like it still has a lot of ground to make up if the results of the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey are anything to go by. Already ranked at 22nd out of 32 in the 2012 survey, Citroen actually dropped two more places in 2013, to place 24th, with poor reliability being one of the main failings. As for the C4 Picasso itself, the second-generation car is still too new to feature, but the previous model was only 131st in the list of the top 150 cars – which is thrown into stark contract by key rival the Renault Scenic coming fourth. We think the new model will do significantly, using the same platform that is being used in 20 different Peugeot and Citroen models. Plus, the engines in the C4 Picasso range have previously been tried and tested in other Citroen models without any major problems. The interior is also much better quality compared to previous Citroen models, so should prove better suited to the wear and tear that a people carrier has to weather. However, it's a something of a shame that Citroen only includes a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, especially when you compare it to the seven-year warranty that Kia offers. You do get an additional third year of dealer warranty – but only up to 60,000 miles. Safety is good in the C4 Picasso - the car secured the maximum five-star rating from the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, scoring especially well for child occupancy safety. Electronic stability control (ESP) and front, side and curtain airbags are all fitted as standard, but adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning are only available as optional extras.

Engines, drive & performance

2.5 / 5

Not as fun to drive as a Ford C-MAX but smooth engines impress

Citroen has managed to lose 140kg of weight from the C4 Picasso, which has the effect of improving most aspects of the drive, including braking, handling and acceleration. It also feels more responsive and agile than the outgoing model, but still suffers from too much imprecision in the steering to ever approach being either sporty or fun. This is also exacerbated by excessive body roll when it drives through corners, showing just how good the Ford C-MAX actually is. For the best overall drive, we’d recommend the e-HDi 115 diesel, which is smooth and quiet while also accelerating from 0-62mph in a respectable 11.8 seconds. The 1.6-litre turbo THP 155 is the fastest in the range but it costs so much more to run that it really doesn’t make financial sense. 

Price, value for money & options

4.0 / 5

Competitive pricing and a generous equipment list add up to good value

The C4 Picasso gives you quite a lot for your money, and also has strong resale values in the used car market so should give you some money back when you make a second-hand deal, with only the Volkswagen Touran offering better. The range starts with entry-level VTR models, coming fitted with seven-inch colour touchscreen, air-conditioning, an electric parking brake and electric windows as standard. The top-of-the-range Exclusive+ also gets sat-nav, an additional 12-inch HD display and leather seats. However, Citroen thinks that most buyers will opt for the mid-range VTR+ spec, thanks to its good levels of equipment and accessories for the price - probably everything you’ll really need.

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 1 reviews
  • 4.0 / 5

    The new Citroen C4 Picasso has the silhouette more of a hatchback than an MPV, and serves up the desirability the old car was always missing. Plus, when you delve deeper, you find a seriously practical and fuel-efficient compact people carrier with an impressively polished driving experience.

Last updated 
13 Jan 2014

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I think your statement that it "only gets a two year warranty" is incorrect. Citroen give a 3 year warranty on their cars.

Relaibility 'should prove to be pretty good'? Three stars out of five? That's pretty poor in my view.It's a Ctroen, though, and Citroens are like most French cars: not known for quality or reliability.

Hi Martin, Citroen offers a two-year unlimited mileage warranty with all its cars, plus an additional third year dealer warranty. However, the third year is only valid to 60,000 miles. Hopefully that clears up the misunderstanding!

Three out of five is still a respectable score (60%). Citroen placed 24th in the Auto Express Driver Power survey 2013 - behind Toyota, Volkswagen and even Renault. However, reliability is improving, so watch this space!

I had decided to go for the Exclusive+ 115ps Deisel. I was worried however that when I test drove an Exclusive the SAT Nav did not accept full post codes and the dealer was not sure why, do you have any info? Also I dont see the point of the Citoen Multi City Connect at an extra cost per year to do what my smartphone does for free. It does look good for an MPV though.

We can't be sure whether or not the sat-nav in a Citroen C4 Picasso will accept a full postcode, but it's quite common for modern systems to accept the first part and a road name - effectively doing the same job. Frustrating, we know, but that's just the way they work.

Your Citroen dealer should be able to answer your question, though.

While the design may be eye-catching , its still ugly . That fiddly front doesn't go with the box back

Have just bought an Executive+ Diesel (115) with the ETG6 gearbox. So far very pleased, very comfortable, roomy and easy to get into and out of. Quiet and smooth on the road and returns 64+mpg on a run - around 44mpg in town. Not the most exciting drive in the world but then that is not the market that this car is aimed at.

Very nice MPV love the look the airy cabin and the extras bundled on the exclusive and exclusive + models Going to get a test drive and may just trade in my zsara picasso for one of these.

Btw I have been a ford owner all my driving years until a couple of years ago and I find Citroen's nothing like they used to be and better or match any other make in its class

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