- Unique styling
- Low running costs
- Impressive interior
- 4-star NCAP results
- Notchy gearbox
- More expensive to insure than some rivals
Stylish, economical mini-MPV
The Citroen C3 Picasso is one of many cars to embrace the mini-MPV trend that offers practicality, without the need to upgrade to a full-blown MPV. First introduced in 2009, the C3 Picasso finds itself up against some tough competition, notably the Ford B-Max and the Nissan Note. The C3 Picasso is easy to drive, spacious, and features some impressively efficient engines, so it’s perfect for small families. And with it’s head-turning looks, it’s sure to be a popular choice for those who want something that looks and feels a little bit special.
An update in 2012 featured a minor facelift, as well as incorporating more modern technology, and more efficient engines.
Upmarket feel, spacious boot, but infotainment system is difficult to get used to
Citroen has upped its game massively over recent years, dropping its reputation as a manufacturer that makes poor quality interiors. The C3 Picasso is a perfect example of how much they’ve advanced, as the C3 Picasso exudes quality in a class that’s often lacking.
The dashboard design of the C3 Picasso is one of the most interesting in the mini-MPV class. Its swooping dash and unconventional display make it a great option for those who want a cabin that’s a little bit different. The quality is also impressive, with soft-touch materials adorning the majority of the cabin. There’s also some attractive metal highlights, which only add to the C3 Picasso’s contemporary feel.
Most family buyers will be looking for space and practicality above all else when they’re searching for their next mini-MPV, and thankfully the C3 Picasso impresses. The rear seats can be adjusted for either extra rear passenger space, or extra boot room. With the seats furthest forward, the C3 Picasso boasts an incredible 500 litre boot capacity. That’s class-leading, whilst there’s also plenty of leg, and headroom for passengers.
Equipment levels in the C3 Picasso are pretty generous, no matter which trim you choose to go for. The entry-level Edition trim is not only the cheapest, it only makes the most sense. This is because it comes as standard with all the essentials. Electric windows, air-con, electric mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity all feature, and few buyers will need any more than this.
The inside of the C3 Picasso is undoubtedly one of its strongest areas. It’s stylish, spacious, practical, and generously equipped, so there’s very little to complain about. Compared to rivals, it’s the class-leader in this department.
Comfortable, safe, and secure
Mini-MPV’s aren’t known for their exceptional handling ability, and the C3 Picasso is no different. It’s not an out-and-out driver’s car, but it is both easy, safe, and secure to drive. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, so even the worst of British weather shouldn’t pose a problem. Steering is light which makes the C3 Picasso easy to drive around town, though there’s not an awful lot of feedback, so it’s not the most engaging car out on fast, winding country roads.
Suspension and Chassis
Comfort is important for most families, and in this sense, the C3 Picasso really does deliver. The chassis and suspension system is designed to withstand the worst roads that everyday driving can throw at you, and so potholed city centre roads, and loose rural surfaces are easily dealt with. Road and wind noise are also pretty quiet, so the C3 Picasso is refined enough to be a pretty impressive motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the C3 Picasso come only in one form. A five-speed manual transmission is standard across the range, but it’s not the finest piece of engineering. It features a long throw, and it’s not as accurate as most buyers will like, so it’s not great to use in busy traffic. The lack of sixth gear also means things can get a little noisy on motorways, particularly with low-powered models.
One punchy petrol, and an efficient diesel
When it comes to deciding how you want power your C3 Picasso, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s one of each in the range, with the diesel engine offering greater fuel efficiency, and the petrol being cheaper to buy.
If it’s power that you want from your C3 Picasso, you’re more than likely going to be disappointed with both the engines in the C3 Picasso range. Nevertheless, few mini-MPV buyers are interested in out-and-out performance, so it won’t affect too many families. The most powerful engine in the range is the 1.2 litre PureTech petrol unit, which produces 110bhp, and accelerates from 0-62mph in 11.8 seconds. It’s only marginally quicker than the diesel however, and it’s a lot less efficient.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pretty pleased with the 1.6 litre BlueHDi diesel engine, as it produces just 101g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s impressively low for a car in this class, and whilst it might just miss out on free road tax, it is good for the environment. This model is also the best option for money-savers, as it can achieve up to an incredible 72mpg. You can save yourself plenty of money with this diesel model, money that you can put towards the family holiday, or a little treat for either you or the kids.
Both engines in the C3 Picasso range are pretty decent, though it’s clear that the diesel engine is without doubt the most impressive. It’s balance of power, efficiency, and green credentials make it one of the best in the mini-MPV class.
Disappointing NCAP results, but decent standard safety kit
Unlike a lot of cars in its class, the Citroen C3 Picasso failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 81% in adult safety, 76% in child safety, and 43% in pedestrian safety, the C3 Picasso falls some way of its closest rivals- the Ford B-Max, the Hyundai ix20, and the Vauxhall Meriva all achieved the maximum five stars. Despite this, the C3 Picasso still comes with plenty of safety kit as standard. Even the most basic model comes with electronic stability control, emergency braking assistance, Isofix points, and six airbags.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Citroen C3 Picasso represents superb value for money for family buyers. This depends on which model you choose to go for, but generally speaking fuel efficiency is high throughout the range (with no model falling below 57mpg), and CO2 levels are pretty low (with no model exceeding 115g/km). That means that the C3 Picasso is both cheap to run, and to tax. Diesel models without doubt offer the best value for money, so are worth looking out for.
Insurance costs in the C3 Picasso again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 14 for the 1.2 PureTech Edition, and climbs up to group 16 if you’re tempted by the top of the range 1.6 BlueHDi Exclusive. Unfortunately, the C3 Picasso is generally a little more expensive to insure than an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the C3 Picasso, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Citroen C3 Picasso is one of the better mini-MPVs currently on sale. It’s spacious, efficient, and features an impressive interior. It might not be the best to drive, nor is it the safest, but its unique styling, its comfortable ride, and its low running costs should be enough to gain it many admirers, particularly for families who like to stand out from the crowd.
Buying a used Citroen C3 Picasso online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Citroen C3 Picasso for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used C3 Picasso. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Citroen C3 Picasso online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Citroen? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Citroen C3 Picasso, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used C3 Picasso, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Citroen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.