February 21, 2018


Citroën C3 Picasso MPV 1.6 VTi 120: the stylish and comfortable supermini MPV

Citroën’s ever-popular supermini MPV, the C3 Picasso, stands out from other small MPVs, with its innovative design features, including LED daytime running lights and distinctive Ink Blue and Pearlescent White body colours.

Citroen_C3_Picasso_review_writeonmotoring_001The C3 Picasso is available with four engines: 94bhp 1.4 and 118bhp 1.6-litre petrols, or 89bhp and 113bhp 1.6 diesels. The 1.4 petrol is good for urban use, but the lack of oomph means the 1.6 is the best bet for faster roads and motorways. Diesel derivatives are reasonably strong, but they do require working hard to deliver the goods. Decent economy can be had from the petrol engines, but heavy mileage or company car drivers will probably want to plump for one of the diesel units, as they benefit from lower tax bands.

Comfort is where the C3 scores, thanks to its soft, supple suspension set-up. This does means some body lean, but it’s never excessive. Keener drivers won’t find the Citroën’s clunky long-throw gear change and rather uncommunicative steering anything to get excited about, however. For this class of car, refinement levels are generally good, except for some wind noise intrusion on the motorway.

Citroen_C3_Picasso_review_writeonmotoring_003The C3’s cabin is flexible, airy and spacious and benefits from a very appealing design, with metal effect highlights and a centrally located distinctive digital instrument binnacle. Citroen has vastly improved its build quality on the C3, although some plastics lower down the dash are a bit hard and shiny. A wrap-around windscreen with extra-slim A-Pillars result in exceptionally good vision and the car’s naturally boxy shape means it’s easy to park.

Although there’s a decent amount of seat and steering wheel adjustment, taller drivers may find it difficult to get comfortable, due to the offset alignment of the pedals and lack of a left leg foot rest. Another disappointment for a family-orientated car is the comparative shortage of cabin stowage areas. But, in terms of space, you can’t really fault the C3 Picasso, as it offers a surprising amount of it; given that it’s around the same length as most conventional superminis. Headroom is generous, front and rear, but legroom in the back is on the tight side. However, the 60/40 split-fold rear bench can slide forwards and aft to give bias to rear accommodation or boot space – which ranges from 385 litres to a cavernous 500 litres.

All Picassos come equipped with remote central locking, front electric windows, CD player and front airbags – although disappointingly, curtain airbags and stability control are optional on base models. Midrange VTR+ trim gets air-conditioning, electric windows all-round and alloy wheels. Top-of-the-range Exclusive adds climate control, electric folding door mirrors, automatic lights and wipers and Electrochrome rear view mirror.

Citroen_C3_Picasso_review_writeonmotoring_004Available as an extra-cost option on the Exclusive is Citroën’s eMyWay satellite navigation, but it’s a rather clunky system to operate. However, eMyWay can also be specified with a reversing camera and rear parking sensors for easier manoevering.


Whilst lacking the fun-to-drive character found in some superminis, the Citroën C3 Picasso combines a healthy slice of style, space and comfort. It’s just a shame about that slightly awkward driving position and the fact that lower spec models don’t come with more kit as standard.

Tech spec:

Citroën C3 Picasso MPV 1.6 VTi 120 Exclusive

OTR Price: £16,825
Max power: 120 PS @6000
Max torque: 160 Nm@4250
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
0-62 mph: 10.9 seconds
Top speed: 117 mph
CO2 emissions: g/km) 149
Claimed combined mpg: 44.1
Tax band: F



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