Citroen C3 Picasso (2009–2017)

Last updated 11 August 2018

Decent practical upright car. Roomy in the back. Good load capacity. Drives and rides well. Excellent ingress and egress. Panoramic front screen with no blindspots. New 1.2 Puretech petrol engine.
Automatic originally only an automated manual. Avoid repeated short runs from cold with diesel versions. Obviously not sporty.
Updated 1 December 2017

Report of power assistance to steering of 2011 Citroen C3 Picasso failing at 34,000 miles.

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Introduction

It might be tall and upright, but the C3 Picasso is far from drab. Compared to something like a Berlingo Multispace or a Peugeot Bipper Tepee it’s positively handsome, but it’s also very family friendly, with plenty of space on offer. The cabin is just as interesting as the exterior, with an attractive dashboard design and a comfortable, upright driving position offering a good view out.

Passengers will find the back row spacious even if they’re tall and the load area is generous too. There’s a double boot floor, with a minimum load space of 385 litres, expandable to 500 litres if you drop the floor down. Exclusive models are even more capable thanks to a flip forward front passenger seat – so you can carry long items like skis.

The C3 Picasso has been set up for comfort rather than handling prowess, with light controls and soft suspension. Potholes and speed bumps are well dealt with while town driving and parking are easy thanks to light steering and surprisingly compact dimensions. But the C3 Picasso isn't perfect. Out on a twisting country road the comfortable suspension means noticeable of body roll and the light steering stops being such a blessing.

The engine range consists of two petrol and two diesel choices. The petrol engines produce either 95PS or 120PS, but neither is particularly good on the emissions front, with CO2 outputs of 145g/km or 149g/km respectively. A better bet is one of the 1.6-litre HDi diesels – 90PS or 115PS options are available, with the former a perfectly decent choice thanks to a good torque output, low emissions of 107g/km and official economy of 68.9mpg.

With its interesting looks and a good level of gear on all but the entry level VT model, the Citroen C3 Picasso holds a lot of appeal. It might not be the most exciting car on sale, but as practical family transport with a touch of pizzazz it’s pretty hard to fault. The Ford B-MAX is better to drive and the van-based Peugeot Bipper Tepee is more practical, but as an all rounder the C3 Picasso has all the right ingredients. 

Citroen C3 Picasso 2009 Road Test

Owners' reviews

3
A good car ruined by improvements.
4
A very practical and cheap to run quirky family car
4
Jack of most trades, and master of a few.
4
Very practical Jack of all trades with a compact footprint, but with a few niggles.
5
This is my 3rd C3 Picasso in succession and 5th Citroen in 15yrs. Speaks for itself. Very satisfied customer.
4
Roomy, comfortable, good fuel economy, but engine lacks sparkle
 

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