Citroen C3 Picasso (2009 – 2017) Review

Citroen C3 Picasso (2009 – 2017) At A Glance


+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.

Insurance Groups are between 10–16
On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure

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

Real MPG average for a Citroen C3 Picasso (2009 – 2017)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

27–67 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

I'm replacing my Renault Grand Modus soon - is it smart to stick with a diesel or swap to an electric car?
"I've owned a Renault Grand Modus for the last 7years. I Iike the car very much, but it's showing it's age. I have £7000 - £10,000 to spend on a used car and I have been offered £1000 for my Modus against a 2016 diesel Renault Scenic, £700 for a 2016 diesel Citroen C3 Picasso and £500-£700 against a 2013 Renault Zoe. I cannot decide which car to buy. My heart says go for the Renault Zoe for the environment, but with the Zoe, it would be the early models with a range of only 100 miles. On the other hand, I could stick to a diesel - which I'm used to. I would appreciate your advice in helping two old codgers (late 70's) who enjoy driving."
It depends on the mileage you do, really. If you mainly do short journeys around town and can charge at home, a Zoe would work a lot better than a diesel. It won't be as practical as the other cars you're looking at, though. I'd avoid a diesel unless you cover high motorway miles. As an alternative, I'd suggest a petrol Honda Jazz. It's very versatile, reliable and cheap to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Clutch broke on our new car after 1400 miles - would skipping gears fix this issue?
"Four months ago we bought a Citroen C3 Picasso 1.2 PureTech. At 1400 miles, it had a burnt out clutch on a very busy road. The dealer blames our driving style as there's no manufacturing defect detected. The engine does get very hot, but that's normal according to their manual. Are there new gear changing techniques to learn with the latest car models? First and Reverse are quite fierce on engaging the clutch and I don’t consider second gear a smooth transition. I was taught to put the handbrake on but you could bring the clutch up to the ‘point of pull’ when at traffic lights or about to move out of a junction. I believe younger drivers skip gears – is this what they are now taught?"
First report of any drivetrain problems with the 1.2 Puretech in anything. I ran one for a year in a 308 and it was brilliant. Yes, I learned 'block changing' from a police instructor. Works best when the engine has plenty of torque, which the 1.2 Puretech does.
Answered by Honest John
Could you recommend me a car that's easy to get in and out of?
"Joint problems mean I have incredible difficulty getting in and out of any seating. I love my 1995 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it has only done 60,000 miles and runs like a rocket. But as I approach my 70th my son feels I should have a car that's easy for me to get in and out of. I can't afford new but a used model with low mileage would be considered. Can you please recommend a car with high seats for the comfort I require?"
Think MPV rather than SUV because then you get both a high roof and a low floor. Hyundai ix20, Kia Venga, Citroen C3 Picasso, Ford B-Max. Or, bigger, a Volkswagen Golf SV.
Answered by Honest John
The speedo in my car doesn't match the speed I'm actually driving at?
"When driving, the speedometer in my Citroen C3 Picasso is showing a different speed to that which I'm actually driving it. How do I fix it? "
The final drive speed sensor oil seal has probably failed. Costs about £100 to get it fixed.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Citroen C3 Picasso (2009 – 2017) cost?