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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Innovative design, spacious interior and practical.

Against Interior issues. Poor ride at low speed.

Verdict A stylish people-mover. Seems reliable so far.

Go for… 1.6 HDi SX

Avoid… 2.0i Exclusive

Citroën C4 Picasso MPV
  • 1. Bits of trim are known to come loose or break off. Seat covers can get worn quickly, too.
  • 2. One-piece front bumper looks smart, but it'll cost you a lot to replace if it gets bumped
  • 3. EGS gearbox needed software upgrade when new - check it had it done. Clutch failure also a known issue.
  • 4. Rear end is styled differently to seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso models.
  • 5. Rear seats slide back and forward easily to increase legroom
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Citroën C4 Picasso MPV full review with expert trade views

The original Citroen Xsara Picasso became the UK's best-selling MPV, so the C4 Picasso has some big shoes to fill. Good job, then, that it's won our MPV of the Year twice in a row. Not only does it have enough space for all the family, but its innovative design and practicality make it great to live with.

The C4 Picasso is substantially the same as its slightly bigger brother, the Grand Picasso, but it's shorter, the rear end is styled differently, and it does without the extra row of seats in the back. The standard Picasso seats five with ease, and you can slide the rear seats forwards and back to maximise legroom or extend the boot space.

For an MPV, it's good to drive, with a soft ride that copes well with bumps. It does lean a little through corners, and the steering could do with more feel. The large windows give good visibility, but generate a fair amount of wind noise.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

EGS gearbox is an acquired taste, so try before you buy. Trim quality is an issue.

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

The diesels make the most sense in a car of this size, due to their economy and pulling power.

The 108bhp 1.6-litre diesel performs well, and suits the car. Consider the 138bhp 2.0 unit only if the price is right - don't pay too much, because it's not vastly better. If you want a petrol C4 Picasso, then choose between the 1.8- and 2.0-litre engines. We'd go for the first, because it's not much slower than the second.

Stretch your budget, if possible, so that you can avoid the entry-level LX model. It's sparsely equipped and doesn't even have air-con. The SX is a much better bet, but the VTR+ gets alloy wheels and rear electric windows, and the Exclusive has climate control and parking sensors. Both 2.0-litre models are only available in these last two trims.

The manual gearbox is clunky and vague, so we'd go for the EGS option, a semi-manual gearbox which changes gear at the tug of a steering wheel-mounted paddle. It can take a while to get used to the way the gearbox works, and there's a knack to getting the smoothest changes.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Best-value cars usually to be found at car supermarkets, but shop around for the best prices. Seven-seat versions hold money better than this five-seat car.

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

The Picasso will cost more to service than rivals such as the Ford S-Max, but you should be able to cut your bills if you shop around dealers for the best prices. Because the C4 Picasso is only a few years old, some cars are still under Citroen's warranty.

The diesels are much more fuel-efficient, giving between 46mpg and 49mpg, with both petrol engines giving an average of 35mpg. Insurance bills shouldn't worry you, with the entry-level cars starting at group 6, and the range rising to group 9.

Depreciation is usually a sticking point with Citroens, but because the Picasso is an MPV, it should fare better than other models. However, it only has five seats, so it won't hold its value as well as the Grand Picasso.

It's too early to tell just how reliable the C4 Picasso will be. Initial reports look good, though, with owners mainly complaining about the interior build quality and the EGS gearbox.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

EGS gearbox is an acquired taste, so try before you buy. Trim quality is an issue.

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

One of the most common complaints about the new Picasso is interior build quality. Bits of trim working loose or breaking, as well as seat fabrics not wearing very well, mean that it might not stand up to the rigours of family life.

The one-piece bumper design might look sleek, but it'll prove expensive when it's time to repair accident damage. The insurance industry's research centre, Thatcham, believe that a 6mph shunt to either end could result in a repair bill of over £1300.

The EGS automatic gearbox was problematic when first introduced, but a software upgrade makes it easier to use and smoother. There are also reports of early clutch failure on the EGS.

There have also been reports of other random failures, but these don't appear to follow any trend. Build quality has improved since the car was introduced, with the later models looking more reliable.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Best-value cars usually to be found at car supermarkets, but shop around for the best prices. Seven-seat versions hold money better than this five-seat car.

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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