Diesel engines include a 1.6 with either 98bhp or 128bhp. The lower-powered engine is a bit weak, but the 113bhp version is easily up to the job of hauling five people and a bootful of baggage.
There’s also a 2.0-litre diesel, which is an even stronger performer, but it delivers its power in one big surge as the turbo kicks in, so you have to change gear fairly often to keep the engine in its sweet spot.
Petrol options are a 1.2 with either 108bhp or 128bhp. The more powerful version is a flexible performer, but the diesels make far more financial sense.
Citroën C4 Picasso ride comfort
The C4 Picasso’s supple suspension deals with big bumps pretty well, so you won’t have to wince every time you encounter a speed bump. Unfortunately, patchy, eroded surfaces unsettle the car a little too easily, especially at low speeds, which means a trip through town isn’t as comfortable as it might be.
The Citroën’s body also tends to bounce up and down a fair bit along undulating country roads – you’ll want to keep your speed down if any of your passengers are prone to travel sickness.
Wheel sizes range from 16in to 18in, with the former providing the smoothest and quietest ride.
Citroën C4 Picasso handling
The steering is light, which is great for manoeuvring at low speeds, but it’s also rather numb, which means it doesn’t inspire confidence on faster roads. The C4 Picasso sways around quite a bit through tight twists and turns, although it never lurches around uncontrollably and there’s a reasonable amount of grip, so you always feel in control of the car. Just don’t hope for an enjoyable drive.
Citroën C4 Picasso refinement
The 128bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine is smooth and generally quiet, whereas the 2.0-litre diesel is noisier and allows a gruff diesel dirge into the cabin – even under moderate acceleration. The manual gearbox has a notchy, imprecise shift, while the automatic ’box can be slow to respond.
Refinement is otherwise good, though; wind and road noise are well suppressed, making the C4 Picasso a relaxing motorway cruiser.
We’re yet to sample this entry-level turbocharged petrol engine, however, if it’s anything like the 130, it should be a refined and economical unit.
The turbocharged petrol engine is punchy from low revs, as well as smooth. However, the diesels make more sense unless your annual mileage is low.
Blue HDi 100
This diesel engine is the least powerful engine in the range and only comes available with a manual gearbox.
Our pick Blue HDi 120
The engine to go for – no matter if you’re a private buyer or a company car driver. It’s smooth and reasonably gutsy, so rarely feels short of puff – even with seven people on board. We'd stick with the standard six-speed manual gearbox over the dim-witted EAT6 automatic option.
2.0 BlueHDi 150
It might be more powerful than the smaller 1.6 HDi, but it’s noisier and not as smooth, so isn’t worth the extra.