CitroΓ«n XSARA PICASSO MPV Owner reviews

No longer on sale

HDi LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG49 mpg

Bought a 2003 model 2.0 HDi diesel second hand in 2004 and still running it in 2012. 11,000 miles at purchase is now 113,000. Never broken down, but the following went wrong - 2004 worn seat belt webbing & front suspension ball joint - both repaired under warranty. In 2009 electric window mechanism failed; in 2010 one of the driveshaft joints began to give out - notifying its imminent demise with popping and rattling noises. That's it really. At 80,000 miles in a moment of absent mindedness that comes with middle age - I fuelled it up when it was nearly empty with 45 litres of unleaded. Drove 2 miles to home, car misfiring and making strange noises all the way - before I twigged what I had done. Car was recovered to Citroen dealer. The recovery lorry driver said - "if you had a VW or BMW diesel that would be Β£5000 to sort it out. But its a Citroen - their diesels are pretty tough". Two days later and Β£300 poorer it came back and has covered another 30,000 miles. Its dashboard and driver's door now rattle constantly and the seat fabrics are worn and stained from spilt children's food. Its been a mobile skip when we had building work done. Its had 5 litres of emulsion spilled in the boot, the kids have wee'd on the seats and vomited on the carpets. My eldest hates it and is desperate for me to get something new. The problem is what am I going to replace it with?

John Titley, lancashire, May 6th 2012

HDi SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG52.3 mpg

I Have a 2.0 LITRE HDI SX 2002 It I Gastly And The Plastics Are Terribly Cheap And Nasty But My EX WIFE Bought It And Knowing Her Taste No Wonder She Bought It. If You Want A Nice Car Buy A Mazda 5 2.0 GSI TURBO

steven charles, west glorrmorgan, February 21st 2009

HDi Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Many of the negatives elsewhere are just about right, but there's something lovable about his car. The seats aren't the best, but less cramped than the Renault Scenic. My wife thinks it's 'very comfortable' - not bad after Jaguars, Audis and Ford Focuses. The 2.0 HDI takes a while to warm up and the big screen takes some demisting. Also, the chunky front pillars take some getting used to. A Scenic or S-Max will feel better built inside and out. But few cars match the price - similar age Focuses were Β£1000-Β£1500 more expensive. The Picasso is very French with comfort above sportiness, but bowls along nicely. The 2.0 HDI engine moves along nicely and cruises beautifully in 5th on the motorway, with plenty of overtaking power when needed. Not as good as my fabuolous Jaguar Turbo Diesel, but isn't frustrating either, which speaks volumes. Think of it as a good 'ordinary' diesel (boy racers needn't apply). The higher seating position is relaxing on long journeys but as expected, wind noise isn't the best. Where the Picasso wins hands down is on practicality. Hardly any bigger on the road than a Focus it's cavernous. Bigger than a Scenic with more cubby-hole capacity too. Fuel economy is great on the motorway and good in town. Add low road tax and insurance and it's highly affordable tranport. Lots of standard equipment in a Desire too. Small car costs, big car versatility and surprisingly nice to be in. I'm very happy with it.

Dave Tordoff, February 8th 2009

i 16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG43 mpg

I have had my Picasso for seven years now and am very pleased with it. It has never let me down, and is a joy to drive. It is very comfortable and easy to drive; economical too. And this summer four not-so-thin adults drove from Essex to The Dordogne, taking nine hours, and the car behaved immaculately. Even fully loaded it still had plenty of pulling power. My only complaint - and one that no-one else seems to suffer from - is that its impossible to put the heating on feet only, as no matter where the knob is set, it belts out heat everywhere. The only way to get your feet warm is to manually close all the other vents. Apart from this I love the car to bits and shall keep it for many years to come.

Kathleen Loveard, Essex, December 19th 2008

HDi Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG47 mpg

Until a couple of weeks ago, I would have rated the running costs much higher although we had this mysterious fault where the engine fault light kept coming on and then disappearing before the garage could see what was wrong. When this was joined by the ESP light, we eventually went to a Citroen specialist as we could tell that performance was getting worse. At no time did it go into limp mode - it should have done, and then we would have known there wasa definite fault. I have just had to pay out Β£2000 in repairs on a car that is out of warranty but has done less than 60K miles. If the engine fault light is coming on - it means it. There is a fault which will eventually cause the turbo to go but the module which controls the engine is faulty and allows the car to go on almost as normal. Citroen knows about this but doesn't care, and has refused point blank to help with the costs. I have evidence that it is still happening on new cars. When I have sufficient evidence of the depth of this problem I plan to sue Citroen through the small claims court. No one should buy this car. I have been a Citroen user for over thirty years. I will not be buying another. And that is a pity because, despite being plasticky, the Picasso's a comfortable ride and gives spacious accommodation at a cheap price. Our MPG isn't bad since we live in a city with so many hills but the lack of customer care from Citroen should deter anyone from buying their cars.

Kirsten Elliott, Somerset, November 13th 2008

i 16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

We bought the Picasso six years ago with our main priorities being space, comfort and safety. At first it seemed OK but, having got used to its thick front pillars and the curved shape that hid the corners when parking, I find it has grown on me. It has been reliable (its only fault has been a failed electric window which was fixed under warranty after one year) and delivered completely on our needs - indeed we are pleasantly surprised at how well it continues to serve us now we have three children. It also has features like stereo controls on the steering wheel and the map drawer under the driver's seat that many cars just don't have - some good thought went into its design. Other cars may be classier and sportier (it has some rattles and the handling isn't great) but those also able to take five and their luggage comfortably cost at least 50% more - nothing can touch it at the price. I find it to be a pleasant, practical and unpretentious car that delivers what we need very well for surprisingly reasonable purchase and running costs and shows no sign of stopping after six years.

David James, Surrey, August 30th 2008

i LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG24 mpg

I got this from a relative to use during the holidays when they went to ireland. I got it at first and thought wow, the space was great. Then I got to see what the car was really like. It was noisy. Too bumpy and alot of road noise came in. Alot of the trim fell off occasionally, It got horrible MPG. We managed to crash at a roundabout and It has been hell since. It was a small crash but we need a new driver side panel and bumper. I will never drive one of these again.

Daniel McKay, Scotland, August 17th 2008

i 16V Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG35.4 mpg

This is the first review I have written so forgive me for any mistakes. We have owned a xsara picasso now for 2 years and 9 months on the motability scheme and overall we love it. The room inside the xsara picasso is excellent and is perfect for 2 baby seats. Yes, many people do critise french cars for their reliability and sure ours has had niggling faults like: 1.passenger door lock needed to be replaced 2. air vent has little pin things that move side to side and they sometimes fall out the back and then they have to be forced back into their place again. 3.We have the 2005 model with the chrome bits on the bumpers and on the front passenger side the chrome piece keeps on popping out and I have to keep pushing it back into place. 4. At one stage, part of the digital display went dim but then it recoved itself the next day. 5. Rattling dashboard and 3rd rear brake light 6. Squeeky seats But really I'm just finding problems because it's a citroen and the car has never broken down or had anything serious go wrong with it. It will be a shame to see our baby go. The car is a 55 reg Citroen xsara picasso in iron grey with a petrol powered 1.6 16v engine. We have already chosen our next motability car and it's a ford c-max 1.6 style in tango red and it will arrive on a 58 reg.

harry webb, chesire, August 16th 2008

i 16V LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Good size MPV that seems to have been around since the wheel was invented, it is decent to drive despite this version being a tad slow. Copes with bumps and corners well. Good size boot. Im not unlucky enough to have kids but the interior wont last 5 mins if you do. Very plasticy. Driving position is good although the view is weird - alot of glass up that front end - Citroen do seem to also make the front pillars as intrusive as possible on all their cars. Rear view is not so good - but can be lived with. And for the entry models being under 10 grand, its cheap family motoring. Wouldnt buy a used one though. Citroen are running them out soon so maybe a few new bargains to be had if you hang on. Stying is not to everyones taste but it looks better than the new C4 Picasso attempt.

Andrew Hood, July 11th 2008

HDi Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG55 mpg

Superb car to own and use.The diesel engine is great with plenty of power when needed.With long drives getting over 600 miles to a tank. Comfortable drive,with plenty of space for the passengers.Higher driving position is good,although windscreen pillars do obsure vision when approaching roundabouts. I recommend this car as a sensible,reliable family car.It may not be a exciting drive,but in this current climate with costs ever increasing be pleasantly surprised with this model.

Reg Rogers, Herts, July 7th 2008

i 16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought from new, Nov 2000. 96000 miles later, I still enjoy driving it. But there's a big 'but'. Sunshine creates a huge reflection of the dash area that reduces visibility. The internal trim is beige which doesn't help, but then it probably reflects just as much in black. Now the plaudits: I can't fault the road holding, or the comfort on long or short journeys but I've never had a long journey in the rear seats which could be a bit too upright for long journey comfort The annual service hasn't produced any major expenditure and spares are easy although dealers are more sparse Excellent space in the boot and extended boot with easy access. Niggles? The spare wheel is slung under the boot and the 'unwinder' for the cage is really naff. It keeps slipping out of its slot - very frustrating. Consumption has deteriorated over the years and is now in the region of 31 mpg (sorry, don't know what that is in litres per 100 km - I'm from the pre-decimalised era!) I admit I'm now thinking about exchanging but only because, at 96000, I expect some costs to start, and I am being pestered by my kids - all in their 30's - to be greener, and I don't really need the space - and that reflecting windscreen is really driving me nuts. All round, a very good car if only they could cure the reflections - maybe the new breed of C4 Picassos, etc have sorted it (?)

graham follett, Beds, April 11th 2008

HDi SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have moved from a Chrysler Grand Voyager across to a Citroen Xsara Picasso 2.0 HDi SX, and I have to say the move hasn't been the wrench I thought it was going to be. I enjoy the quirkyness of the Picasso, along with it's fuel economy, cheaper tax bracket and next to nothing on the insurance front, compared to the Chrysler. The trim could be a little higher spec and there does seem to be a lot of plastic, but then with two small children it wipes clean fairly easily. The upholstery in most of the 15 I viewed and test drove was a little on the garish side, but knowing the French, that's supposedly fashion! The black model I now have has a fairly non-offensive interior. It handles quite well and is responsive in 5th at 80mph on the motorway, even when fully loaded with five adults (can only vouch for the 2.0 Hdi though). Economy wise it's good - 55-60 mpg on a steady run(45-50 mpg combined). Parts are fairly reasonable (so I'm told by my brother in law, who's a mechanic) - though, touch wood, I haven't had to put anything on it yet. I like the digital dash, but would agree, the viability of it is poor in bright sunlight, but then we live in England so the dash should be visable most of the year really! Steering wheel controls for the onboard computer controlled equipment is good, sound system could do with an upgrade though - speakers aren't up to much. All in all, a great family car that doesn't break the bank!

Jamie Norgrove, Staffordshire, March 10th 2008

HDi Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Purchased this car in January 2007 just under 3 years old from a main Citroen Dealer. A week after purchase the Car had a flat battery after a trip of 200 miles. The garage replaced the battery and the car seemed to be fine. In June the battery was flat again but this seemed to be overcome by giving the battery a full overnight charge. In January 2008 the car had a flat battery and this time it was identified that the alternator had failed. The AA Warranty on the Car then had the alternator replaced with a non-citroen part which failed two weeks later and had to be replaced again. The Garage also checked over the cars electrical system and found water ingress into the ECU connector. The cost for the repairs was Β£1,300 for a new ECU and Engine Harness (Wiring loom). The dealer cannot guarantee the problem will not re-occur. I though this problem was an isolated incident until I read Michael Goodfellows review of 11/12/2007. If you are going to buy second hand Xsara Picasso have the connection to the ECU check for water and corrosion it could save you a lot of money.

Ian Matthews, March 5th 2008

HDi Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Cheap to buy, cheap to run, loads of space. In our first 20000 miles averaged 55.4 to the gallon according to the on board computer. At 26000 miles rear tyres hardly worn, fronts half gone (expect 40K). It is a quiet & comfortable long distance cruiser with loads of space for a family and their bits. Seats easily removed-seconds, it becomes a van. It is not a sporty drive but accelerating hard the 1.6HDi pulls well for overtaking. We make fast long journeys in it. Ours has had no faults and was bought new on the internet for just over Β£11k. There is a blind spot around the front pillars which must be watched. Parking is not as easy to judge as our Berlingo. Both daughters (with small kids) have them and love them. They had them first. Utterly functional and easy to live with. Absence of a rev counter is irritating. For most family use there is no point in struggling with a smaller car. The 1.6HDi is one the best small diesels around. Servicing at independent garage is simple and cheap. We buy fully synthetic Total oil in France and change it every six months.

Christopher Raynes, Somerset, December 22nd 2007

i Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

We have owned one of these since new in September 2003. It has done 32,000 miles and is regulary serviced by a Citroen dealer. We had no real problems until last week, when the car stopped dead in heavy traffic a couple of weeks after a full service. It was towed to a Citroen garage - the fault was diagnosed as water ingress into the ECU which corroded a number of ECU pin connectors. The garage quoted over Β£1300 to fix it (it needs a new ECU and wiring loom). It appears to have been a problem since the car was first driven in the rain! This appears to be a big risk with this car, because the ECU is badly positioned in the engine compartment and is not properly protected from the risk of damp/water ingress. The dealer cannot guarantee a repair as it's a design fault. So, we are repairing it ourselves using a web-based ECU repair company and a DIY job to prevent the problem arising again. So, if you own a Picasso, our advice would be to get your dealer to urgently check your ECU connections for water damage (it only takes a couple of minutes) - better safe than sorry. Alternatively, sell the car quickly before you get hit with a very large reapir bill. We think the cars are inherently unsafe because of this problem - imagine the car fully loaded with kids in the outside lane of a busy motorway when it suddenly stops dead! Dealers do not seem to check for this fault when undertaking routine servicing. Other websites report the same problem from other owners.

Michael Goodfellow, Vale of Glamorgan, December 11th 2007

HDi Exclusive 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I run this car on business- its done over 50k miles in less than 2 years. Yes, this car is old technology is some ways. The roadholding is ok but not state of the art,a little noisy, economy is good (47mpg, but 1.6HDI(110 hp) is much better, had one as a loan car whilst mine being serviced)performance ok but again 1.6 HDI better. Overall has been reliable (just one electrical problem - electric windows kept blowing fuses - turns out that brake pedal was shorting out wiring)Front tyres lasted 50k miles!This car was cheap to buy and although its not a porche it has done everything that was asked of it. Seats very comfortable and interior space and flexibility good. Good workhorse-I would recommend.My problem is that when this one goes I want another but wont be available new and the replacement is so much more expensive

Tim Longworth, Herts, November 30th 2007

i 16v Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought this vehicle a montha ago as a replacement for a Berlingo van (needed more seats to ferry kids about when wife using other car!). The space is fantastic and easily accomodates all my tools (kitchen fitter) and is great when used as a family bus on long journeys. Last week we went to Cornwall from Sheffield for a week away and the journey was effortless compared to the same trip before in my wifes Audi A2. The only let down is that it seems to be a bit thirsty and seems to do about 300 miles on a tank of petrol before getting to the red line. All in all I think it's a great all round vehicle and shall keep it for a good while. Insurance was cheap too - Β£220 fully comp!

Andy Naylor, November 20th 2007

HDi Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have run two Picasso;s both Diesel,s over the last Six years,and have found them to be reliable and economical.The only problems have been a CD player not ejecting CD,S ,AND a Maker's recall. Both cars covered 30,000 miles plus,with no real problems. They have both returned 45mpg plus,and cruised comfortably at 75-80mph,even when fully loaded. Being 6ft plus Ifound thr driving postion fine . Overall a very good and practical vehicle.

Kevin Mills, November 13th 2007

i 16V Desire 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The xsara picasso is starting to show age and with the new c4 picasso launched one must wonder how much longer it will continue to be around? This obviously means prices are falling and so it is fair to say that for the size of vehicle with so much seat & storage flexibility it is a bargin even before knocking a bit off at the dealer. However build quality leaves a bit to be desired, with shut lines not great and plastics a bit average inside. As it is driven the jelly mould shape becomes jelly handling unlike some other similar sized vehicles that can remain firmer (eg from Ford). Fuel economy is not much better than I used to get in a diesel freelander. Mine is 18 months old now and the dealer has closed down, not surprised really ... making a mess of delivery, the initial check, the 1st year service and numerous other issues not to mention a product recall slipping past them leaving me calling out the RAC for recovery from 110 miles away! It is cheap as chips but you get what you pay for! I will not be buying another Citroen let alone a picasso.

keith morrison, October 17th 2007

HDi 92 VTX 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

having just purchased the picasso this being my first new car i must say i am thoroughly pleased all round c,ant say much about reliability right now the car has only covered 1500 miles but the fuel consumption on the 1.6 92HDI is fantastic giving a ave mpg at just over 53 driving position is also very very good and the rear space for the kids is also fantastic with plenty off space for everything ell worth the money with plenty of extras you would expect to find on much dearer cars efinetly reccomend his model

christopher thornthwaite, stirlingshire, October 17th 2007

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