Citroen's new mini-MPV - the C3 Picasso

* New mini-MPV on the way * Targets Vauxhall Meriva * Should cost around 10,500...

08 July 2008
Citroen's new mini-MPV - the C3 Picasso

A fourth Picasso model joins the Citroen range next summer in the funky shape of the new C3 Picasso.

Showing how an all-new C3 supermini could look, the new Picasso will be to the C3 what the Meriva is to the Vauxhall Corsa - a taller, more spacious and more practical mini-MPV.

The market-leading Meriva is the car the C3 Picasso has in its sights - the Citroen is just 30mm longer, 36mm wider and identical in height to the Vauxhall.

In fact, the C3 Picasso is only marginally smaller than the original Xsara Picasso, yet it manages to cram in a similar amount of interior space. With the rear seats in the C3 slid forward, there's 500 litres of boot space - the same as in the Xsara Picasso.

Clever tricks inside
As is the vogue with MPVs these days, the C3 Picasso is packed with clever storage solutions. Those sliding rear seats are split two thirds to one third, and have adjustable seatbacks and a ski hatch for long, narrow loads.

If you need to shift something a little wider and longer (2.48m long, to be precise), the rear seats fold down simply at the touch of a button, the boot floor can be raised to the higher of two levels, and the front passenger seat can fold flat.

Citroen has even solved the perennial problem of somewhere to story the luggage cover if you need to fold down the rear seats - there's room for it under the twin-level boot floor.

Once again, Citroen has produced a view out of a Picasso that's second-to-none. Using similar tricks to 'hide' the front A-pillars as in the C4 Picassos, the C3 Picasso offers passengers a real 'widescreen' view forward.

The front screen may not reach quite as far up into the roof as in the C4 Picassos, but it still helps the C3 to feel far more airy than rival mini MPVs - especially if the optional panoramic sunroof is fitted.

There'll also be instruments that are angled towards the driver, and the dash design and quality is also impressive. Even the doors have been designed to provide plenty of storage while still looking good.

A while to wait yet
The C3 Picasso sits on the same platform as the Peugeot 207, although Citroen is quick to point out that it will be less sporty and more comfort-orientated.

Engines also come from the 207 - 90bhp and 110bhp 1.6 diesels, as well as 95bhp and 115bhp petrol engines which are shared with the latest Minis.

Although the C3 Picasso will make its world debut at October's Paris motor show, we'll have to wait until next June before it hits UK showrooms.

Expect prices to be competitive against the likes of the Vauxhall Meriva and Renault's Grand Modus, meaning a starting price in the region of 10,500.