Citroen C3 Picasso
After we tested the new C3, we got our hands on its funkier brother, the Citroen C3 Picasso, which we tried on a beautiful weekend. The first time I saw the car was a year and a half ago, at the Paris Motor Show. That’s also the spot where one of its rivals, the Kia Soul, made its debut. The two cars didn’t really blow me away as I wasn’t interested in their compact MPV segment. But after trying out the C3 Picasso, I saw that I was hugely mistaken. Curious to see why? Then read on.
The opinions in terms of style are pretty split. Me, alongside Bobby or Andra loved the funky design, while others said it was pretty ugly. It’s no Aston Martin, but it’s not that bad either.
Although taken separately, elements like the compact body, the massive nose, the large headlights or the interesting rear (this sparked the most controversy) might seem awkward, as a whole they look extremely good. Throw in the same superb combo of Bleu Belle Ille paint and 17-inch Clover alloy-wheels, and you’ve got one stylish little getaway car.
Citroen usually throws everything plus the kitchen sink on their test cars, and the C3 Picasso made no exception. It had a leather-wrapped steering wheel, with white stitching and the same metallic ornament below, just like on the new C3. The seats were brilliant, as was the upholstery, called ‘New Reps’, essentially a combination between leather, suede (or something like that) plus textile material. I usually don’t like leather, especially on the seats as they can be a horror show in the hot summer months, but the arrangement on the C3 Picasso, with leather and suede on the margins and textile fabric everywhere else, was great.
The interior configuration is clearly taken from the ancestor of the MPV, the van. The center console doesn’t extend between the front seats, you don’t have a lot of buttons and the seats are quite high. Still, the whole arrangement is pretty ergonomic, including the Cruise Control or the audio controls behind the wheel (just like on the C3). The main display is right in the center of the dash, but is much better aligned than other models. Data like the speed or the cruise control are oriented towards the driver side, making it that much simpler to take a quick look. The mirrors are also top notch. The side ones are pretty big (not Dumbo big, mind you) but you can see practically everything around the car. The center mirror has a nifty little gimmick, with an extra smaller mirror popping below, allowing for a much better surveillance of the back seat passengers (kids or otherwise). If it gets too annoying, you can quickly hide it, but it never hurts to check out what people are doing behind you back. Speaking of visibility, the car is filled with light. A friend pointed out that it’s practically made out of glass. Including the panoramic roof, the car has 11 windows, so a great visibility is ensured.
The C3 Picasso, in the end, is a MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), so it needs to haul quite a lot of baggage. You’ll be pleased to hear that its trunk has a capacity of 1,506 liters, not enough for hauling furniture but plenty to hold the luggage of a big family. The back seat is also foldable, in two parts, and you even have a hole that allows for skies or fishing rods to be hauled.
On the road
Our Citroen C3 Picasso had a 1.6-liter diesel engine, with 110 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 62 mph time is around 12,4 seconds and the top speed is 114 mph (it actually is). As you can guess, speed or acceleration aren’t the car’s strong points. In terms of fuel average though, it’s a whole other story. The C3 Picasso is quite possibly the first car which averaged pretty close to its official numbers, getting around 33.6 mpg US (the official is 36 mph), in the city. On the road, I couldn’t even get near the 56 mpg number Citroen claimed, as the consumption was around 32 mpg, when doing 60 or 80 mph. If you want even more speed, then the average will turn to 27 mpg.
The car is pretty agile, really sticking to the road (which is a bit weird, given its tall nature), and the suspension is quite comfy. We took it on a few country roads and the experience was pretty nice, albeit with too much side-to-side movement on big holes. For the eco-conscious of you, the C3 Picasso has the AirDream label, meaning it emits just 133 g/km of CO2. While you’ll be saving baby seals driving the Citroen, you won’t be saving the bugs on the highway, as you can see from the front-end photos.
In case you didn’t take the subtle hints, the Citroen C3 Picasso was a great car, even though I would’ve liked a bit more power. At €14,950 ($18,985) with taxes (the base price is €17,450 ($22,100) but Citroen offers massive discounts to the Picasso range), it’s one the few test cars that made me seriously consider buying it. Yeah, you get cars with more power, better economy or with more options, but I really liked the C3 Picasso. Adequate power, great fuel average, lots of space, comfy suspension and a design that makes you stand out … it’s how McDonald’s say, I’m loving it! (or shall we say Je L’Aime!).
- the outside looks (wheels, color, accessories)
- inside, there’s a lot of space and light;
- behavior on the road.
We didn’t like:
- not very sporty;
- fuel consumption a little too high for the not-so-powerful engine.
Citroen C3 Picasso technical specifications:
Weight: 3,104 pounds (1,408 kg)
Engine: 1.6-liter diesel, four-cylinder in-line engine, max power output of 80 kW (110 HP) at 4,000 rpm and 240 Nm max torque at 1,750 rpm.
Performance: 0-100 km/h in 12.4 seconds and top speed of 183 km/h
Fuel consumption (city/highway/combined, official figures): 6,5/4,2/5,0 (liters per 100 km) or 43.4/67.2/56.4 (UK mpg)
As always, big thanks to Laura Antonov and Paula Olteanu from Citroen Romania for all their help!
Post tags: Tags: Citroen, citroen c3 picasso