Citroen C4 Picasso, is a stylish people mover from the French marque that does things very much its own way. Australian buyers who are chasing fashion combined with function love the Picasso.
The big talking point with Citroen Picasso is the huge windscreen that’s almost as tall as it is wide. The view out is spectacular. Glare can be reduced by using the twin sliding sun visors that extend from the ceiling forward to give the screen an almost conventional shape.
Picasso’s seats are all individual buckets and can slide back and forth separately. The two front rows are suited to adults but the third-row pair may be a little claustrophobic for younger kids as they sit quite low in the car and it won’t be easy for them to see out of. Then again, most kids these days don’t look at the car as they’re staring at their phones or tablets.
The rearmost seats in the seven-seater can be folded down into the floor and the second-row seats flip back to butt up against the front seats to make a completely flat luggage area. The resulting space is large and easy to use.
Among many fascinating features of the Picasso are fold-down tables in the rear of the front seats. There are also numerous voluminous storage areas.
All instruments and controls are displayed on screens in the centre of the dashboard with nothing at all on the dash in front of the driver. You may find this illogical during your first test drive, but you will soon get used to it.
Ride comfort is very good in the typical French manner, though rough roads can catch the Picasso out at times. There’s some body flex on really harsh roads. We’re not talking about dirt roads here, poorly maintained sealed roads can also cause it. Ideally you should take your pre purchase test drive on roughish roads if that’s possible.
Handling is better than average for a people mover but it’s certainly no sports model.
Petrol and diesel engines are offered. The diesel engine is reasonably refined, although there’s the usual diesel rattle, especially when the engine is cold. On the move it is much quieter from the inside of the Picasso.
Citroen Australia is proud of the fact the new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel introduced here in 2017 was the first diesel to receive five stars in the Australian Green Vehicle Guide. This is an area normally populated only by electric, hybrid and very small cars.
Citroens are very much a specialised marque in Australia so there are only a few dealers. It might be an idea to see if there’s one close to you before committing to a Picasso. Those specialists that do cover them are often enthusiasts and they love chatting with fellow owners and would be owners checking out second hand cars.
Insurance is higher than average for the people mover class in Australian but not outrageously so. It’s worth shopping around but be sure to do accurate comparisons.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
It makes a lot of sense to have a Citroen qualified person give a full report on the Picasso.
Engines should start easily and the stop/start system, if fitted, should be all but unnoticed in operation.
Listen for squeaks and rattles during your test drive. It makes sense to find a roughish road for this, doesn’t need to be a dirt one.
Overseas reports say there had been some front suspension problems in 2014 and 2015 built cars. Listen for creaking noises from the front. If it’s bad pull over and stop where it’s safe then either your Citroen dealer or motoring association.
Build quality could be better at times so look for interior items that don’t fit as well as they should.
A recall by Citroen in Australia over engines overheating, which could possibly even lead to seizure. It’s likely all have been rectified. But keep close eye on the temperature during your test drive. If it does go over the top it might be best to skip that Picasso and find another one.
The Citroen C4 Picasso carries lots of people and the little devils right at the back have been known to damage upholstery. Check it out.
Expect to pay between $4000 and $8000 for a 2007 Citroen Picasso; $7000 and $11,000 for a 2009 Exclusive; $8000 and $13,000 for a 2014 Vision; $10,000 and $15,000 for a 2014 Grand Picasso Seduction; $11,000 and $17,000 for a 2015 Exclusive, $14,000 and $21,000 for a 2017 Exclusive; $20,000 to $28,000 for a 2018 Grad Picasso Exclusive Blue HDi; and $23,000 to $31,000 for a 2019 Grad Picasso Exclusive Blue HDi.
CAR BUYING TIP
Getting away from mainstream is appealing to some used car buyers and people selling their cars are likely to have given them a caring life. Hunt them down for what are, usually, the best cars.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/