Used Citroen C3 Picasso
A history lesson…
The MPV market has become incredibly broad over the last decade, with intelligently designed new entries arriving from a number of manufacturers.
The Citroen C3 Picasso is one of the most recent arrivals, taking the mini-MPV concept and running with it. Introduced in the spring of 2009, it finally edged the outgoing Xsara Picasso into the history books and proved that this French firm had its finger firmly on the pulse of modern family motoring.
Available with 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol engines, or a 1.6 litre diesel, the C3 Picasso and its bigger brother the C4 Picasso saw strong reviews as well as securing good sales.
The used C3 Picasso is now in its second generation, introduced at the end of 2012, which means that there are plenty of pre-facelift versions on the used market to satisfy buyers' needs.
Bang for your buck
While the Citroen C3 Picasso for sale is undoubtedly a small car, it doesn't let its dimensions hamper its practicality. A long, roomy cabin accommodates five adults with ease and swallows up families and their belongings with no problems at all.
The rear row of seats is split in two, with each half mounted independently so that you can slide them backwards or forwards as appropriate. That means you can get additional legroom in the rear and also increase the luggage capacity at the same time, which is a pretty impressive paradox for a small car to smash.
At most you'll get 500 litres of space out of the boot with the back seats racked right forwards, although you can of course bump this up to 1560 litres when you've folded them flat. This is a good deal more space than any rival to the C3 Picasso can offer.
As well as a wealth of compartments and cubbies arrayed around the cabin, you'll find the two-stage boot floor, which can be adjusted to suit just how much stuff you need to carry, to be a real boon.
The optional extras include tray tables for use by those in the rear, an air conditioned glove box that keeps snacks and drinks chilled and even a rear view mirror that is designed to help you keep an eye on the little ones while you're seated up front.
What you'll pay
The popularity of the used Citroen C3 Picasso means that there are plenty of used examples priced affordably. For £4500 to £5000 you'll find an early model with the VT trim. The VTR+ will add £600 or so to the asking price, while the rarer editions will set you back closer to £8000 or £9000.
What to check
The only major problem with the C3 Picasso resulted in an early recall from Citroen to remedy an issue with the brake linkage in the front. There's also an issue where cold temperatures can cause the washer bottle to freeze, resulting in a blown fuse if you dare to activate it.
Otherwise it has been a sturdy little runaround with no serious mechanical issues and an interior that is rugged enough to shrug off some fairly brutal family usage.
The second hand Citroen C3 Picasso may be relatively affordable to buy used, but replacement parts are hardly the cheapest on the market.
You'll need to find £140 to replace a single tyre, while £170 will get you a replacement alternator. Meanwhile the service at 20,000 miles will set you back £200, if the previous owner didn't manage to cover that much ground in their time behind the wheel.
How it drives
While the C3 Picasso isn't exactly built to give petrol heads the kind of driving experience they crave, it does offer everyone onboard a pleasant ride that is made all the more relaxing thanks to the amount of space you have on tap.
There's plenty of glass throughout the interior, letting lots of light inside and giving you a good view of the road ahead. This, in combination with the impressive turning circle, makes the C3 Picasso a good car for urban driving, because you can manoeuvre it easily and park without getting flustered.
Meanwhile the slightly soggy suspension may not make it great in the corners, but does help soak up all of the bumps and potholes that you'll likely encounter on city streets.