Why it won...
Citroen’s Picasso line-up has gone from strength to strength – and the super-sized C3 model wrestled its way to the top of the class when it arrived earlier this year. That’s quite an achievement, as competition doesn’t come much tougher than in this sector of the market. The Honda Jazz and Nissan Note are both excellent cars in their own right, so the newcomer really did have its work cut out to triumph.
With the Picasso badge adorning its nose, the people carrier was always going to look different. The artist co-founded the Cubist movement, so the Citroen’s boxy and distinctive styling should come as no surprise. However, the key to the C3’s appeal lies on the inside, where its interior is big and clever enough to shame cars from the class above.
The firm’s designers have taken all of the lessons learned developing the old Xsara and C4 models, and applied them to a smaller package than ever before. The result is an incredibly practical interior and a massive 500-litre load bay. And it’s not just impressive in a supermarket car park, because the C3 Picasso is refined and grown-up on the move, too.
Prices start from only £11,495, so you can pick one up for the same cost as a regular supermini – yet the smallest Picasso of them all could easily fulfil all your family car needs. When you consider the French firm’s famed value-for-money approach and generous equipment levels, along with an excellent range of engines, you have a distinctive small car package which is impossible to beat.
Our former class favourite is still a very capable, practical contender. Although revised earlier this year, it barely changed – but there wasn’t very much to fix in the first place. With its sliding rear seats, generous kit and strong engine line-up, it is still at the sharp end of the supermini-MPV class.
The Jazz is part supermini and part MPV – and that costs it here. We love its interior packaging, design and quality, but it’s not as flexible as its proper people-carrying rivals and doesn’t match the best superminis dynamically. But if you are downsizing from a full-size family car, it’s a great all-rounder.