When the C3 Picasso was launched in spring 2009, it marked a turning point for Citroen. Before the luxurious DS models, the range was short on flair and build quality wasn’t up to the standard of rivals.
The C3 Picasso ushered in a new era of distinctive design for the company, plus a step up in quality. But unlike Citroens of old, prices were high and equipment not always especially generous. Now the C3 Picasso can be picked up second-hand for under £6,000, and here’s how to buy a good one.
The C3 Picasso arrived in April 2009, with 95bhp 1.4 or 120bhp 1.6-litre petrol engines, plus 92bhp or 110bhp 1.6-litre HDi diesels. Buyers could choose from VT, VTR+ and Exclusive trims.
A cleaner 1.6 HDi 110 engine came in November 2010; VTR+ and Exclusive editions also got USB connectivity and Bluetooth. The limited-edition Blackcherry arrived at this point, too; Connexion and Code specials followed this year.
In September 2012, a revised C3 Picasso was unveiled, with fresh colours, a redesigned front end and a new multimedia option; it’s due in dealers early next year.
One of the most distinctive alternatives to the Citroen is the Kia Soul, which is reliable and well equipped. It comes with a great warranty, too. The Vauxhall Meriva is neat, with its rear-hinged back doors, but used prices are still a bit high; it only came out in 2010 and was expensive new.
The Nissan Note and its Renault Modus cousin are also good rivals; they offer versatility with a stylish exterior, although the interiors are bland. The Honda Jazz is great, too; it’s dependable, versatile and well built, but prices are high.