Used buyer's guide: Citroen C3 Picasso

11 Dec, 2012 10:30am Richard Dredge

TheC3 Picasso combines good looks with a very practical interior

Verdict

Since its arrival, the C3 Picasso has notched up one award after another, and was crowned Auto Express Supermini-MPV of the Year at the New Car Awards in 2009. When we ran one, the car continued to impress with its blend of space, refinement, versatility and equipment. The C3 Picasso’s comfortable, too, and if you go for the right spec there’s no shortage of standard kit. With a facelifted car about to arrive, values of the existing model should soften, so you’ll be able to buy this stylish small MPV for even less.

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.

History

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.

Alternatives

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.

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