The term ‘squircle’ was coined to describe the square with round edges that Apple uses for its smartphone app logos. But the word seems to fit perfectly with the Citroen C3 Picasso, thanks to the bluff but rounded-off styling that’s now been subtly updated as part of a mid-life facelift.
Citroen’s tweaks are subtle, as the Picasso’s ‘squircle’ shape is still one of the more distinctive on the small MPV market. A fresh front bumper incorporates a strip of LED daytime running lights beneath each foglamp housing, and the newcomer now gets the latest interpretation of Citroen’s double-chevron logo.
Our top-spec Exclusive also benefited from the optional Ink Blue metallic paint (£495), introduced with the facelift, and a Black Pack. The latter adds gloss black trim on the bumpers, plus two-tone 17-inch alloys, for £210.
Inside, there are no changes as standard to Exclusive cars, but our model had the new optional patterned black leather (£955), adding a touch of style previously reserved for DS models. It also had the optional eMyWay (£750), which includes a dated-looking sat-nav, plus parking sensors and a rear parking camera.
The C3 Picasso isn’t exactly a technology tour de force, highlighted by the centre console buttons which have graced Peugeot-Citroen cars for years, although the dash does feel solid.
There’s decent space up front, but the interior is a little short on cubbyholes and there’s limited glovebox storage. In the rear the optional panoramic roof eats into headroom, although the seatbacks recline to sacrifice a bit of boot capacity for more passenger comfort. We love the flip-up picnic tables which incorporate a small LED reading light. As before, the two-level boot offers 500 litres of space.
On the road, a comfortable, upright driving position affords an excellent view of the road. Vision is aided by the narrow A-pillars. The 1.6-litre diesel engine has been boosted by 5bhp, taking it to 113bhp. It’s hard to tell the difference, but you do notice its great torque and quiet operation. The six-speed gearbox is a little notchy, but the steering and pedals are light and a low first gear and tight turning circle make low-speed manoeuvring easy.