Quarter final 1

Citroen C3 Picasso vs Renault Clio Sport Tourer

EntrantsWINNER: Citroen C3 Picasso Our choice: 1.6 HDi 90VTR+

RUNNER-UP: Renault Clio Sport Tourer (£12,226-£15,798) Our choice: 1.2TCe i-Music

Our quarter final draw has thrown up some intriguing clashes – and this is one of them. Both of these French models are based on superminis. However, that’s where the similarities end.

The boxy Citroen has to take a back seat when it comes to style, and its upright body does the handling few favours. But it compensates for this with a practical cabin that features sliding rear seats, a split-level boot floor and a potential 500-litre capacity.

In contrast, the Renault estate is based on one of our favourite superminis, and mixes a spacious, high-quality interior with sharp dynamics and a surprising degreeof comfort. Choosing between these two cars is no easy task.

The pretty Clio undoubtedly wins when it comes to looks. But it has to give way to the Citroen on space. Even with the rear seats folded, the Renault carrier is outscored by the C3. The Clio’s 1,277-litre maximum load area is no contest for the van-like 1,506 litres available in its MPV rival.

Our two protagonists are much harder to separate when it comes to price. The Renault range starts at £12,226, and the cheapest diesel in the line-up is the 1.5-litre dCi (86bhp), at £13,914. It’s evenly matched with the Citroen, which starts from £12,445. The firm’s 1.6-litre HDi (89bhp) begins at £13,545.

In footballing terms, this was a hard-fought match that was only ever going to be settled by a single goal – and the Citroen scored it.

For family buyers, we think it offers more versatility, and its spacious cabin gives it the edge. Yet the Clio will have every right to feel hard done by as it trudges back to the changing room. Its more conventional styling and competitive price tags make it a genuine alternative to many compact family hatchbacks.

In this review

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