Citroen C4 Picasso 2022 Review

The C4 Picasso is a five-seat MPV sold between 2006 and 2018

£9,172
Average price
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1
Out of 5

Pros

  • Practical interior
  • Good range of engines
  • Smart design

Cons

  • Doesn’t handle very well
  • Some reliability concerns
  • Standards equipment limited on entry-level versions
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

Citroen rolled out the Picasso nameplate for almost two decades on its MPVs – initially with the hugely successful Xsara Picasso, of which more than 1.75m examples were produced. 

In 2006 the French firm expanded its line-up with the C4 Picasso – more spacious versions of the C4 hatchback - which arrived on sale a few years earlier. Bringing a stylish design, a very innovative interior and plenty of high-end features (including a refrigerated centre console and four-zone climate control), this was another big seller, and remains a relatively common sight even on the roads today. 

Sold alongside a seven-seat ‘Grand C4 Picasso’, here we’re focusing on the standard five-seat model.  

Latest model

A second-generation C4 Picasso arrived in 2013, bringing an even bolder design reflective of Citroens at the time – headed up by its split headlights and huge glass roof. The new car is actually slightly smaller than its predecessor, while the use of a new platform brought big weight savings, with the model weighing 140kg less than its predecessor. 

Yet inside, it actually grew in size, becoming roomier while also introducing plenty of technology – including a 12-inch panoramic HD screen. Loads of high-end features were also offered, such as a 360-degree camera system and massaging seats, both of which were very advanced for the time. 

The models were revised in 2016, gaining a slightly revised front end and new 17-inch alloy wheels, along with updated screens on the interior. A new petrol and diesel engine also joined the line-up. 

In May 2018, the C4 Picasso was renamed to the C4 SpaceTourer as part of a range rejig. The five-seat model would continue to be sold in the UK under its new name until 2019, when the model was axed, leaving just the seven-seat version on the market. 

Value for money

If you’re wanting plenty of space on a budget, the C4 Picasso is a very appealing option. Tidy high-mileage examples of the original model are now available from around £1,500, and double that will buy a clean model with around 70,000 miles on the clock. 

If you’d prefer a second-generation model, prices for these start from around £4,500 for a high-mileage example. Just be aware that some of the VTR cars don’t get a huge amount of equipment, so it could be worth upgrading to a higher-spec Exclusive model, which brings features like larger alloy wheels, the big HD screen and keyless entry. Around £7,000 will get you a high-spec car with around 80,000 miles on the clock. 

Looks and image

MPVs aren’t renowned for their style, but Citroen successfully injected some extra flair into the C4 Picasso. Particularly on second generation cars with their split headlights, neat proportions and angular designs, it’s quite an eye-catching choice, at least compared to many quite bland-looking rivals. 

Inside, it’s quite a funky choice too. All versions get a seven-inch touchscreen, which was still relatively advanced at the time. Sure, by modern standards, it’s not the slickest of systems, but it does everything you need it to. High-spec cars with the large 12-inch screen in the centre feel quite futuristic too. There are plenty of different textures that come together too, and though the quality isn’t the highest, it feels durable enough for family duties. 

Behind the wheel, the C4 Picasso is a car that majors on comfort, and it’s an area where it excels. With a soft suspension setup, this Citroen is a model that’s both great around town and on the motorway. Unsurprisingly it doesn’t handle particularly well, though thanks to the new, lighter platform, it’s an improvement on its predecessor. 

Space and practicality

Though the C4 Picasso is a strict five-seater, if you don’t need that third row of seats it’s a very practical and versatile choice. The individual rear seats are very practical (each with Isofix child seat fittings), while the wide-opening back doors make for very easy access, particularly if you’re trying to fit child seats or are getting kids in and out of the back. 

The cabin is awash with useful storage spaces, even in the dashboard on models with an automatic transmission, while the boot is now 40 litres bigger – measuring a very generous 537 litres with the rear seats folded. With a five-star Euro NCAP rating, this Citroen is a model brilliantly engineered for family duties. 

Engines 

Citroen offers the C4 Picasso with a broad range of petrol and diesel engines, with the latter generally proving the more popular. 

A 90bhp 1.6-litre diesel kicked off the range, coming with the choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed semi-automatic transmission. A more powerful 115bhp engine also gets the same gearbox choice. If you want additional performance, a 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel was offered. 

Two 1.6-litre  petrol engines were also available – a naturally-aspirated 120bhp model, as well as a 155bhp turbocharged unit. Capable of a 0-60mph time of nine seconds, C4 Picassos with this engine are the quickest in the range. 

If buying a C4 Picasso registered from late-2016 onwards, the engine choice includes a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol coming with the choice of 108bhp or 128bhp outputs – the former using a six-speed manual and the latter a six-speed auto. A 118bhp 1.5-litre diesel also joined the range, sitting alongside the pre-existing 148bhp diesel offered since the model’s launch.  

Running costs

If you’re looking for the lowest running costs, seek out a C4 Picasso with a diesel engine under the bonnet. Though some of the claimed efficiency figures are perhaps a touch ambitious, they’re impressive nonetheless – Citroen claiming up to 74.3mpg, along with CO2 emissions of just 100g/km. 

If you’d prefer a petrol, it’s worth looking out for the later 1.2-litre options, which are much better on fuel – Citroen claims 55.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 115g/km.

Things to look out for

The Citroen C4 Picasso doesn’t have the best of reliability reputations, with non-engine electrics being one of the main weaknesses. Check the dashboard for signs of warning lights, while making sure all the features work as they should – such as the digital displays and massaging seats, for example. 

As with any MPV, look for any signs of wear or damage that might have come from being used as a family car over the years. 

Rivals

Though the new MPV market might have shrunken in recent years, there’s still a good choice of used options on the market. The Renault Scenic is perhaps the closest rival (and also comes in a ‘Grand’ seven-seat layout like this Citroen), while other options include the Volkswagen Touran and Kia Carens. If you want something a bit more premium, take a look at the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. 

Depreciation

MPVs have typically depreciated quite heavily and the C4 Picasso is no exception. Particularly next to more in-demand SUVs, this Citroen is noticeably more affordable to buy, and can make a great used buy. But just don’t pay over the odds for the cleanest, lowest-mileage example as it’s likely to lose the most in value. 

Trims explained

Four main trim levels were offered on the C4 Picasso, with equipment highlights and pricing as follows.

VTR –

Kicking off the range, the VTR comes equipped with air conditioning, an electric parking brake, a panoramic windscreen and LED daytime running lights. It also gets 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, keyless start and a seven-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and USB connection.

from £4,500 (used)

VTR+ –

Upgrade to the VTR+ trim and it brings dual-zone climate control, automatic lights wipers, electric folding mirrors and front fog lights. More practical touches are included too – such as adjustable front armrests, underfloor rear storage and aircraft-style fold-down tables in the rear. DAB radio and rear parking sensors are also added.

from £4,500 (used)

Exclusive –

Exclusive models bring plenty more equipment, such as larger 17-inch alloy wheels, LED front indicators, a 12-inch panoramic HD display and leather steering wheel. A useful Kids Pack – bringing rear window blinds and a special rear-view mirror to check on the kids – was fitted, along with a reversing camera, keyless entry and satellite navigation.

from £5,500 (used)

Exclusive+ –

At the top of the range sits the Exclusive+, which brings LED rear lights, tinted windows and a panoramic sunroof. Other features include an electric boot, half leather seats, a massaging driver’s seat, larger 18-inch alloy wheels, park assist, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

from £6,000 (used)

Summary

  1. Citroen MPV sold between 2006 and 2018
  2. Renamed to the C4 SpaceTourer in 2018
  3. Stylish design
  4. Generous interior space
  5. Plenty of technology on high-spec cars
  6. Good range of engines
  7. Not the best reliability reputation
  8. Very comfortable
  9. Affordable used buy
  10. A superb large five-seat family car

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