Smart, big-dol­lar daz­zler

It’s green, clever and safe, but the price tag sounds hefty com­pared with other small cars, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARS­GUIDE -

WE turn the spot­light on the car world’s new­est and bright­est stars as we ask the ques­tions to which you want the an­swers. But there’s only one ques­tion that re­ally needs an­swer­ing — would you buy one?

It’s the lat­est Cit­roen Pi­casso, only this time in a fiveseater con­fig­u­ra­tion and with a turbo petrol 1.6-litre en­gine hooked up to the front wheels through a six-speed auto trans­mis­sion from Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer Aisin.

Costs $41 grand, ouch, for a small peo­ple mover. But Cit­roen has sweet­ened the pill with plenty of stan­dard equip­ment, in­clud­ing a 360de­gree mon­i­tor, 17-inch al­loys, self park sys­tem, plus more.

Kia Rondo springs in­stantly to mind and it’s thou­sands less and goes just as well.

Power comes from the THP 1.6-litre turbo four-cylin­der pro­duced by Peu­geot and used in just about ev­ery­thing it makes.

Pretty well con­sid­er­ing the Pi­casso tips the scales at more than 1300kg. It is one of the best en­gines around and in this case achieves 121kW/240Nm — the same as the Pug 308 hatch. The pad­dle shift gives it a semi-sporty feel and the en­gine it­self is un­ob­tru­sive all the time.

Yes and no. They say 5.6 litres/100km if you have an egg un­der your foot. We say about 7.5 with nor­mal driv­ing.

Yes, this en­gine has pos­si­bly re­ceived the most awards ever and Cit­roen made sure it de­liv­ers on all fronts, in­clud­ing emis­sions.

Five stars.

Yep, Pug has sorted its sus­pen­sions out and this one has a sup­ple but con­trolled ride. There’s min­i­mal body roll at all and it soaks up rough roads as if they are smooth tar­mac.

In­te­rior is roomy and the (front) seats are com­fort­able, but the rears are small­ish, and plenty of lux­ury kit is fit­ted.

Not against all the al­ter­na­tives men­tioned ear­lier.

We’d just go for the Peu­geot 508 wagon and be re­ally happy with that.

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