Smart, big-dollar dazzler
It’s green, clever and safe, but the price tag sounds hefty compared with other small cars, PETER BARNWELL writes
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.
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.