RIGHT PIC FOR DOWNSIZING FAMILIES
Small MPV from Citroen is affordable and a sensible alternative to larger five-seat models
IF you want an MPV, talk to Citroen. At least, that would be a good place to start, for the French brand has a bewildering array of the things.
The options offered range from utilitarian van-based models like the second generation Berlingo Multispace, built to withstand the attentions of the most destructive brood, to big, plush seven-seaters like the C4 Grand Picasso, with interiors that contort into more positions than a Romanian gymnast. Some family buyers, though, need flexible space in a more compact form. For them, the marque offers this C3 Picasso supermini-mpv model — a design recently upgraded with far more efficient engines.
A ‘supermini-mpv’? You’d be forgiven for not knowing that such things exist, or if you did, wondering how such a concept might be possible within the restricted dimensions of such a small package. The answer is that such cars might not be able to carry any more people than a conventional Fiesta-sized supermini, but they can seat five people far more comfortably and offer greater levels of versatility.
Pricing opens at around £13,500 and rises up to around £18,000 for the C3 Picasso. This little Picasso model offers a choice of ‘VT’, ‘VTR+’, ‘Selection’ and ‘Exclusive’ trim levels and there’s a premium of just over £1,000 to upgrade from Puretech petrol to Bluehdi diesel power. Buyers can expect to find niceties like a scented air freshener, a digital speedometer and a Spacebox Storage System for the boot. More common features include front electric windows, power mirrors, central locking and a CD player.
The eMyWay satellite navigation system is included in the option list and can also be specified with a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.
Citroen may not have been the first to produce a versatile MPV version of a conventional supermini, but they were the first to do the job properly, with an appealing blend of practicality and style.
At a time when families are often looking for excuses to downsize from larger cars, this C3 Picasso stands as a more sensible alternative to larger 5-seat mini-mpvs in the class above. Especially now that improved Pure-Tech petrol and Bluehdi diesel engines have made it more affordable to own.
In summary, what do we have here? A small MPV for people who normally wouldn’t want or couldn’t afford one? That’s about the size of it.