RIGHT PIC FOR DOWN­SIZ­ING FAM­I­LIES

Small MPV from Citroen is af­ford­able and a sen­si­ble al­ter­na­tive to larger five-seat mod­els

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - JONATHAN CROUCH

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.

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