2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Citroën still lives from the charm of being different. Despite all the chic, the C3 Picasso is above all a practical car with a lot of space. But at second glance, the small panorama bus also reveals its downsides.
By Sebastian Viehmann
When Pablo Picasso revolutionized art with bold brushstrokes at the beginning of the 20th century, he not only made friends. Picasso's break with the usual perspective is said to have pissed off many artists. Still, Cubism became a fascinating art movement. The Citroën brand also draws its attraction from the fact that many things are still different from the competition.
Huge glass surfaces
Anyone who drives a C3 Picasso does not only have to get used to the typical Citroën environment - including sophisticated control satellites on the steering wheel and digital mouse cinema instead of classic round instruments. Picasso pilots should also have a certain penchant for exhibitionism. Because the huge windshield gives every bus passenger a perfect view of the C3 cockpit. The huge glass roof can at least be covered with two panels. Of course, the view is also fantastic, especially from the back seat - there the C3 becomes a panorama cruiser. But there shouldn't necessarily be frost. Because by the time you have cleared the huge window area of the C3 from the ice, the average small car owner has already arrived at the office. The ventilation also has a hard time when the windows of the French van are fogged up. After all, the Citroën interior looks neatly processed. Some details such as the pretty air vents are successful, others such as the ugly hazard warning button or the glossy paint on the air conditioning control surface are less.
The C3 Picasso is advertised by Citroën as “The Spacebox”, and the space it offers is indeed one of the car's strengths. In all seats you have plenty of head and knee room, in the rear you can create even more space with the seats that can be moved lengthways. However, this is at the expense of the trunk, which has a capacity of 385 to 500 liters depending on the seating position (Fiat Qubo: 329 liters, Opel Meriva: 360 liters, Kia Soul: 340 liters). If you fold down the seats of the C3, 1506 liters are available under the roof. This is done with a flick of the wrist, the seats fold up to reveal a flat loading area. As practical as the Citroën can be loaded - with four people plus luggage on board the space is simply less than with a “real” minivan. More serious, however, is the low payload. With an unladen weight of 1.3 tons, a 75 kilogram driver is included, but even then the 388 kilogram payload (VTi 120) is not particularly large.
Sixth gear is missing
Under the hood there is a choice of two petrol and one diesel engine. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder petrol engine VTi 120 has an output of 88 kW / 120 PS and is bright and cheerful in the city. The car accelerates comfortably fast from below and manages the sprint from 0 to 100 km / h in an acceptable 11.7 seconds. It only gets tough at the motorway speed and also loud - already at 120 km / h the engine roars quite strenuously. The combined cruise control / limiter is practical, but also a bit fiddly to use. Depending on the setting, it maintains the selected speed or ensures that you do not exceed a preselected speed. The car just stops accelerating when the limit is reached - unless you pedal fully.
Citroën specifies the average consumption of the VTi 120 as seven liters per 100 kilometers. In the test consumption, the car was not so stingy, 7.9 to 8.5 liters flowed through the lines on average. The C3's five-speed gearshift is easy, but occasionally gets stuck when downshifting. You also want a sixth gear, especially on the autobahn. The chassis of the Citroën is very comfortable, but it wobbles a little to the side in corners. The steering is smooth, but has its downsides - when accelerating, drive influences can often be felt, and at higher speeds you often have to make slight corrections to coast down.
Almost 20,000 euros
The C3 Picasso VTi 120 costs 18,000 euros in the simple Tendance version, and 19,700 euros as an Exclusive. On board are cruise control, power windows, air conditioning with separate controls for driver and front passenger, rear parking aid, leather steering wheel, CD radio with USB connection, automatic headlights and rain sensor. The panoramic glass roof costs 600 euros extra. Unfortunately, you also have to put an extra 350 euros on the table for the travel package (additional storage compartments, trays for rear passengers, sun blinds, ski flaps, luggage net).
For comparison: an Opel Meriva 1.8 "Innovation 110 Years" (125 PS) costs 20,350 euros, a Kia Soul 1.6 Spirit (126 PS) 18,950 euros, a Fiat Qubo 1.4 Dynamic (73 PS) 14,690 euros and a VW Caddy Life 1.6 (102 hp) 18,314 euros. In detail, however, the Citroën often scores better than comparable competitors in terms of equipment.
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