Citroen C3 Picasso

Blackcherry 1.6 HDi

90

PRACTICALITY, economy and versatility are factors that influence many buyers these days and the Citroen C3 Picasso has those qualities and heaps more.

With its high sides and larger than life windows including a panoramic front windscreen, the C3 Picasso is guaranteed to stand out in any crowd, but the model supplied for my test drive took that unique appeal one step further.

The special edition Blackcherry included 17-inch cherry red alloys, additional chrome trim, body-coloured front and rear bumpers, flashes of cherry colour on the black body and door mirrors, roof bars, and special edition carpets.

But this compact MPV has another hidden quality beneath the bonnet - a highly efficient engine that delivers ample power but can achieve excellent fuel economy and lower emissions than other models in the range.

Admittedly the vehicle is not the fastest out of the starting gate, but it can hold its own with faster moving motorway traffic and the high-seated driving position means excellent all-round visibility which is real bonus during city centre driving with bicycles and pedestrians appearing from all angles.

Citroen has never shied away from being flamboyant with its designs and creations and this model is no different.

Gone are the normal read-outs and dials in front of the steering wheel and instead there is a information console centrally positioned on the massive dashboard - unusual yes, but all the readouts are digitally displayed and you quickly become accustomed to their positioning.

Although, one slight gripe - I discovered the housing rattled at speeds over 55mph unless the passenger held it down which is not ideal.

Acceleration was good and the 1.6-litre, diesel-driven engine produced plenty of power as the vehicle moved through the five-speed manual transmission.

There are plenty of creature comforts too with a good air con system, cruise control, a six-speaker CD sound system compatible with MP3 players, Bluetooth connectivity and lots more.

Passengers are treated to a very light and airy cabin atmosphere thanks to the large windows and there is ample leg, head and elbow space for rear seat passengers.

Storage requirements are also catered for with a good-sized boot that can be increased in capacity thanks to split-folding rear seats.

There is additional storage under the boot flooring and a box under the front passenger seat too.

The C3 Picasso features a comprehensive range of safety features, including anti-lock brakes with emergency braking assist and emergency brake force distribution, a number of airbags and lots more.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C3 Picasso Blackcherry 1.6 HDi 90

Price: £15,695

Mechanical: 90bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 108mph

0-62mph: 13.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 15%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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