The used Citroen C3 Picasso, its detractors claim, is so horrendously styled that it must have been mercilessly beaten by the ugly stick. If this is the case then great, because although it resembles a wrecked minibus this compact multi-purpose vehicle should be praised for standing out from the crowd. Good on you Citroen.
As well as its unconventional looks, the C3 Picasso comes with a range of two petrol and two diesel engines. The 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrols produce 95 and 120bhp respectively, and hit 60mph in 11.8 and 10.6 seconds. The 1.6-litre diesel comes in 90 and 110bhp guises, and these are slightly slower to sixty than their petrol powered siblings. However, the diesels have more torque and the 90bhp model averages an impressive 60mpg. The most economical petrol only manages 40mpg – but this does not warrant a slap from the aforementioned stick.
Handling-wise the C3 Picasso is competent but unexceptional. It is clearly designed to be driven gently as manhandling it into corners invites a generous dose of body roll. This is partly due to the soft suspension that on rough roads can make the ride bouncier than a new trampoline. That said, the C3 Picasso is not claiming to be a sports car and the steering, transmission, and overall feel will satisfy most family motorists.
One creditable feature is the large wrap-around windscreen. This provides a commanding view of the road so driving feels like surveying the scene from the bridge of an ocean liner. This sensation of space is heightened by the high roof line, cavernous cabin, and the generous 385 litre boot. This can be increased to 500 litres by sliding the rear seats forward. On Exclusive models the front passenger seat also folds flat to allow the transportation of lengthy items such as, well – ugly sticks.
The Citroen C3 Picasso was introduced in 2009 and, according to Motoring.co.uk's used car database, one year old examples start at £9,000. Okay, so your neighbours will probably scoff at the awkward styling, but beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder. Now, put away that stick!