This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Citroën C4 Picasso (13-18) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

There’s a decent choice of engines in the C4 Picasso range, starting with the 1.6-litre VTi. This replaced the 1.8-litre engine in July 2008 and is the same smooth 120bhp unit used in the C4 hatchback, delivering a decent 0-62mph time of 12.1 seconds. An impressive turbocharged 1.6-litre model is also available (badged THP) but it only comes with the EGS automatic gear.

Also standard on the 2.0HDi, Citroen claims this semi-auto transmission is as good as a manual and more convenient, but it’s often jerky and makes the engines feel underpowered. The THP engine replaced the 2.0-litre petrol and is not only quicker but more economical too. The best engine for economy is the 1.6HDi which returns 48mpg – it’s also a great all-rounder and will suit most owners’ needs.

If you spend more time on the motorway, then the 2.0HDi is ideal – it pulls well, is quiet at speed and is frugal too. Unusually only 1.6VTi and 1.6HDi models come with a standard manual gearbox – a rather slack five-speed effort. The rest of the range uses the EGS, or there’s the option of a standard auto on some models.

The C4 Picasso is comfortable and easy to drive, although there are few thrills to be had. The EGS gearbox, standard on the more powerful engines, doesn’t help, with its laboured changes, while the over-assisted steering robs the driver of any feel. The fairly tall shape means it can roll a fair amount in corners and all models seem slow to get up to speed.

On the plus side the light steering makes town driving and parking easy and the superbly soft suspension absorbs all but the largest potholes. But with alternatives like the Ford C-MAX and Renault Scenic, that are able to combine comfort with excellent road manners, the C4 Picasso seems a less competent all-rounder.