Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

The Xsara Picasso has been available with six different engines over its lifetime – three diesels and three petrols. The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol is best avoided as it’s sluggish and underpowered – although it was replaced in 2005 by a 16-valve unit which is slightly better. The best petrol engine is the 1.8-litre which is peppy and makes the 2.0-litre seem pointless as the larger unit offers little more.

The diesels are a far better choice however, but the larger 2.0HDi is not the one to go for – it’s an older engine than the 1.6HDi which was launched in 2004. The 110bhp 1.6HDi offers more power than the 90bhp 2.0-litre version and is smoother, quieter and more economical too.

The Xsara Picasso rides well and is comfortable on the move but there’s excessive body roll through corners which is unpleasant for passengers – especially those in the back. With a full load it’s even worse but the Picasso does feel fairly agile for such a tall car. The steering may be vague, although it’s very light which makes parking simple but the notchy and sloppy gear change is less forgivable.