The new C3 Picasso promises class-leading space, intelligent and quirky design, modular seat layout, intuitive storage solutions, dynamic engines co-developed with BMW, and all the comfort, technology and safety you'd expect of a Citroën MPV. It should also fit comfortably alongside the Xsara and C4 Picassos within Citroën's - 2008's best selling MPV brand in Europe – portfolio.
Measuring 4.08m long, 1.73m wide and 1.62m tall, the car's cube-like body shape, with short front end and vertical rear, creates an expansive space in the cabin whilst smooth, rounded curves soften the contours and give the car a happy appearance – an expression further exemplified by the impish grin of its 'smiling headlamps'.
To increase either boot volume or rear legroom the split-folding rear seats slide back and forth independently and can also be folded away with one effortless hand movement. This function provides an entirely flat load surface which extends right up to the front seatbacks and can be further extended – to over 2.41m – by folding the back of the front passenger seat completely down. The cabin length measures 1.66m.
There is plenty of rear storage space on offer with 500-litres under the parcel shelf. With the rear bench down this aperture increases to 1,506-litres. The C3 Picasso also features a removable boot floor, an addition to the vehicle's overall versatility, which can be positioned at two different levels. In its high position the floor sits level with the boot sill for making loading easier and in the low position, more storage height is available in the rear.
When the rear seats are folded down, a flat loading surface is created right up to the back of the front seats and magnetic flaps fitted to the backs of the rear seats extend the flat surface between the bench and the boot floor. Whatever the positions of the seats, a three-part luggage cover, which can be stored under the boot floor, completely conceals the boot contents.
The C3 Picasso's cabin also features a number of practical storage solutions like nifty cubby holes, pen holders, non-slip surfaces and even a map holder – a place for each object and passenger. The glove box is ventilated on air-conditioned models and aircraft-style trays can also be installed in the rear with reading lights and cup holders.
Drivers are afforded a commanding and unobstructed view of the road thanks to the high-set seating position and the car's three-part panoramic windscreen with its slim pillars creating a side vision angle of 29.5°. A panoramic glass roof is also available which allows even more light to soak into the cabin.
A 'wink' shaped cluster is positioned, in classic MPV style, on the central axis of the vehicle so that all passengers have access to cabin information, angled slightly toward the driver, who also benefits from a translucent eye-shaped area with driver information. Citroën's new NaviDrive system features a 7-inch colour widescreen, the latest Europe wide satellite navigation software with live traffic updates, MP3/WMA-compatible audio CD player and a Bluetooth hands-free kit. iPod players can also be connected via an auxiliary jack.
Meeting the needs of MPV customers looking for agile city performance coupled with long-distance fuel economy, the C3 Picasso will be available with a choice of two new petrol engines and two HDi diesel units.
The two petrol units – VTi 95 and VTi 120 – are from the new-generation of engines developed in partnership with BMW and combine efficient economy with responsive performance and lowered CO2 emissions – the VTi 120 already complies with future Euro 5 pollution standards. Both diesel units – the HDi 90 and HDi 110 DPFS – are from Citroën's impressive HDi line up and boast low combined-cycle CO2 emissions of 125g/km and 130g/km respectively.