Nice review. If possible, return and write more about your experiences with your car after some time. We are planning to buy an MPV in the beginning of the summer and we cannot disqualify from the list the C4 Picasso. It's extremely beautiful. Since we are living close to each other (Finland) let us know how it behaves during cold starts, how quickly it warms up the huge cabin (without a DEFA-type warm air blower) or defrosts windows.
Enjoy your new car as much as you can and have thousands trouble-free kilometres with your big family!
Owner reports: Thanks for your feedback from Finland. Unfortunately the car went to the garage today because of a water leakage in the luggage compartment. Quite bad I must admit. I expect it will take a week to dry. Service was excellent though. I got a brand new C5 HDi as a replacement while I wait. Otherwise I'm fully satisfied. Completed the first long trip last weekend which returned a very reasonable 5,2 litres pr 100 km. Somewhat more than my previous and smaller Peugeot. But the fuel tank is bigger (60 litres) so range should be similar. Long distance travelling was a joy because of good seats, lovely suspension, low noise levels and a very good stereo with MP3-support.
You ask about heating and defrosting, in this regards I will give the car an "approved" rating. Not excellent, but okay. It doesn't have a webasto-system, but an electric heating assistant which is slower. Defrosting of front and side windows takes between 5 and 7 minutes from -5 Celsius in the morning. Complete defrosting takes 15 minutes. Pretty average I think, but considering the vast glass area I guess it's as good as it gets. No problems driving on slippery roads. Dubless tires, but still completely safe behaviour on both ice and snow. ESP is pretty strict. No sliding allowed there.
To sum it all up: It's an early batch car with a few problems. I expect these to be sorted when I get the car back in about a week. Mechanics, electronics and interior quality seems to be excellent. I've had no reliability issues yet. I feel confident that the car will prove to be good once the early-production issues in mine gets sorted. I have discussed with two other owner who are fully satisfied (and they have a dry trunk as well). And the garage where I bought mine also had two new Honda CR-Vs with water leaks so at least I wasn't alone.
Choose your dealer and garage carefully and I'm sure you will be satisfied. Citroën dealers in Norway and Sweden are competent and service minded. Not so in Denmark and UK I understand. How are they in Finland?
If you have air conditioning try running it as this will dehumidify the air within the car and speed up drying of the wet area.
As regards garages I found it very difficult to deal with many Vauxhall owners. They didn't understand the vehicles they were driving and seemed to think we could magically cure problems that they couldn't even describe. In the UK there is a culture of technical knowledge being an undesirable human trait and this definitely knocks on to car ownership.
From Finland: We finally test drove the C4 last week. Going into a large car like this after our Mazda3, it felt strange. Unfortunately, it has a bus feeling that disappointed me a bit. The day before we had test driven the Renault Grand Scenic and even though you sit higher and more straight than our normal car, it still felt like a car and not like a van.
I liked the Picasso's feeling from the plastics, the soft fabric roof and the huge&comfortable seats on the front. It is quiet and the 1,8L engine felt strong and powerful (unlike the 1,6L of the Grand Scenic that felt like it was an 8valve unit, starving quickly). When we were testing the parking, it felt shorter than the Opel Omega estate parked next to it, but the steering wheel could turn some more.
It is extremely roomy and well equipped car. The prices are still high since it is new in the market, but we were planning to purchase a car in the summer that the twins will get born anyway. I think we will first have to decide if we want an estate or MPV first!
As for Citroen service shops, it is hard to tell since I have no previous experience with French cars.
I'll be waiting for more updates from your life with the Picasso.
From Hungary: It's great to read your comments on the car, I bookmarked the page immediately in the hope you're gonna update it as the experience grows.
We are also going to buy a new MPV as the second baby is on the way. Our current car is actually sufficient, but only for us. In case we'd like to take grandma to a trip, too, it wouldn't work. Citroen C4 Picasso is on the top of our list of nominees :).
Initial reviewer returns with a few comments. The car has driven 7000 km now. No new problems to report. Water leak has been mended. Engine and gearbox really starting to improve performance now. Fuel economy is improving as well.
I still discover new details not mentioned anywhere by anyone. One example is how the gearbox stays in lower gears when running up- and downhill. That's not mentioned in the manual or in any brochure or road test. Maybe it's normal among autoboxes today? I have driven some and they all had to be manually locked in low gear in these situations.
One other funny detail I just discovered today is what happens when I flush the windows or when I'm driving in reverse. In these situations I have noticed that the ventilation fans increase speed. Never gave it much thought until I finally realized what happens today: The outside air vents are closed automatically to avoid alcohol-smell and exhaust fumes from entering the cabin. Now there's attention to detail for you. Still another reason to love this car.
Greetings from Finland!
I have one week old 1.8 C4 Picasso with manual gearbox. I have driven already 1000 km and have only little experience about the car. Positive and some negative features noticed.
Positive: Car is extremely comfortable with long distance driving (quiet, good seats, good audio, good visibility)
Negative: In cold temperature (like -15 C or below) heating system is not functioning as it should. When you stop the car and you stay as low engine rpm (traffic lights, crossings, short term parking) it starts to blow cold air from the vents. When you increase rpm it starts to blow warm air again. I contacted the service and got feedback from importer/factory that this kind of feature has been recognised at-least in some cars. --> reason: water-pump / fan control not sufficient to ventilate heat in low rpm. They don't have fixing instructions yet, but it is coming near future. hopefully soon because winter still continues.
Interior warming in low temperatures takes quite long time. with MAX front window blowing,and then little later automatic AC control I have found that it improves the heating.