2002 Citroen Picasso Exclusive 1.8 16V petrol from Poland

Summary:

An affordable and good value for money Citroen people carrier

Faults:

Air con not working (cold), but warms up the cabin normally. This happened out of the blue and was related to a known defect in the ignition switch (the French call it Neiman) wiring to the fuse box, which can cause short-circuits if not properly tackled.

There is however a way of circumventing this by doing a by-pass. A temporary solution unfortunately.

Oil leakage from a faulty head gasket - these engines have three of them to look for: head gasket and two rocker cover gaskets, prone to usage.

Coil pack was replaced due to the LPG system installed on it. Coil packs work harder in LPG cars to cope with the poor burning of liquid petrol gas in comparison to petrol.

Suspension bush replaced together with one of the CVJ boots. The control arms of Xsara Picassos are quite cheap to fix. Nothing out of ordinary with the quality of Polish roads.

Original Citroen radio with CD player is unreliable and quite fragile. It's better to replace it!

Oil dipstick replaced (around 10€).

Rear muffler disintegrated and was replaced (80€).

Apart from this, nothing to leave me on the road shoulder like my previous Renault Scenic.

General Comments:

Second hand you can buy them for almost no money, so if you are not the type to spend too much money at once on a car, or are currently on a low budget, go for one!

Driving: You get straight inside the car without the need to bend. The driving position is typical for people carriers; you sit tall even with the seat in its lowest position.

The front pillars are troublesome, and at certain angles you have to stretch your neck, especially crossings! However the windscreen is enormous - I called it the Panavision screen - and the vision to the rear is just great.

Gearbox is to some extent stiff in 1st and 2nd gear, but not uncomfortable.

The on-board computer displays several pieces of information, from doors and boot open, to consumption and maintenance warnings. There are several languages to choose from including Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese - that baffles me!

Steering is assisted of course, and gives you some weight, which allows you some feeling.

Comfort: Comfy, rolls a little when taking curves, but nothing like a 2CV (laughing). Actually it allows you to drive safely when you're late to work...

The seats are OK at the front with armrests, but in the back they're quite flat. Children don't complain though.

Four electrical windows, air con (if working!), spaces for objects here and there, huge pockets in the door cards - you can fit a 1 litre bottle in them - and the Citroen "Modulbox" in the large boot allows you to organize things properly.

The configuration of the dashboard, with the gear level positioned in the middle, and the bulky central console, allows you to rest your arm and shift while your leg is properly held by it. Good for long journeys.

Rear seats have those typical tables, which kids love to play with and are easy to disassemble and clean.

Plenty - literally - of leg room and space for everyone thanks to the totally flat floor.

Engine: 116 BHP, not exactly sporty, but quick for a people carrier - 0-100 km/h is around 11/12 seconds) and 190 km/h maximum speed that honestly I don't want to try in such a car!

With 38 litres of LPG it runs around 320 km in the city traffic - this is clogged Lodz streets. Petrol consumption is around 11 litres in urban environments. Not so good running on petrol...

Design: Not prone to corrosion, but somehow it looks a little bit like a ninja turtle, or as the Brazilians say, an umbrella on wheels.

The dashboard is a refreshing return to Citroen odd designs like the GS, GSA, CX and BX MK2, but not so quirky.

A much better car than my previous head gasket burner Renault Scenic.

Vive la France!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2014

2002 Citroen Picasso LX 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Practical, reliable family transport

Faults:

Camshaft timing belt at 75,000 miles.

Camshaft tensioner bearings at 125,000 miles.

Replacement alternator at 130,000 miles.

New battery when the car wouldn't start after being parked up for three months.

Replacement power assisted steering pump at 135,000 miles. This fault was between services.

Driver's seat starting to collapse.

General Comments:

I want to emphasise that the car has done 150,000 miles and hasn't broken down once.

Obviously parts have worn out and had to be replaced at the yearly service interval, for example the alternator, the power steering pump, the cam belt and two tensioners.

Gearbox, clutch and engine are all original.

Tyres last in excess of 45,000 miles.

Servicing has been on time and parts have been replaced when advised. All servicing has been by a local independent garage, not the main dealer.

The high mileage is due to repeated trips to Spain, France and Switzerland over the past ten years, so mostly 'motorway miles'.

The car is to be passed onto another member of the family for local runs, as we don't want to push our luck with another long distance trip!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2012