The picasso is excellent for family travel in comfort and space.
It offers outstanding value for money for the size and equipment level compared to what else is on the market.
There is generous cabin space for 5 passengers and luggage, good boot space and excellent flexibility. The flat floor between the front seats, made possible by the dash-mounted gear change, makes a big difference in the amount of space for packing.
The rear seats are easily and individually removable giving lots of options for using all the space.
The picasso beats the multi-purpose vehicle competition (eg Vauxhall Zafira) unless you actually need 7 seats.
The driving position and seats are comfortable, and the ability to recline the rear seats a little is a good feature not found in many cars.
The sloping roof at the rear, giving the exterior egg-shaped form, unnecessarily restricts rear seat headroom for tall passengers.
The HDI diesel unit delivers excellent fuel economy for a car of this size. I'm routinely getting 50-55 mpg (mainly out of town driving).
The engine is responsive and smooth in normal driving, but push it hard and you start to see the compromise.
The engine is seriously underpowered at higher revs, making overtaking manoeuvres at speed something of a white knuckle adventure. I would like a lot more power in reserve (previous car: 2 litre petrol Mondeo).
The handling is soft, giving a comfortable ride, but a tendency to wallow on faster cornering. Overall the ride is quite acceptable, but don't try to push it too hard along winding roads.
The exclusive has a very good equipment level and all the gadgets seem to work well.
The cruise control falls nicely to hand, but I would prefer a visual indication that cruise control is engaged.
I also like the climate control, and the sunroof is excellent for giving the interior an even more airy and spacious feel.
The dash mounted gear change is well positioned and falls easily to hand.
The digital speedo takes some getting used to, but now seems fine.
The kids love the seat back trays.