2003 Citroen Picasso Exclusive 2.0 HDi from UK and Ireland


Value for money, but quality control from Citroen and dealer can be much better


So far, and remember, this is a new vehicle:

Two paint faults. One where there is no paint on a plastic body panel. Needs touching up.

A tear in the dashboard "upholstery" on the driver side of the centre console. The whole panel (which stretches the width of the car) has to be replaced.

The bonnet is misaligned. I compared with all other Picasso's on the forecourt of the dealer and none have the same narrow gap on the left-hand and wide gap on the right-hand side. Needs adjusting.

Occasionally strong fuel smell in the interior of the car. Has been found to be a leaky gasket on the high-pressure fuel pump. Needs replacing.

Lights misaligned. Has been found to be a problem with the left headlight adjustment motor. Needs replacing.

Several rattles, which have not been pinpointed yet.

General Comments:

After long consideration, we decided to go for the Citroen Picasso, our first new car. Cruise control was a 'must', and we therefore opted for the Exclusive.

So far, the ride has been quite good. Even though I'm 1.90 metres in length, I found a decent driving position. A reach adjustable steering wheel would have been nice though.

Sunroof is brilliant. Smooth and the 'comfort' setting works well.

Cruise control sensibly works only in fourth and fifth gear, and works very well. The ergonomics of the control stalk are a success, and are the best of any car with cruise control I've ever driven. A manual was not required (see further below) to work out all its options, but would have been nice.

A "one-touch" operation on all electric windows would have been a good idea.

Climate control works well, but does not seem to adjust for bright sunlight. The means that the interior air might still be the set temperature, but feels warmer due to the warmth of the sun on clothes. So the "set and forget" becomes "adjust for weather type".

Individual sliding rear seats proved to be very clever when the folded pushchair had to go into the boot lengthwise. Pushing the middle seat and one outer seat forward, yielded enough depth in the boot. Very handy.

Why has Citroen put a symbol of a bottle on all door bins? I expect this inside a fridge, but not a car. It might as well have a star rating on the cooled glovebox.

CD player is good, but playing music with lots of base, appears to make some parts of the dashboard rattle.

The manual does not mention the cruise control and radio control stalk, because it is the July 2001 edition. According to the dealer, there is no newer version. Very peculiar that several of the car's gadgets have no write-up. The images in the manual show the radio controls on the steering wheel, instead of on a separate control stalk.

I've only nearly emptied the first tank of diesel, but the fuel consumption seems to be reasonable. The trip computer tells me roughly 47mpg with a brand new engine, so unless it is telling lies, it seems quite OK. I hope it will get better still when the engine is run-in properly.

As a family car its been great. Loads of space and clever little storage ideas.

The dealer has made no problems about fixing the aforementioned list of problems with the car. However, I find it astonishing that none of these problems were picked up by the dealer during their pre-delivery car check and valet. That really is quite poor, especially as they had the car in excess of 5 days before delivery.

Plenty of apologies from the dealer, but no gesture to regain that "new car feeling" and, more importantly, lost time and money for making phone calls and driving back and forth to the dealer.

Nevertheless, I'm hopeful that all problems can be fixed (later this month) and the "new car feeling and enjoyment" can finally begin.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th April, 2003

26th Jan 2005, 16:08

As for the Picasso Owners Manual there are newer editions than the one you were given because I got them in my collection.

My Picasso Handbook Collection.

6/2000 edition

3/2001 edition

12/2002 edition

12/2003 edition.

So your dealer is wrong.