2006 Citroen Picasso Desire 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland

Summary:

An excellent people carrier on a budget

Faults:

Coolant temperature sensor failed, which sent the ECU a duff signal, making the car hard to start when cold, and stall after blipping the accelerator when running at normal temperature.

Metal band around the rear silencer snapped, making the exhaust rattle and hang down.

Horn is pathetic. I can shout louder. That will be replaced soon.

Couple of bulbs blown in the digital speedo, but they were easy and cheap to fix.

It went through a spate of blowing brake light bulbs. I put it down to when the kids slam the boot lid shut. Do it gently, and the bulbs don't blow.

General Comments:

The Citroen Xsara Picasso does a great job of moving a family around on a budget.

The positives:

Roomy cabin with comfy seats.

Great visibility all round.

Big boot for holidays and long trips.

Very versatile rear seats, which can be reclined, split, folded or removed completely, giving you a van with windows!

Thoughtful design touches everywhere.

Plenty of cubby holes and knick knack storage.

Powerful ABS brakes (even though it's brake drums at the rear instead of brake discs).

The negatives:

Steering is sooooo vague, it feels disconnected, as if it was a "drive by wire" system. No feedback or feeling from it at all.

Clutch and brake pedals are small and cramped for big footed people.

Insurance groups are surprisingly high (compared to 1.6 Astras and 1.6 Focus etc.)

They catch cross winds very easily on motorways.

I have towed with mine. It was asthmatic when towing, but at least because you sit up high the car sat level, and I could see straight through the caravan windows.

The 1.6 16V engine is underpowered for a car body of this size. However, it runs much better on super unleaded, especially when fully loaded. We took our Picasso to France in 2011. It ran brilliantly for the 1500 mile round trip (2500km), and got better MPG with super unleaded, even though we were fully laden with luggage.

Original factory speakers are absolute rubbish. Bin them and get some 6" speakers in the front doors. 5" speakers fit in the rear doors as standard, but with a bit of plastic trimming 6" speakers can be fitted in the original pods. Then disconnect the terribly harsh dashboard tweeters. Check the rear left speaker connections too. Many Picasso's (including mine) are wired up wrong from the factory, resulting in the speaker polarity (positives and negatives) getting crossed in the rear left door. This affects sound quality and distorts the bass.

Also if you plan on swapping the factory fitted in-dash CD player for something better, when you do be aware that it makes the right hand dash display go blank (trip computer, range, instant consumption etc) all disappear! You can trick the car's central brain unit by removing the factory radio, fit your new radio, switch on ignition, switch it off, refit original radio, switch ignition on then off again, then finally refit new radio and switch ignition on. That way the trip computer still works as it should with your new radio fitted! Check the Citroen Picasso forums.

Also, something else to be aware of is the spare wheel. If you have a towbar fitted and you are unlucky enough to get a puncture in one of your rear tyres, you cannot get the spare wheel out of its cage. And guess where the car's jack is? Yep, in the spare wheel cage... *rolls eyes* Ces't la Vie!

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

Review Date: 25th June, 2012

2006 Citroen Picasso LX 1.6 HDI from UK and Ireland

Summary:

This is a nicely designed and well appointed vehicle

Faults:

Nothing as yet.

General Comments:

This Citroen model is an excellent all round multi purpose vehicle. It is a genuine five seater with three point safety belts for all five seats. The rear seats can be folded down or completely removed to create an enormous flat floor boot.

The interior is spacious, seats are comfortable and with excellent legroom.

The driving position has good all round vision and controls and gear stick are well positioned.

The engine creates 92 HP and provides real powerful acceleration, but with less of a roar than most other diesels.

Expect well over 50 Miles/Gallon on non urban driving.

Finding first gear can sometimes be a bit fiddly and the limited foot space around the clutch pedal makes it difficult to drive with boots or wide shoes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th October, 2006