As me and my wife both work and we have 2 kids we need 2 cars and a big one for the family after a lot of debating and searching every well known garage, auto trader and eBay for the perfect family car and the right price we discovered the citroen Picasso 2.0 VTX in silver, 57 plate and due to it being second hand to an elderly man it had a mere 6372 miles on the clock which is brilliant and well under average for a 3 year old car.
This car has got to be one of the most economical we have ever owned and most fuel efficient on an average tank of petrol we are hitting 330 miles to a full tank which costs around £60 to fill up depending on where you go and location.
So with us purchasing the VTX model we get a lot of extras included like cruise control, climate control, rear parking sensors and fog lights, parking sensors are a brilliant idea if you struggle to park like my wife. One of my favourites has got to be cruise control as I make a lot of long boring journeys on the motorway to see family and it's a ways of making my life easier and being more fuel efficient as it keeps the car at a steady speed thus using less petrol.
The front cockpit as a call it is very good and clear it has 2 massive digital displays that clearly tell you the time, temperature, petrol left, radio station, cd track, this is all in very large font and would be hard to miss.
The back seats can easily be removed which I found a great help when moving a bed from my mums house to mine, the steering wheel is also adjustable it height along with both of the front seats, electric windows also make the car a much more pleasant experience.
There is a few little extras that also found interesting and you might as well, there Is a removable trolley in the boot that I find very useful for carrying shopping from the car to the house, then on either side of the floor in the back there is some small storage boxes which are useful for hiding CDs and sat navs and such things when going shopping or something as they can easily be hidden by a car mat. The boot is also very large and spacious so plenty of shopping will fit. One of the last things that comes in handy with the kids is on the back on the front seats are pull out trays for the kids to either draw on or watch DVDs.
Last but not least the driving experience, this car is beautiful to drive it handles well and accelerates well.
Overall a brilliant family car that is fuel efficient, spacious, nice to drive and has added luxurys.
^^^^^^and that's a lot of cars, about 20 between us and have driven hundreds for work purposes.
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the exclusive, but there was nowhere to write a review for that model.
Having spent months trying out various seat combinations in our Mondeo we came to the conclusion that with baby no3 on the way we had no choice but to buy a people carrier of some nature. Our 1st choice would be an s-max, but unfortunately way over budget. We began looking at Galaxys but the only ones within our £4000 budget had very high mileage or were looking particularly ropey. We then spent evening after evening researching other options. We found excellent review after excellent review of the xsara picasso. We were surprised as for every other car we had researched there had been very mixed reviews. We really didn't want a Picasso as they are just plain ugly (among other reasons) but it appeared to be a good choice and essentially ticked the boxes we needed. So the hunt started, we were very particular in that if we were going to have a car we didn't want it must at least be a decent colour!
We managed to find a 54 plate 2.0HDI exclusive with only 64,000 miles on the clock in our budget with several hundred pounds change. Compared to the Galaxy we would have been looking at a X or Y reg with 160,000 miles for the same money. (Yes, the Galaxy is a full size mpv, but we were very surprised at the difference in cost).
Onto our opinions that we have formed in the 10 days of ownership...
Initially we were surprised that the centre instrument display was not as strange as we had 1st expected. The centre console was also a lot less intrusive than we had thought it would be from looking at pictures. Upon driving it we were pleasantly surprised at the low level sound from the engine. We even found that standing with the bonnet open was actually quieter than what we were used to with our Mondeo (also 2.0 diesel) from inside with all doors and windows closed. The pedals seem to be OK in both size and position (having previously driven a few French hire cars we found that often the pedals were slightly offset and clutch pedal high and small, thankfully this is not the case with the Picasso). The steering is very light, very easy to park (there are lots of reviews saying it is difficult, but if you know the length and width of your car you should be able to park anything) with good all round visibility with the exception of the front a-post which can block your vision on roundabouts for example (having owned a Renault Scenic in the past this is by no means a unique problem to the Picasso). The brakes are sharp and the gear change is typically French, i.e. lots of throw on the gear lever and quite sloppy gear changes (this isn't worn as it feels the same as a brand new French gearbox). The acceleration is ok being only 90bhp it's never going to accelerate quickly. The economy seems average - approx mid 50's combined, which is what we were used to with our Mondeo. The handling felt ok for the type of vehicle, nothing to get excited about, we did note that you have to be extremely careful overtaking lorries and crossing open bridges as the wind will push the car across the carriageway. Moving into the back, we were very impressed that we could comfortably fit 3 car seats in and still have access to the seat belt buckles and not worry about the children being unsafe with poorly fitting car seats. We were disappointed with the boot space, expecting it to be much bigger than it is. The boot in the Picasso is actually significantly smaller than that in both the Mondeo and in the Scenic (the Scenic was able to carry a large pushchair and a weeks shopping, whereas this would be one or the other). There are lots of little cubby holes around the car which seemed handy for putting bits and bobs in but as we started to use the car properly we soon discovered that they weren't as well thought out as they could be. In the first few days we were pleasantly surprised with the car. It was never going to be our first choice and was very clear that it was quite shoddy in build which we had expected, but it did the job we needed and while it was never going to excite you the drive was ok.
After a few more days of ownership and having started to use the car properly all the novelty of having a new car soon wore off...
Driving the car - as our 1st impressions it's not an exciting car to drive as you'd expect, it drives typically French. The ride is very soft and bouncy, every bump is exaggerated, it is almost like driving a rocking horse! (not due to wear on suspension as the same as any other Picasso we test drove and a similar ride to the scenic) It has made one of our children feel ill in the back within 20 minutes of being out in it (we have read the odd report of this but hoped it was just isolated and wouldn't affect us). Having been out to get some bits and bobs today we've come back and hate it even more, the ride is so bouncy it's hard to describe, it really is like being in a boat! Driving along roads the car is bouncing all over the place, giving us severe back pain, the driving position is giving my boyfriend severe shoulder and neck pain and we really don't want to use it as it is so uncomfortable. There is no way we would be able to use the car on long journeys as 1. It would be too uncomfortable and painful for us, and also I can totally understand why it makes our son feel so ill.
The drivers seat doesn't have a height adjustment, only a pitch adjustment which still won't lower the front to the correct angle and the steering wheel doesn't have reach adjustment. Having spent lots of time trying to get the seat into a comfortable driving position it is proving impossible. We are very different height and build so need to adjust the seat regularly, but unfortunately the seat doesn't have the full range of adjustment that we need and expect from a modern car. We have also not figured out how to move the seatbelt. Being almost a foot difference in height the seatbelt needs to be at different heights for us, however it is stuck at the top level and for me it means that the belt comes across my face when I'm driving. Far from ideal.
The controls & centre display - the lack of rev counter is very annoying and we don't like it! The display is pretty useless with the low winter sun shining across it, the dashboard reflects hideously in the windscreen. The climate control works adequately and is very simple. The controls for the windows are infuriating and dangerous to use whilst driving. The front controls are on the centre console which is quite a long reach from the drivers seat. Only the drivers one is automatic which we feel is silly in a modern car. Every car that I have owned with electric windows has been automatic on all 4 doors. The controls for the rear windows are to the right of the steering wheel in the position you would expect your headlight adjustment and fog light controls. The buttons are out of the drivers view, you have to feel around for them and it is not obvious which control you are on. As they are not automatic the driver then has to 1. Keep pressing the button until the windows are up/down instead of just pushing once, 2. Whilst driving have to look behind to ensure windows are all the way up or more importantly free from obstruction. Auto windows would reverse if there was an obstruction, (e.g. a childs arm) but these do not do that and the driver has to watch to ensure that the childrens arms or hands are not in the way. The window controls in our opinion are not just an annoyance but potentially dangerous.
In car storage - The glove compartment is air conditioned which is a handy feature for stopping chocolate from melting in the summer! The door pockets are deep, but not wide, they have a picture of a bottle for bottle storage, but you can't fit a large bottle in there. At one end of the door pockets is a 'cup holder' but this would prove useless as a cup holder although is ok for holding a small coke bottle for example. The door pockets are pretty useless in general as they are too low and deep, so items in them cannot be accessed while wearing a seat belt. The centre console has a large compartment, there is a tray under the drivers seat and 2 floor compartments in the back. In the scenic these were used for storing the dvd player and dvds, however due to the travel sickness-inducing ride, we will not be using the dvd players, so these will have very little usage). The trays on the back of the seats feel very flimsy and as if they will break quite easily, guess what...our 5 year old managed to break one off within a few minutes. We feel that the storage leaves much to be desired, there is a lot of unused space between the 2 front seats, why has this area not been used for decent accessible storage and cupholders for the driver and front passenger?
We haven't commented on the cruise control as it is average, does the job you'd expect. The car does have auto wipers and auto headlights. The wipers are as useless as every other car we've driven with auto wipers, and the headlights have no override system once set on auto without switching the engine off. So if you need to turn them off in a hurry you cannot. Needless to say these 2 are features we will not be using.
Overall we feel that the car is really missing several features that a 6year old top of the range car should have. These include:
- Electrically adjustable memory drivers seat
- Heated front windscreen (although Ford seem to be the only manufacturer that make these so if you've never owned a Ford you won't miss it)
- Rev counter
- Parking sensors (while not needed, on a top of the range car you expect them)
- Decent stereo (this is the same as in the base models)
- Power fold mirrors are great, but have to manually controlled while ignition is on, should be operated automatically)
- Only a 5 speed box, other manufacters have been using 6 speed boxes for years
- Better seats all round - these are the smae seats as in the base model, the passenger one in particular is very uncomfortable especially if you have a back problem.
Typically having checked the internet since buying this car there are now several Galaxys with fairly low mileage with the spec we require within our budget.
We wanted to like the car but find ourselves embarrassed to be driving a blob. We enjoy driving and love cars, we quite often go for random drives, however this will be no more. Not just because of the embarrassment we feel but because the car is just not comfortable enough to do this and with the ride making our son ill we'd rather not have lots of mess to clean up. We struggle to understand how anyone can describe it as comfortable.
The car is perfect for someone who has no interest in cars but just needs something to run children around in. Anyone who knows anything about cars or driving will know exactly what we mean. We usually look forward to the weekend and going out and discovering random places, but now we are wondering what to do this weekend as we have no desire to get in the car. On the plus side we will find our fuel and maintenance costs go down due to the lack of mileage we will be doing!
We do a lot of mileage each year, having driven many types of car in work covering a lot of miles on both motorway and city roads. We are not 'school run' type drivers or 'Sunday drivers' and know a good car from a bad car. As stated above this car is probably perfect for someone who just does a few miles each week and needs something to easily fit children into, but for someone who likes to drive and knows a thing or 2 about cars this is not a good option.
We wish we that we had had the extra time to wait to see what else came up, but after several months of looking it got to the point at 37weeks pregnant where we could wait no longer. 1st impressions were that actually it was an ok car, but even after this short time we can confirm that it is not. It is ugly, not great to drive, a poor, bouncy ride, shoddy build quality and we just hope that the mechanics are a better standard than the rest of the car.
It's now 3 weeks since I bought my Xsara Picasso from our local Evans Halshal.
It's second hand with a 54 reg plate and it had done just over 60000 miles.
We bought the car to replace an aging Peugeot 406 that although was falling apart had become almost part of the family.
The Xsara Picasso had 4 different "personalities" for the age of this car, which were replaced by 2 around 1997 - Desire and VTX. My car is neither, it is the 2.0 Hdi exclusive.
Citroen is replacing the Xsara Picasso at the end of this year and there are an awful lot of people that will really miss this car when it they do.
The exclusive that we own comes with cruise control and climate control although our car does not include heated front seats or parking sensors - which are on the newer models.
We have yet to makethe car reach its most efficient rate of over 50 miles per gallon but we have come very close and it certainly offers far better economy than the previous one.
There are a number of engines available with the HDi engines offering far better performance than the petrol version which mainly came in 1.8's.
It comes with a number of hiding holes including an under seat front tray, 2 hide holes in front of the back seats where you can store important items such as tow ropes, fire extinguishers, bulbs etc which make it extremely handy.
Additionally, the spare wheel is actually under the car, which unlike many others is very helpful as it avoids the need to unload the boot.
The boot contains a space for a trolley which is fixed to the inside on the drivers side and has fixing points for a cargo net.
The back seats work in a similar way to the front ones and can be slid individually (or removed) and there are trays on the back of the 2 front seats for holding a portable dvd player or for kids to hold their McDonalds happy meals - they include holders for drinks or cans, and the front doors also have space for holding uprights drinks or bottles - a standard 2 litre bottle fits neatly across the top of the door shelf.
The mirrors are al heated and the dash board has a reasonable cd radio and a digital display that is easily readable.
Seats are very comfortable and front seats also include armrests - although the previous owner must have been rather large as the driver side had to be removed after we bought the car as it needs refixing.
As with everything else this model does have a few disadvantages (but not ones that stop our enjoyment): Visbaility is not brilliant through the rearview mirror, the bodywork feels fragile and we do feel a little unsafe having the battery under the front passenger seat! It does also seem a little uncomfortable that HDi engines are totally enclosed and the average motorist can only deal with basic duties such as checking and topping up. The hardest and biggest disadvantage we have to overcome is turning in to parking spaces due to the distance between the front seats and the windscreen / side corner windows.
Replacement trolleys can be bought from Citroen for £197 and the back middle seat can be replaced by a Citroen fridge for £315.
Additionally, this car has plenty of power and I couldn't believe just how much more it had than the 406 with its 1.9 turbo diesel engine. Top speed is 109 mph. It even has a second 12v plug behind the back seat on the passenger side for the dvd players etc and a rear sun visor, and lighting on both front sun visors - the only thing it doesn't have is holders for all the nail varnish etc while driving (lol)
The Citroen Xsara Picasso in our view is defintely the best medium sized mpv currently available and we will certainly enjoy many a journey in it.
Soon after my daughter was born I quickly realised my BMW 1 series was no where near big enough! I trawled through the internet, visited countless dealerships with my poor hubby and we finally decided on the Citroen Xsara Picasso. My hubby thinks they are ugly - whilst I can agree it's not THE most pretty car in the world I love it (we call it the 'Mummy Bus'). So economical, easy to drive (after my initial worry that it would literally be like driving a bus!), my daughter is nice and high so can see out of the window and I can fit tonnes of stiff in the boot. Another thing that attracted us to this car was the fact that it has 3 proper seats in the back (many cars seem to have 2 and a half) with 3 proper seatbelts. So if we have another little one there will still be a spare seat for grandma!
I have a large family but also have a job that requires me to drive over 40,000 miles per year. The problem I had was to find a family car that was comfortable, cheap to run, cheap to insure, and after 3 years hadn't depriciated so much I may as well just burn money.
What cars did I look at?
I looked at all the usual suspects, VW Touran, Vauxhall Zafira, Ford S-Max etc. They were all of a similar standard, but what drew me to the Picasso, bluntly, was price.
All of the others for a decent spec car you were looking at £16k-£20k. The Picasso came in just under £10k (the dealer was pricing really aggresively)
What do I like about it?
Price!! After 3 years and almost 100k miles on the clock I have only lost £2.5k per year in depreciation. This is nothing compared to the hit I would have taken on the other options!
Spec, I got a really good spec with this, Climate Control, ABS, ESP, Cruise Control, Front Fog Lamps etc etc.
Driving position. The 'Sit Up' driving position of this car is just fantastic. I can drive 200 miles and get out of this car fresh as a daisy. I didn't even feel as refreshed getting out of my old Audi A4.
Fuel Economy. Absolutely brilliant. On a full tank, driving steadily I can get 600-700 miles (costs about £55 to fill up the tank on Feb 2009 diesel prices)
Other consumables. It is really great on consumables, I replaced the factory fitted Michelin tyres on the fron after 50k miles and the rear ones after 60k miles. The brake pads only needed replacing after 70k miles!! Maybe this is down to my driving style but this is still pretty impressive!!
Servicing. Service Intervals are great, with a variable service interval which averages around 12k-14k miles between services. Average service cost has been about £300.
What I don't like?
With the car? Not much. It is built to a price so the trim and velour seats are starting to look a little tired but thats all.
The only thing that lets this car down is the Citroen dealerships. They are RUBBISH! I took my car to no less than 4 different Citroen dealerships for servicing and a couple of other minor items and they were all less than useless. Fortunately I have a good independant garage who specialise in Citroen and Peugeots.
When I found out that I was pregnant we knew that we would need a bigger car (obviously as our previous car was a ford Ka). We knew that we needed boot space but didn't really have any other reservations. We took our time and test drove lots of family cars and the Xsara was the best for us. A good car for a good price.
I'll start with the boot space. It's plenty big enough for the average family. We've had alsorts in the boot of our car from cookers and washing machines to nursing chairs and cots. Admitably, it can sometimes be a bit of a squeeze with the really large items but for day to day it's brilliant! We've packed our boot for a self catering holiday for two weeks and still managed to have the parcel shelf in place! The seats fold down and up towards the front seats allowing maximum boot space when needed.
There is plenty of space within the car also, lots of little hidy holes for storing bits and pieces under the seats and within the floor and boot space.
Our car really hasn't been a problem to us and it's now 7 ish years old. Still drives beautifully and is very economical (thankfully!)
Spares are reasonably priced as they are widley accessable and a service doesn't cost you your morgage payment either.
As for the engine techinical stuff, well i'm going to have to confess to being a girl and not knowing much about it. All I can say is that I forgot to check the oil for a year (oops) and it was absolutley fine.
It's a comfortable car to drive and easy enough to park.
I thought that when baby two comes along that we would upgrade to a seven seater to accomodate the dog and extra child however, I really don't think that i'm going to bother as there is plenty of room for a family of four (& our canine friend).
Test drive one for yourself then you'll see what I mean. They really are good value for money cars!
I'm going to start this review by saying i have always been extremely spoilt when it comes to cars - my partner is a motor trader. Before the Picasso, i was a proud owner of a BMW X3 sport (see review), i supose i was also a bit of a car snob!!
Anyway, i work in a city centre and travel 15 miles to work each day. The majority of my journey i am bumper to bumper in traffic, due to the previous car being a nightmare on fuel, my partner talked my into getting a diesel car. My main concern was space, i've had a number of different cars, one of my favourites being a Mini Cooper - unfortuantley with kids and shopping it just wasn't big enough. I was insistant that i had a similar size car to the X3.
Sure enough he appeared with the Citroen, at first i wasn't to appreciative of his efforts - it is a typical mother mobile! But... once i'd had a drive i loved it! The Picasso is one of the most practical cars i have ever owned. (Any parent will understand this!)
The interior of the car is surprisingly spacious, in the rear are three seats which are all fitted with proper seatbelts (not one of those dreadful across the tummy belts.) On the back of each front seat is a tray that pulls down for the kids in the back - this is great if you go out for the day and stop off for a Mcdonalds! In each rear seat footwell are two deep storage compartments, these are handy for throwing toys in - for those longer journeys! The actual seat height is great for my little boy who is 7 years old, he can see out of the window without sitting on his knees.
In the front of the car, again there is lots of space. The driving position is great, there's a kind of all round view as the the front windscreen is complemented by little side windows hense your view being completely unrestricted. The passenger also has lots of leg room, oh..and you have little arm rests that fold down from the side of the seats.
The boot is fairly huge and is perfect if you have prams (which i don't anymore) but we do go camping everynow and again and you really have no problems cramming all the usual camping equipment in! There is also a box that concertinas away if you don't want to use it. I tend to use it for muddy shoes if camping or heavy goods if i've been shopping and i don't want my bread squashing.
All of the rear seats are movable so if you ever have large items to carry you have no problems fitting them in.
I'm sure there are other gadgets in this car, i find something different most days when we use the car for something out of the ordinary, it really does baffle me!
The only down side to the car is probably how it looks, it needs a face lift. A bit dawdy looking!!
The model i have is a Citroen Zsara Picasso Desire HDI 1997cc. 2005 model. I get approx 37 mpg.
I've not had any mechanical problems (touch wood) its been a right little trooper. It gets hammered as well. I just don't recommend going round corners too fast, like most higher cars they sometimes feel a little unsafe!
As long as you're no boy racer - which you deffinately wouldn't have one of these! - Corners aren't really a problem!
So if you have a young or teenage family, i would deffinately recommend this car, its great!