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showroom: Masters of the art; The latest Picasso is further proof of Citroen's exceptional talent for crafting clever MPVs, writes BILL CAVEN.

Byline: BILL CAVEN

CITROEN certainly know a thing or two about how to keep families motoring along happily.

They've got a real knack for creating stylish people carriers offering great value for money.

About 10 years ago, they came up with the Xsara Picasso, which has proved an enormous sales success and is still going strong.

More recently, they introduced the C4 Picasso, the seven-seat version of which has been named MPV of the Year for three years running at the What Car? Awards.

Add to this the fact that Citroen sold more MPVs across Europe last year than any other brand, and they are clearly doing something right.

And, in what looks likely to be another stroke of genius, they will soon strengthen their portfolio with another, smaller people carrier.

The C3 Picasso promises to provide families with a cheap, fashionable, yet highly practical transporter.

The first thing you'll notice is that the design isn't short on flair and imagination. Combining square shapes with flowing curves, this car looks anything but ordinary.

One of the most striking features is the panoramic windscreen with its slim pillars.

It not only helps to brighten up the cabin but also gives the driver excellent all-round vision.

Inside the C3 Picasso, all the family requirements are cleverly dealt with. Storage areas are never in short supply in a Citroen vehicle, and the newcomer is no different - it even has pen holders and a map holder.

Practicality is the name of the game in the compact MPV sector, and the C3 Picasso doesn't disappoint.

The split-folding rear seats not only slide but can also recline. There's also a large luggage compartment

The engine choice consists of two petrols - a 95bhp 1.4-litre or a 120bhp 1.6-litre - and a 1.6-litre diesel, with either 90 or 110bhp on tap.

While the diesels are from Citroen's tried-and-tested HDi range, the petrol units have been newly developed in partnership with BMW.

With prices starting from pounds 11,495, I reckon Citroen have got it spot on again.

FACTFILE

Model: Citroen C3 Picasso Engine: 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol; 1.6-litre diesel Power: 90 to 120bhp CO2 emissions: 159 to 125g/km Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles Price: pounds 11,495 to pounds 15,595 On sale: April 9

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Citroen C3 Picasso
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 20, 2009
Words:389
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