Citroen Xsara Picasso (2000 – 2010) Review

Citroen Xsara Picasso (2000 – 2010) At A Glance


+Cheap to buy, spacious cabin with three full size seats across the back, comfortable cruiser, aerodynamic shape means 1.6 HDi can do 55mpg.

-Some quality problems. Not as good to drive as the Xsara on which it is based. DMFs can give trouble of 1.6 HDi, but were not fitted to 2.0 HDi.

A cheap to buy and spacious people carrier the Xsara Picasso was one of the most popular people carriers ever made. First introduced in 2000, the Xsara Picasso and its rivals like the Renault Megan Scenic dominated the market.

The Xsara Picasso makes a great modern classic for the family. It's very useful too with plenty of cabin room and three individual full size seats in the back. There's plenty of space for those in the back, even those over six-feet tall, while superbly forgiving suspension and a smooth ride make it ideal for long journeys with children. It copes on more demanding roads too where the Xsara Picasso feels pretty composed for what is a fairly tall people carrier.

There is a little bit too much body roll, which isn't pleasant for those on board if you're tackling a long twisting route, while the artificial steering means it's not particularly enjoyable to drive either. The vague gear shift doesn't help matters either.

Overall, while it's cheap, the Xsara Picasso doesn't feel particularly robust or durable. The interior easily develops squeaks and rattles, the doors close with a empty 'clang' rather than a reassuring 'thud' and it's noisy on the motorway. But the one saving grace is the impressive 1.6 HDI diesel engine which will average 55.4mpg.

Road Test Citroen Xsara Picasso 2003 2.0i automatic

Ask Honest John

My battery has lasted 17 years. Is that common?

"This is not really a question as such but I've seen your advice that car batteries are designed to last 3-5 years. I have owned a 2003 Citroen Xsara Picasso from new. I'm probably tempting fate to state that the original Bosch battery still works fine. I have never touched it and would be interested to know if other folks have had a similar experience. Maybe its because the battery is cosily located under the front passenger seat."
Bosch is an good battery brand and it being under the seat will certainly offer some protection from cold and heat but, that said, I would still say to change a battery (even a seemingly healthy one) at max 7 years. A dying battery can burn out a perfectly good alternator in some cases by overworking it (although, this tends to be if you do a lot of stop-start driving/short journeys). Batteries degrade over time and if you've avoided typical things that catalyse the battery draining then that would partially explain why it's lasted so long. These include lots of short trips, fluctuating temperatures, lack of use etc). Even so, I'd get it changed sooner than later. Your car may be running fine, but it's all the electricals that you need to keep an eye on. For example, are the instrument panel lights markedly dimmer than the day you bought the car?
Answered by Georgia Petrie

What's the best used MPV to buy for less than £7k?

"I'm looking to purchase an MPV for up to £7000. I currently own Citroen Xsara Picasso on a 54-plate, but the air conditioning no longer works and the heater has also stopped working. I am wondering what car you could recommend. I need a fairly big boot to carry a folding wheelchair and comfortable seats. Also, the height is important as a standard car is to low for him to get in and out of. A couple of cars come to mind, the Ford C-Max or S-Max and Honda FR-V (late 2009), I know this is no longer made but some are still available. Also the Mazda 5. I want a car that can deal with steep roads but it doesn't need off-road capability. Truthfully, I'm not too bothered about the look, just the practicality and reliability. Mileage wise, I am looking up to 70,000 miles. I do roughly 8000-10,000 miles per year so I thought a diesel might be best. I hope to keep the car for at least five years. Since this is a major purchase for me, I want to get it right."
Unless most of your miles are covered on the motorway, I think you'd be better looking for a petrol. Older diesels can be expensive to maintain and the diesel particulate filter (DPF) can get clogged if you don't regularly drive at motorway speeds for prolonged periods. A Mazda 5 would be a good choice, especially with the 2.0-litre petrol engine. A Ford C-Max wouldn't be a bad choice, but avoid the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and the Powershift automatic gearbox.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is an engine warning light an MoT fail on pre-2008 cars?

"Could you please quote your source for saying that diesels registered pre 01/07/2008 are exempted from this part of the MOT? My wife’s 2004 Citroen Xsara Picasso diesel car has just failed the MoT on this exact point and the garage are not taking my word for it."
It is clearly stated in the MoT Inspection Manual (section 8.2): The MoT tester only needs to inspect the engine MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) fitted to diesel vehicles first registered on or after 1 July 2008. If the MoT tester refuses to correct their mistake then you should make an official complaint to the DVSA and have the decision overturned:
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions