Fleet News

Citroen Xsara Picasso 1.6 HDi 110 Exclusive - 5,065 miles



HAVING lived with the new HDi 110 Picasso for a couple of months, I am pleased to report that it is living up to my expectation of 'family-friendly' lugger.

With 550 litres of load space up to window level with the rear seats in place, I have so far packed the Picasso to the gills with people, shopping, plants and even a 15 square metre bouncy castle – although not all at the same time, I hasten to add!

But the great thing is that when packed, I've heard none of the regular moans – 'can't get my legs in' and 'the pushchair will have to go on the back seat' – which means the Picasso is fast becoming my favourite 'most practical' test car.

But the most baffling feature I've found so far is the automatic child lock system which, in theory, is a great idea.

However, several times now I've been caught out by it and had to resort to opening the driver's door to release the catches on the rest of the car – which is quirky, to say the least.

But considering the recent run of test cars we've had at Fleet News with problems galore, it's worth noting that the Picasso has so far been completely problem free and well behaved.

Mind you, one or two complaints have emerged over the test period to knock the shine off my initial assessment.

When first delivered, I was impressed with the stated combined 57mpg figure, which should equate to 760 miles on a tank of fuel. However, I have still not achieved more than 53mpg (latest figure 52.6mpg), leaving me 60 miles short on each tankful or 2,160 fewer miles over a year's motoring.

I have also found that although the 'overboost' (an extra 10% of torque available as a 15 second spurt) on the engine makes it nippy and responsive, it is still quite noisy and especially so at higher speeds.

Combine this with a gearbox which occasionally seems reluctant to drop into gear (and once there, the gearstick waggles about enough to make you think you may be in neutral) and the Picasso drops a notch or two in my ratings.

Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer): £53 per month

Figures based on three-years/60,000-miles

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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