With its walk-through access between three rows of seats, space for six people and generous headroom, the Picnic combines useful practicality with versatility: the interior has 17 seating combinations and maximum luggage space of 1,841 litres with the rearmost row of seats removed and the middle row folded.
It's combined with exterior dimensions that position Picnic above most upper medium estate cars but below those of a typical full-size MPV's, with all the implications for ease of driving that brings.
A 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine joined the Picnic range in December last year, augmenting the launch model's 2.0-litre petrol engine from the RAV 4. It's available in two of the Picnic's three trim levels - base GS and level two GL - with manual five-speed transmission only, costing from ú16,655 to ú18,075 on the road. At those prices, the Picnic GS tested here is a rival for up-spec versions of the Renault Megane Scenic 1.9 DTi RT (ú15,915, but with only five seats) or seven-seat Laguna Family 1.9 DTi (ú16,520). Pricier rivals include the Peugeot 406 1.9 TD LX Family estate (ú17,520), also with seven seats.