By: IOL Motoring Staff
Johannesburg - Citroën's third-generation Picasso MPV, launched in South Africa this week, arguably looks more like a crossover than a van, with a clearly defined bonnet above a shorter front overhang and wider track than the previous version.
It's built on Citroën's new Efficient Modular Platform 2, which uses aluminium and high tensile steel to reduce weight; it also has an aluminium bonnet and a composite hatch, reducing kerb weight to 1298kg, 140kg lighter than the outgoing model.
The 1.6-litre e-HDi 115 turbodiesel four is also mounted lower in the chassis, lowering the centre of gravity, improving stability and increasing interior volume. Driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual 'box, It develops 85kW and 270Nm, good enough to take the Picasso from launch to 100km/h in 11.8 seconds and on to 189km/h, while quaffing a quoted four litres per 100km and belching 105g/km of CO2.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
The flight deck has been kept as uncluttered as possible, with most infotainment directed from multi-function controls on the chunky steering wheel and a multi-purpose 7” touch-screen in the centre of the dashboard, its seven touch-sensitive buttons controlling all in-car functions including satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, and a six-apeaker audio system with SB connectivity, Bluetooth and an additional USB socket all within a finger's reach.
An optional 12” panoramic HD screen - Citroën describes it as a “full digital driving interface” - displays essential driving information; Picasso people can even display a personal photo as a screen backdrop.
Seating consists of five individual seats, all with adjustable backrests; luggage capacity is 537 litres below the parcel shelf, expanding to 1851 litres with all three rear-seat backrests folded forward, accessible via a remotely-controlled, powered tailgate. There are also two storage compartments under the second row of seats.
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON
Two derivatives have been released in South Africa - the Seduction and the Intensive - each with programmable cruise control and speed limiter, an electronic parking brake with hill hold, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers and a “find my car” feature that switches on the interior lighting and flashes the hazards when you're looking for your Picasso in a mall car-park.
Safety kit includes the usual ABS functions, as well as an electronic stability programme with traction control, six airbags and a deflated tyre indicator.
There are rear parking sensors on both models while the Intensive model also has front parking sensors and automatic parallel parking. The Seduction sports 16” alloy rims, while the Intensive rolls on 17” hoops.
The Intensive also has LED front indicators, puddle lights in the side mirror houisings, interior mood lighting, retractable rear side window blinds, a rear-seat conversation mirror, and front foglights with a cornering function.
Picasso 1.6 e-HDi 115 Seduction - R325 900
Picasso 1.6 e-HDi 115 Intensive - R345 900
These include a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a five-year or 100 000km service plan, each extendable at extra cost.
An optional extra - at about R27 000 - is the Lounge Pack, comprising massage and heating functions for the front seats, an extending seat squab for the front passenger and Relax head restraints for optimum neck support on all the seats.