The Citroen C3 Picasso is a five-door MPV that was first revealed back in 2008. The car was in continuous production until 2017 when it was discontinued. The C3 Picasso comes with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive configuration which means that it is designed primarily for transporting families for greater distances.
As such, the car is spacious, safe, and filled with loads of family-friendly features. When it comes to reliability, the C3 Picasso seems to be okay. Citroen models aren’t the most reliable cars on the market and most people are aware of that. However, if you take proper care of these cars, they should do the trick for quite a while.
The good news is that it does not cost all that much money to maintain a car such as the C3 Picasso, but the bad news is that it needs maintenance often. Either way, the most common C3 Picasso issues are associated with the suspension, the gearbox, the car’s electrical systems, engine issues, and the brakes.
Some of these issues are worse than others which means that they require mending as soon as possible. Otherwise, the repair costs can easily add up which will eventually retire the C3 Picasso as second-hand models depreciate like crazy.
Citroen C3 Picasso – Suspension issues
The Citroen C3 Picasso is a relatively large and heavy car. It also comes with a fairly high center of gravity which means that the weight transfer the C3 usually endures is fairly substantial, especially if you tend to corner in a more aggressive manner. As such, this can put lots of stress on your suspension system which is known to give out, especially on earlier models.
As such, the transmission will need to be repaired which can cost quite a bit of money. However, you don’t want to drive a car with a faulty suspension system as this can make the car fairly dangerous to drive and live with.
Citroen C3 Picasso – Transmission issues
The Citroen C3 Picasso comes with a Citroen proprietary Sensodrive gearbox. This transmission is a known sore point for the C3 and many other Citroen models because it tends to break down often. Most common Citroen Sensodrive issues are related to the transmission being really lazy and sometimes even really rough.
This can put additional strain on the transmission which can cause more serious issues down the line. However, if you react fast enough, a simple reprogramming of the system can solve the issue. If not, you will have to replace certain hardware components which can also add up to a pricey final bill.
Citroen C3 Picasso – Electrical issues
The Citroen C3 Picasso is not a luxury car, but it does come with loads of features in order to keep you and your family comfortable, safe, and entertained during a long journey. For example, the heater unit is known to fail and stop blowing out hot or/and cold air when engaged. This issue is usually down to a broken distributer flap.
The central locking is known to fail and so are the lights. Most of these issues are due to control module issues which means that these will have to be replaced if you want to solve these issues in the long run.
Citroen C3 Picasso – Engine issues
The Citroen C3 Picasso comes with a few different engine options, all of which prioritize efficiency and smoothness. If you sense any of these engines misfiring or lacking power, you are likely facing a problem with your injector sensors which will have to be replaced in order to solve this issue. Most engine problems are related to the injectors with the C3.
Therefore, fixing these issues typically includes replacing the injector sensors or sometimes even all the injectors.
Citroen C3 Picasso – Brakes issues
We have already mentioned that the C3 Picasso is a fairly heavy and cumbersome car which means that it needs proper brakes in order to come to a complete stop. If you sense your C3 Picasso suffering from poor brake pressure which inevitably leads to longer stopping distances, chances are that your vacuum pump is to blame.
In order to fix this, you will have to either repair the vacuum pump or sometimes even replace it completely. Sometimes the timing belt is the culprit, and sometimes the brake lines can leak which can even lead to complete loss of braking power which certainly can be a huge safety hazard.
Should I buy the Citroen C3 Picasso?
If you are interested in a family MPV that does not cost a lot of money and one that can do everything you need it to, the C3 Picasso is actually a really good choice. It is spacious which means that you and your family will not be lacking seating or trunk space.
On the other hand, the MPV market is really huge which means that there are many alternatives you should also consider. If you have the chance, be sure to test drive all of your options so you can properly decide which car works best for you.
How long can a Citroen C3 Picasso last?
Answering this question correctly is rather tricky as many variables affect how long a car can last. First of all, if you go for a brand-new C3, you are likely able to use it for decades if you take proper care of it. On the other hand, if you go for a used example, you ought to carefully choose one that was kept in good condition.
Either way, you should be able to get at least 100,000 miles from one. If you do decide to go through the 2nd hand route, you must do a pre-purchase inspection in order to be fully aware of the state the car is in.
Can I buy a Citroen C3 Picasso in the USA?
Citroen left the US market in the 1970s and it seems like they are not coming back anytime soon. French-made cars are sold at a premium in the US, but they aren’t as good as many domestic products or even Japanese-made competitors from Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.