The Citroen Xsara Picasso may not be the default choice for anyone after a people carrier or sophisticated design, but this car still remains as one of the most popular purchases in the market. Many customers are drawn to this model for its multifaceted standard equipment. Plus given its affordable price, you’re in for a steal with its spacious and comfortable interiors that make it a decent people carrier along the road.
The Citroen Xsara has gone through three petrols and three diesels. The 1.8-litre petrol engine emerges as the best choice even against the higher capacity of the 2.0-litrevariation. But the diesels come more highly recommended over the petrols, with the 110 1.6HDi providing the best power and a smooth and quiet performance when compared to the 90bhp 2.0-litre variation.
Families won’t have any problems getting comfortable and managing their children throughout long trips. From three small children to two rowdy teenagers, none of the kids will complain about the space being too small. Plus folding and pushing the three seats at the back forward in case of long trips that require a lot of luggage can expand boot space. Extra space is provided for through cupholders and enough cubbyholes at the front.
Drivers will have no problems navigating through the uncluttered and clean layout of the dashboard and centre console. All around visibility is guaranteed as well up front, along with a proximity to a high mounted gear lever from the wheel. No need for drivers to reach out too far when shifting gears.
The Xsara delivers a comfortable ride all throughout, but body roll tends to be exaggerated when turning into corners. Passengers in the back experience most of the body roll discomfort. And although the Xsara is a tall car, the body roll becomes more noticeable when the car is carrying a full load of people. Steering also tends to become vague at some points, but the light feeling makes the Xsara easy to park. But drivers will have problems dealing with the sloppy gear change.
Although the dashboard and driving position is excellent, the driver’s seat itself could use more flexibility when one has to find a comfortable driving position. The plastics in the interior also appear rather cheap and tend to squeak over time.
Engine, wind, and road noise is noticeable as well, with the engines sounding strained save for the 1.6HDi. Road and wind noise is heard as well but can be blocked by playing music through the stereo system, which gets louder as you accelerate into higher speeds.
Most seats are spacious and comfortable enough for the kids seated at the back, but parents may have to compromise the lack of support up front. This uncomfortable state stands out during long journeys.
Overall the Xsara is a practical choice for families after a large people carrier. In terms of affordability, it is a smart investment for parents on a tight budget. But with its midrange price comes a compromise in important features such as noise, ride, and handling issues. But these can overcome by getting used to the vehicle and choosing the 1.6HDi as your engine over the other options.
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