AHAH! STOP THE PRESS! Don't be crowning any winner just yet, as I have been driving a car that will wilt your enthusiasm about the Soul or the Urban Cruiser. Let me introduce you to the C3 Picasso, possibly one of the most unexpected cars to ever be made.
Following the trend of the C4, Citroen revealed the C3 Picasso at Paris Motorshow last year, and on first impressions I have to say I thought it looked like a giant bug (and I don't mean Bugatti).
With a design that is sure to turn heads and interior solutions that compete with Ikea, Citroen seems to have created a car that looks abnormal yet funky, is practical yet fun and has all the versatility of Johnny Depp.
Style and looks
As I mentioned earlier, the C3 is certainly an odd looking car, but with all the curves and bulges, works in today's city orientated style. You can tell that this wasn't just a panic project that Citroen put together to beat the recession either, they have really worked hard to deliver an 'out there' appearance for the C3, an appearance that has everyone looking and a clever way to get people talking.
Do away with that angular slant you get with the Soul and smooth off those corners on the Urban Cruiser, add some utilitarian bumpers, chrome roof rails and some nice wheels. That is what makes a crossover so true to its nature. Curvier than Coleen Rooney and certainly more agile, the C3 is a groovy car, in fact 'groovy', 'funky', 'retro', these 60's phrases perfectly describe the essence of the Picasso and together make more of a bold statement, than suspending it from the ceiling of the TATE modern.
Moving on from looking 'cooler than a cucumber' (wow the 60's must have been cool), let's talk about performance and the reason that the C3 has to win this group test. Whereas the Urban Cruiser and the Soul are available in just 2 engines, the C3 has 4, two of which BMW have worked together with Citroen to create. I tested the 1.6 Petrol, which compared to Kia's disappointing 1.6 diesel, feels sporty, nippy and like you could overcome even the fattest sleeping policeman.
With a 0-62mph time quicker than both the Kia and Toyota, the Citroen feels almost sporty to drive and has handling as smooth as Chris Evans' beautiful bottom. Match this with the best maximum speed of 117mph, and you have yourself a performance to rival Miss Tina's private dancing.
Comfort and Equipment
Inside the Picasso is even more of a tardis than the Urban Cruiser. With space to swing a cat, you will be able to cram your entire luggage in for a month and still have room for a barn dance.
In terms of interior styling, the Picasso is clean, and takes hints from its older sibling the C4, including central dashboard storage, and a large central display for everyone to see. The only downside being that you don't get Citroen's brilliant steering wheel, where the wheel moves independently from its centre. That said, the materials are still solid and don't feel cheap and nasty.
Seating is comfortable and cabin noise is reduced due to thicker glass and an insulated engine, perfect for long journeys. Twin that with a fantastic stereo, with steering wheel mounted controls, for all those Disney hits and you'll have great fun singing away the hours. More legroom than an airbus, the C3 is comfortable, wherever you sit.
As mentioned previous, the Picasso has a cavernous selection of storage solutions, from the glove box to under floor storage in the rear and even an adjustable boot floor for extra storage height in the boot.
To finish this all off you get a funky interior mirror too, so you can glare angrily at the misbehaving rascals in the back, until they've finished propping and collapsing their aeroplane style tables.
Overall the C3 Picasso is a very welcome member of the C3 family, and even though I'm not a family man myself, I can appreciate the great fun this car is to drive, as even when the kids are at school, you will still look like the modern 'cool' mum/dad driving this car.
A true crossover, and a car that will fit seamlessly into any scenery, whether it be the rugged cityscape or the rolling hills of the countryside, you will have great pleasure in driving a great vehicle.