Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, 07-reg to 60-reg
Why it's a great used buy
C4 Picassos of any age make excellent family transport, thanks to the car's versatile interior and comfortable ride. Models from before the car's 2010 facelift (which saw cosmetic and equipment upgrades, as well as new engines) are the best value, not least because as Citroens tends to suffer heavy depreciation – bad news for sellers but great news for buyers.
What it's like to drive and use
The Grand C4 Picasso has a huge windscreen which extends up into the car's roof, bringing tons of light and fantastic visibility that's boosted by the car's narrow front pillars. Like its cousin, the Peugeot 5008, the Grand C4 Picasso has three full-size seats across the middle row which slide and recline individually to allow everyone to get comfortable or to free up more boot space. The rearmost pair of seats, which pop up quickly and easily from the boot, are small, so they're best reserved for children, but even when they're in place you should be able to fit a slim-folding buggy or a few bags of shopping behind them. With just five on board the boot is huge.
Where the Grand C4 Picasso differs most from the 5008 is the way it feels to drive: the ride is softer and floatier over bumps but it's also a touch slower to recover from them, so the cabin tends to move about a bit more and lean over slightly on bends – so bear this in mind if you have kids with motion sickness and tend to drive on rural B-roads a lot. The steering feels a bit artificial compared to the Peugeot, too.
In addition to all the essentials, every Grand C4 Picasso includes useful hidden stowage under the middle-row footwells, and all trims except the entry-level VTR have aircraft-style tables on the back of the front seats.
1.6 HDi 16v VTR Plus
Typical price £8533 for '10/10 with 42,000 miles
The 1.6 diesel is plenty strong enough for most of the jobs an MPV does, and VTR Plus cars of this age are well equipped, including alloy wheels, air-con, four electric windows and a CD player. Some models may have been fitted with a child-view mirror as part of an option pack including automatic lights and wipers, or you can get this by paying more for Exclusive trim, but this is available only on cars with Citroen's quirky EGS semi-automatic transmission.
1.8i 16v VTR Plus
Typical price £7349 for '10/10 with 42,000 miles
If you want a petrol C4 Grand Picasso, the 1.8 isn't much slower than the 2.0 but costs quite a bit less. VTR+ brings plenty of equipment, including alloy wheels, air-con, four electric windows and a CD player. Some models may have been fitted with a child-view mirror as part of an option pack including automatic lights and wipers, or you can get the mirror by paying a bit extra for the various added treats of Exclusive trim, which comes only with the 2.0-litre petrol and, as with the diesel, only with Citroen's quirky EGS semi-automatic transmission.
Safety info on these models
Euro NCAP rating Grand C4 Picasso not tested; five-seat C4 Picasso received five stars, with 87% for adults and 78% for children
Rear airbags? For the middle-row seats only.
Isofix? On all three middle-row seats
Front passenger airbag deactivation? Standard
Problems to watch out for
Interior quality can be an issue on earlier Grand C4 Picasso models, with bits of trim working loose or breaking, and the seat fabrics showing signs of wear and tear, especially if the car has served as a family car or taxi in its past. The EGS semi-automatic gearbox has had software issues although an upgrade should have fixed this and made it smoother and easier to use, so check this has been done. Bear in mind that the sleek one-piece bumper can cost over £1300 to replace following an accident.