by George Skentzos

In the past, diesel-powered cars have never really found their place in Australia. Both the cars and the fuel which they ran on were more expensive than the petrol alternative – a trend which has usually been reversed in overseas markets.

However in more recent times, diesel cars have become increasingly popular thanks to the soaring price of oil and a growing awareness of environmental issues.

Citroën has taken the first step and will now offer both the 2.0 litre petrol automatic and 2.0 litre HDi automatic variants of its C4 Picasso people mover for the same price until June.

With both models now carrying a price tag of just $39,990, this represents a saving of $4,000 for the diesel model.

“People movers are, for obvious reasons, predominantly bought by families and it is families who are usually the first to feel the affects of a tightening economy,” says Miles Williams, General Manager for Citroën in Australia.

According to VFACTS, private Passenger Car diesel sales rose by 50.6 percent, non-private by 64 percent and SUV diesels by 48.5 percent while petrol powered private car sales dropped by 5.0 percent.

“This means that if a car buyer wants to maintain the space and size of a larger vehicle without fuel bills going through the roof or buy a small car, such as the Citroën C3 HDi with supremely good fuel consumption, there is only one way to go and that is to move diesel. Added to this is the fact that modern diesels, with their wealth of torque for pulling power, are the ideal power units for cars like the C4 Picasso.” says Miles Williams.

Based on the award winning Citroën C4, the new C4 Picasso is only slightly larger than the typical hatchback, and with its diesel engine returns a remarkable 5.9 litres/100 km with emissions further enhanced by a standard particulate filter.

The C4 Picasso also has the highest rating for safety, the Euro-NCAP five star rating.

  • Jimbo

    Good work Citroen. Hopefully others will follow their lead and with a greater variety of models, for those of us that don’t need people movers.

  • trackdaze

    Now we just need the ACCC or K-rudd to take the oil companies to task on why diesel a cheaper fuel to produce costs more than the more highly refined petrol.

  • Golfschwein

    Diesel is also highly refined and about to become more so. Sulphur content is about to come down even further to comply with Euro V emissions targets.

  • Tony M

    The cost of fuel is usually based on demand. The refining cost of diesel should be no more than petrol. To me that means that petrol and diesel should be the same cost.

    What I would like to see is the Australian Government reviewing the licencing arrangements they have with the oil companies so that if the oil companies get greedy the Government ups the licencing fees. Oil companies don’t own the land/sea areas they harvest oil they have arrangements with the Governments onn licencing costs. Get greedy up the licence cost, so the oil companies up the cost of oil then up the licencing cost and of course, you can cancel the licence and maybe another oil company would take it over.

  • Golfschwein

    And there’s a lot of demand for diesel right now. Mining itself and transportation of more goods to the exploding populations of the mining boom areas are all contributing to demand.

  • Carl

    Now we have to push for the price of diesel to be at least as cheap as regular unleaded…….but that will be difficult without the support of Truckee’s and because they get a rebate they no longer care enough to protest or organise blockades like in the past!!!! so private diesel motorists will be on their own with this battle….good luck but today in Sydney I’ve seen a 31 cents per litre difference between petrol and diesel and until that changes I’ll be sticking with LPG that has a 1 dollar 10 difference diesel!!!

  • Carl

    ^^^^^^meant to say today LPG was one dollar 10 cheaper than diesel^^^^^^

  • No Name

    Why anyone would even consider a gutless 2.0 petrol baffles me. The diesel is far more response to drive, admittedly i’ve not driven one of these but generally diesels got much more for ooomph.

  • Foggy

    The fuel consumption figures quoted in this article are incorrect. The 5.9L/100km is the figure with the EGS gearbox, which is not available here.

    The gearbox on the Australian spec is a standard 6 speed auto with torque convertor, and the official economy figures are actually 7.4L/100km.

    Citroen Australia (Ateco) used the lower figure (either fraudulently or accidentally) in their initial marketing, and then quietly changed it a few months later.

    In the real world, my 2.0HDi Picasso achieves around 9.5L/100km City Cycle, and about 6L/100km on the highway.

    On a different note; at

  • Foggy

    Part 2: (Note: you can’t use a “less than” sign in your comments!)

    On a different note; at under $40k, I think the Picasso represents great competition for those who are more morally conscious and don’t want to patrol the city streets in an Urban Assault Vehicle.

    The interior is as spacious as a Prado/Pajero, and will suit the needs of many families who need the space and haven’t deluded themselves into believing that they will go on regular 4WD trips just because they own a 4WD.

  • Golfschwein

    Foggy, if I was a family guy, I’d get one of these in a shot. Do your kids think the Picasso’s cool or do they tell you to park around the corner as if you had, say, a Nissan Nomad or old Mitsy Express?

  • Golfschwein
  • Golfschwein

    You’re so right! “less than” signs not allowed! What a shame this site can’t do that to some posters, none of whom are likely to visit this thread, btw! :)

  • Foggy

    I only have one child at the moment Golfschwein, and a car with that many gadgets is soooo coool to a 2.5 year old!

    The dog loves it too, because I can fit a full travel crate longitudinally in the back, as well as a pram etc. That way the dog isn’t living on the edge every time I take a corner and the pram goes for a slide.

    I do think it’s a cool car, and my wife always has strangers coming up to her in carparks wanting to chat about it! 😀 ….always a good sign.

  • tom

    Foggy, I wanted to buy this car due to the fuel efficiency and safety story (have 3 kids), but fear citroen’s poor reliability record (UK reliability surveys) and also suspension (felt all bumps and body roll in corners during test drive). What has your experience been? How about other Citroen Picasso driver’s?

  • Paul

    Tom, having owned a Picasso for a week, it is true to say they have kid cred. I have a 7 and 11 year old. After their friends flipped the drop down trays, put the in built blinds up and down, moved their individual seat back forth, played with the torch and not to mention the individual aircon control for each rear passenger, we were amused to hear, ‘this is the coolest car’ from the back etc.
    As for the grown up response – people with a touch of green attitude understand, this car does less damage and is very safe.
    Handling, good not as good as our replaced 307 Wagon but OK.

  • LouC4

    I have had the diesel C4 Picasso for a few weeks now. The only handling issue I have is potholes, even shallow ones. But cornering is very stable. Much better than the new Forester. The seats are comfortable and supportive. Still running in but getting about 9L/100K with school drop offs and a few country trips. I had 2 adults and a booster seat comfortably in the middle row and a 7-yo in a booster in the 3rd row + a couple of suitcases. Couldn’t do that in the old Forester. And the turbo diesel was very happy with freeway speeds. The Captiva’s driving position wasn’t suitable for me (no thigh support).