We have come a long way from when a MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) was known as a dull choice for practical parents. Today’s choices offer more attractive designs, thanks to the innovation of car manufacturers like Citroen, bringing us the C4 Picasso and its bigger, seven-seater version, the Grand Picasso.

First introduced as the Xsara Picasso, it was redesigned as the C4 in 2006, still with the shape of a beetle but with interesting details, such as the wavy line running along the doors, and the LED lights that ran during the day. What’s more, the interior had a more distinctive look. From a functional point of view, it was very practical with plenty of cubbyholes, two gloveboxes and a back row that was capable of accommodating three child seats. A new generation of Picasso was launched in 2013 with a strip of running lights above the main headlights, giving the impression that the vehicle is squinting at the sun. To date, over 300,000 second-generation C4 Picasso and Grand Picassos have sold.

Now in 2016, the driving experience mostly remains the same but new engines have been added, the design has had a little revamp, new alloy wheels have been put on, and new infotainment and safety systems have been fitted. The small design updates mean that it is a bit of a challenge spotting a brand new C4 Picasso, but look closely and you’ll see the chrome chevrons on the nose extending around the running lights, as well as extra air intakes at the bumper sides. There are three new paint schemes, plus you can request a new contrasting black roof and door mirrors.

There is a new 3D cluster of rear lights and perhaps more interestingly, the hands-free tailgate on higher-spec models that can be opened with your foot under the bumper. The new C4 also comes with plenty of space – the boot can hold 537 litres, plus the second row of seats can still hold three child seats, complete with Isofix points, able to slide forward or back. By pushing the three seats forward, boot capacity increases to an impressive 630 litres.

The interior of the Citroen C4 Picasso has an airy feel with fantastic visibility due to the panoramic windscreen, giving unrestricted views at T-junctions. It has three new interior design schemes. The dashboard in the front is modern with split-level screens holding all the instrumentation and infotainment. It might be a little chunky for some people’s tastes, but it is clear and unique.

Standard kit in all specifications includes rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, cruise control and tyre pressure monitors. The upgrade to Feel trim comes with 17-inch alloys, front parking sensors and sat nav.

Buying one new will set you back at least £19,635, with the Flair costing an additional £8,000. Alternatively, you can lease one on personal contract hire from Yes Lease from as low as £257 per month including VAT for 36 months.

Take a look at our current Citroen C4 Picasso lease offers.