This is one of those theories I can’t prove, but which I know in my gut is right: Citroen Picasso owners are the worst drivers in the world. I’m not being funny, either: when I see one I start driving like one of those Institute of Advanced Motorists chaps who drives on the basis that other road users are actively trying to kill you. If they’re driving a Picasso, they are.
To take just one (of very many) examples, I was behind one yesterday as we turned on to a motorway slip road. “Did I ever tell you my theory that Picasso drivers are the worst drivers in the world?” I asked Mrs Bigmouth. As she was about to reply, the Citroen misjudged the corner, mounted the kerb, came back on to the road and wobbled alarmingly. We kept well back as it weaved its way down the slip road and joined the motorway, and as soon as it was safe I dropped a gear and pulled into the next lane. At which point the Picasso tried to drive into the side of my car. The driver didn’t look, didn’t indicate, and appeared to be playing with the centre console of her car. She was driving at 70-plus miles per hour and seemed completely unaware of anything outside the car.
If I didn’t have a long track record of Xsara drivers trying to kill me, I wouldn’t have been anticipating kamikaze moves and I probably wouldn’t be here.
I think what makes Picasso drivers so dangerous is that other bad drivers are predictable. The middle manager in the C-class Merc will always drive like a wanker; the sales rep in the 3-series will always drive as if he’s in a war; the 4×4 with the blacked-out windows (a) can’t see you (b) is wrestling with suspension that turns even the smoothest road into a bouncy castle and (c) is racing to a drug deal / to pick the kids up from private school; the ned in the Max Power Corsa will always attempt dangerous overtaking, undertaking and general wombling. But Picasso drivers are just mental, alternating between raw aggression, utter terror, attempted suicide and formula one racing every few seconds.
I know a few Xsara owners, and outside their cars they’re lovely. Nice. Normal, even. But put them behind the wheel and they become nuts. There’s got to be a reason for it, but I’m buggered if I know what it is.
Image: A Citroen Picasso being driven normally