Citroën has finally added an automatic gearbox to its popular mid-sized MPV (minivan), the Xsara Picasso, mated to a new-to-the-range two-litre petrol engine.

The gearbox is a four-speed unit with a sequential shift manual mode and is offered on top-spec SX and Exclusive models.

The new 137bhp two-litre engine is a familiar PSA unit already used in many Citroen and Peugeot models and is the most powerful engine so far fitted to the Picasso.

Both new models also have standard cruise control, ESP and EBA, the first time these features have been fitted in the Picasso line. The cruise control is operated via new, more ergonomic steering column controls that are now fitted across the range.

UK prices, after deducting a current £2,000 cashback offer, are £13,995 and £14,995 respectively for the SX and Exclusive versions.

Citroen UK said that automatic transmissions account for up to 15% of sales of rival models such as the Renault Scenic and GM Vauxhall (Opel) Zafira. UK sales of the Picasso have now topped the 100,000 mark, the company claimed.