First drive: Mercedes-Benz Citan 112 6G-DCT van review


Newly-introduced Euro 6 diesel models are managing to meet the emission standard without recourse to AdBlue, says Mercedes-Benz. They are doing so courtesy of unspecified changes to the 1.5-litre engine and the use of a storage-type NOx catalytic converter.

Introducing Euro 6 – Euro 5 Citan vans remain available – has boosted the diesel’s torque by 15lb-ft to figures ranging from 150lb-ft to 19lb-ft, depending on the version selected. This translates to a boost in pulling power of around 10% says the manufacturer.

There are no changes in maximum power output in the revised model: the engines remain at 75hp, 90hp and 110hp. Euro 6 Citans can be specified with a fuel-frugal low-emission BlueEfficiency package complete with stop-start.

Mercedes-Benz has also unveiled a petrol-powered 1.2-litre 114hp Euro 6 Citan 112 equipped with an optional 6G-DCT six-speed dual-clutch gearbox which can be employed in either automatic or manual mode. The newcomer will appear in UK dealerships in the first quarter of 2016.

The company has yet to confirm whether or not the box will also be offered with the diesel version.

We went to Germany and ventured into the centre of Hamburg and around its docks to see if the dual-clutch 112 could cut it as a big-city delivery vehicle; and we were impressed. With no shortage of performance, it easily copes with the cut-and-thrust of urban traffic and the 6G-DCT box is one of the smoothest we have ever encountered. It glides effortlessly from one gear to the next without any jerkiness or hesitation. 

The Citan gets extra impetus from a 20-second torque boost when the kick-down is activated, which pushes maximum torque up from 128lb-ft to 176lb-ft in second, third and fourth gears.

Allowing the box to get on with it – we switched to manual briefly but frankly couldn’t see the point in a busy city environment – gave us time to appraise the other changes to Citan; and one of them caused us to give three rousing cheers. Mercedes-Benz has finally scrapped Citan’s peculiar L-shaped handbrake lever for a conventional one. 
Other changes we applauded included the arrival of a handle to make it easier to close the rear tailgate. 

The result of a joint venture with Renault, Citan is also being offered with a reversing camera, a built-in sat-nav system with a 3.5ins touchscreen and a dual passenger seat.

Given mounting hostility towards diesel, the petrol 112-plus-twin-clutch-box combination might be worth a look if you handle a lot of big-city delivery work. Fuel economy may be a worry, but if your drivers spend most of their time sitting in traffic jams then diesel is unlikely to fare significantly better.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.