By the time this edition of Fleet News hits your desk, Citroën will have taken our Nemo back after a four-month test.
The fact that a brand new Ford Transit is due to replace it will ease the pain a little, but it must be said that this doughty little performer has captured the hearts of all the people who have driven it during its stay.
The Nemo and its twin brothers, the Peugeot Bipper and Fiat Fiorino, set the scene for a whole new sector when they were launched last year – the urban van, designed to winkle into all those tight little city streets and turnings. This sector tucks in just under the Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Partner.
These vans have certainly caught the public’s attention, if for no other reason than their bizarre names. But it’s not just a quirky PR exercise – the Nemo is not only stylish but is capable and practical, too.
When it came to judging the first Fleet Van Awards late last year, our panel didn‘t take long to select the Nemo as the winner of the city van sector. In fact, the only real discussion I recall (me being one of the judges) was whether or not the Peugeot and Fiat offerings should win too.
The Nemo nearly carried off the overall van of the year title as well but was just pipped at the post by the Berlingo. So how has this van performed during its stint with Fleet News?
Pretty well as a matter of fact. For starters, its diminutive external dimensions belie its true interior size. The cab is roomy and the seats are nice and big, offering plenty of support. And although the Nemo is built as an urban runaround, we’ve used it for several long journeys – including one notable day trip of 420 miles – and have been impressed with its comfort.
The cargo end is impressive, too. There are 2.5 cubic metres available, which should be plenty for round-town deliveries, but we managed to squeeze a bed settee into the back of our model – and the rear doors were fully closed.
The Nemo is well-specced for the price and includes driver airbag, ABS brakes, central locking, electric windows and electric heated door mirrors as standard. We were disappointed that you can’t get ESP traction control, even if you are prepared to pay extra for it.
This Nemo’s green credentials are impeccable too. It emits just 119g/km of CO2 and it is claimed to return 62.8mpg on the urban cycle, although it must be said that we never got near that figure. We averaged just over 50mpg.
Our only other gripe was that the windscreen wipers emitted the most nerve-jangling noises throughout the test. We were hoping they might sort themselves out, but they showed no signs of calming down.