The latest vehicle to put itself up for long-term scrutiny by the testers here at Fleet Van is this cute and cheeky Citroën Nemo, clad in a deep cherry red and sporting a whole host of extras that most ordinary drivers won’t see.
The Nemo is not only a new van but it sets off a new sector too – urban LCV.
That means it’s built very much with city deliveries in mind and has a tight turning circle and diminutive outer measurements to winkle into those narrow city streets.
This vehicle has already been given the ultimate accolade – along with its twin brothers the Peugeot Bipper and Fiat Fiorino, it was voted international van of the year by a panel of European judges at the recent Hanover Show.
One model managed a staggering 84mpg on a recent fuel economy marathon, although we aren’t exactly expecting that much frugality from the heavy-footed specimens who work here.
The Nemo might be a pint-sized van but it certainly manages to squeeze a quart’s worth into its frame.
The cab, for example, seems to be almost as roomy as the one from its bigger brother the Berlingo, and there’s plenty of legroom for lanky specimens like me.
Our van also features adjustable lumbar support, which is brilliant. We’ve also got the special extending passenger seat that folds right down to load area level to allow for extra long items to be carried (£70 ex-VAT).
One problem is that this seat is a skinny one, not like the driver’s, and it’s rather hard and unsupportive at the sides. Mind you, as this van is designed for short-haul stuff, we shouldn’t complain too much.
Also on the goodies front we’ve got air-con at £500 (which we probably won’t use as winter is here), metallic paint at £250 and a second side sliding door at £220, which we reckon is a bit OTT as the load area isn’t big enough to warrant it.
The Nemo is fairly well-specced without all these extras mind you. For the basic price of £9,515 (all prices ex-VAT) you get a driver’s airbag, ABS brakes, central locking with deadlocks, electric windows, height adjustable seatbelts and electric heated door mirrors.
It’s a shame though that ESP traction control doesn’t appear either as standard or as a paid-for option.
Under the bonnet goes Citroën’s perky little 1.4-litre turbodiesel unit offering 70bhp at 4,000rpm and 118lb-ft of torque at a low 1,750rpm, while CO2 emissions are a lowly 119g/km.
All that adds up to a nippy little van that can be happily thrown into corners and come out smiling, while returning, as previously stated, anything up to 84mpg. We’ll be reporting on our own economy figures next time.
In the back there are plenty of load-lashing points and a wipe clean floor. The Nemo will carry 2.5 cubic metres of cargo weighing up to 610kg.
So far the signs are good. The driver’s seat is big and supportive, although the mem sahib did complain about the passenger one’s hardness on a long journey recently.
It’s a nippy performer and great fun to drive as it’s small enough not to have to worry about overhangs and massive lengths.
Model: Citroën Nemo 1.4LX
Mileage to date: 4,551
Payload (kg): 610
Load volume (cubic metres): 2.5
Max power (bhp/rpm): 70/4,000
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 118/1,750
Fuel economy (comb): 62.8
CO2 emissions (g/k/m): 119
Price (ex-VAT): £9,515