Citroen Relay 30 L1H1 100 long-termer (3)


By the time you read this article, our long-term Relay will be back with its maker after a flawless six-month stint.

And what a cracking vehicle it turned out to be.

We piled around 10,000 miles on the clock in that time and the van never failed to impress, with its 37mpg fuel economy figure and its generally pleasing road manners.

There are many reasons why we’ll all miss this sturdy stalwart and one of them is that natty little satellite-navigation unit that comes as standard.

Not only is it a sat-nav unit but it warns of Gatso cameras ahead too and it’s amazing how quickly you get used to relying on it.

I’m not saying I buzz around the country breaking speed limits but – like everyone – my right foot is prone to playing up every now and then without me realising.

The unit is easy to use, too. As a committed technophobe I simply refuse to spend hours poring over a manual, working out how to use these pesky little so-and-sos.

But with the Citroën unit, you simply hit the little envelope on the screen (it’s a touchscreen one), tap in the postcode of your destination and hit ‘Go’.

As it is linked to the excellent Trafficmaster system in the UK, it will also guide you carefully round any major hold-ups ahead, unlike some of the little gizmos you buy in the shops.

Now that’s what I call useful.

Then there’s that fabulous driver’s seat that seems to mould itself to every contour of the body.

You’d imagine that all vans have good driver’s seats but believe me they don’t.

Even our local Citroën dealer came in for praise.

Readers will remember that a spat with a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – in which the Sprinter came second – resulted in a chance for us to test Kent Elms Citroën of Southend-on-Sea.

We were provided with a replacement vehicle while the rear doors were repaired and the dealer experience proved very satisfactory – politeness and courtesy ruled throughout.

We had the odd grumble.

As with all other vans on the market nowadays, the lights in the business end of this vehicle are pathetic, as I discovered when I tried to load the van in the dark one evening.

And the curious position of the handbrake – between the driver’s seat and the door, but poking out at an angle – meant that on one occasion I nearly had the seat ripped out of my trousers when I jumped out and caught them on the end of the lever.

But we’d certainly give rave reviews to the Relay.

It’s a snazzy looker and on the road it has impeccable manners and plenty of power.

The 100bhp and 184lb-ft of torque is delivered in such a way that the van feels more powerful and even loaded, and on some steepish inclines, it never really struggled.

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.