Make no mistake about it, the new Citroën Relay is a BIG launch for the French maker.
Faced with a deluge of new launches against it this year and a new aggressive sales campaign by Volkswagen, the Relay just has to be a success.
One way of ensuring lively sales is by introducing a unique selling point and here Citroën has pulled an ace out of its sleeve – the introduction of sat-nav and a stolen vehicle tracking system as standard across the range.
It’s a bold move and one which puts the Relay in a class of its own.
No other panel van on sale in the UK offers this feature.
There’s a lot more than sat-nav to the new Relay of course – a bold new design, a fresh set of engines and a host of new features such as extended service intervals to 25,000 miles, lower insurance ratings and enhanced residual values for a start.
For the first time also, Citroën has gone above the magic 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight with an offering of 4.0 tonnes and there are four lengths and three roof heights.
But it doesn’t end there.
There is a choice of warranties – two years/unlimited miles or three years/100,000 miles and a choice of more than 70 models – panel vans, window vans, combis, chassis-cabs and crew-cabs.
The front end of the van has been completely reworked and the door handles have been made bigger and easier to use by either hand, while there are extra rubbing strips and new rear light clusters, together with a non-slip step built in to the rear bumper.
The rear doors have an option of 270 degree opening.
Under the bonnet, engine choice is now either 2.2-litres or 3.0-litres, with power outputs of 100bhp, 120bhp and 160bhp, with torque ratings of 184lb-ft, 236lb-ft and 295lb-ft.
Among the standard spec items are a driver’s airbag (passenger, lateral and curtain bags optional), ABS with emergency brake assist, remote central locking, deadlocks, an immobiliser, electric windows, electric/heated mirrors and a radio/CD player.
Options include ESP traction control with hill-start assist, a perimetric alarm and a driver’s suspension seat.
Payloads range from 1,140kg to 1,995kg and load volumes range from eight cubic metres to 17 cubic metres. Panel van prices range from £15,150 to £24,850 while chassis-cabs start at £13,750 (all prices ex-VAT).