The Citroën Relay has always been one of the more stylish and comfortable heavy panel vans available in the UK.
Sharing its underpinnings with the Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato – although the Ducato has different engines – the Relay has just been facelifted to compete with the new Ford Transit. So exactly what’s new with the Relay?
There’s a new grille, daytime running lamps are standard with LEDs as an option, different bumpers and two circular recesses for the front fog lamps. There’s also a new steering wheel and the dashboard gets a makeover to provide a more upmarket appearance.
Underneath, there have been a series of changes which promise to raise body rigidity, improve durability and lower noise levels. Some of the high stress areas such as sliding side doors have been beefed up to improve their longevity.
Under the bonnet is a 2.2-litre turbodiesel power plant offering 110hp, 130hp or 150hp, while a 3.0-litre unit produces 180hp, although this is unlikely to be a big fleet seller.
These units have been modified to give up to 15% better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
Electronic stability control now comes as standard and there are several other safety systems available such as anti-slip regulation, a lane departure warning system, tyre pressure monitoring system, hill start assist, hill descent control and curtain airbags.
Our test model was the long wheelbase high roof model, which has a load volume of 13 cubic metres and a power output of 130hp.
It was fitted with equipment such as a lane departure warning system at £300 and a reversing camera at £225. The camera is handy but I’d have been just as happy with the standard reversing sensors.
The side mirrors are large and themselves give a good view of what’s behind.
The cab of the Relay has always been a comfortable place in which to spend a working day and the seats are pretty much best in class, with plenty of lumbar support and adjustment in all directions.
One big plus point with the Relay is the free Teletrac sat-nav and stolen tracking unit. It’s a gem of a unit in which you can hit a button and speak with an operative at Teletrac HQ in Oxfordshire and get all sorts of useful information.
For a fee it can also be linked up to various other fleet management functions, fulfilling many of the functions of an expensive telematics solution.
In the back, the high roof means that adults can stand up straight and there are now of 15 load-lashing eyes, some dotted along the cargo area at waist height.
I think the 130hp unit is about right for a van of this size, which is likely to undertake some pretty heavy work in its fleet life.