CommercialFleet

First drive: Mercedes-Benz Citan

Mercedes-Benz

Review

One thing that hasn’t changed is that curious handbrake from the Kangoo that features something akin to a spade handle on the end.

It’s annoying as it is right next to the 12 volt power take-off so if you have a sat-nav unit plugged in, the wire gets all tangled up with the brake lever when you try to use it.

On the plus side there’s a handy overhead parcel shelf and two coffee cup holders in the centre console.

In the back Mercedes-Benz offers a choice of barn doors or tailgate at no extra cost and a plastic load liner is slated to be standard spec, along with two side sliding doors.

There are also 10 load lashing eyes (a record in the sector we reckon), including four on the sides of the van where they are most useful, in addition to six slotted in the floor.

It all feels pretty well screwed together, although we did feel that the side sliding doors lacked that quality “thwunk” when slammed shut that emanates from the rival Volkswagen Caddy.

We tried long wheelbase versions in 75bhp and 110bhp guises and we reckon that the smaller engine is the fleet choice, especially if this van is to be used predominantly for urban use. Why would you need any more power?

It is on the road that the Germanic tweaks and twiddles come in to their own.

This van handles and feels like no Kangoo we’ve ever tested.

It’s whisper quiet and has ideally balanced power steering, slick gearchanges and pin-sharp handling that makes it a sheer pleasure to drive.

Verdict

We’re looking forward to a real power struggle in this sector next year as the Citan faces opposition from a brand new Ford Transit Connect, not to mention the new Vauxhall Vivaro/Renault Trafic plus the established Volkswagen Caddy, Citroën Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, Fiat Doblo Cargo, Vauxhall Combo et al. Let battle commence.

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.