Mercedes-Benz Citan CDI109 Long Sport
Mercedes-Benz decided to enter the small van arena simply by getting Renault to rebadge its well-proven Kangoo van while offering three body sizes to cover business users’ requirements up to the full-size panel van dimensions of its Vito range. We tried the Mercedes-Benz Citan CDI109 Long Sport.
What is it?
The Citan Long Sport is actually a medium compact version comparable to a Citroen Berlingo or Peugeot Partner in load area offering a load bay length of 1,753mm and a volume of 3.1m3. Renault’s trusty 1.5-litre turbo-diesel is used in various power outputs including the CDI109 middle-of-the-road version we tested with 90hp and 200Nm of torque.
- Its stand-out feature has to be the superb ride with suspension specially tuned to Mercedes-Benz requirements. It really does drive like a well-sorted executive car, soaking up the bumps while remaining very composed on fast bends aided and abetted by ESC stability control as standard. For businesses dealing in delicate goods, such as my wife’s wedding cake business, this alone makes a major sales pitch.
- That executive car feel carries on to the high specification sound system that would embarrass many normal car systems in this price point.
- High speed motorway driving is also enjoyable with a surprisingly quiet cabin environment with low levels of wind noise enhanced by the full steel insulating bulkhead.
- Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio streaming, while fairly old-school, is faultlessly reliable and, once set, does not need reconnecting as some other systems are prone to do.
- Cabin space is generous for this size of van with plenty of leg and elbow room for both driver and passenger.
- The Citan Long comes with two sliding side doors as standard for extra load/unload flexibility in tight urban road environments.
- The Sport model builds on standard features including adjustable speed limiter/cruise control, heated electric exterior mirrors, daytime running lights, intelligent hazard light activation, three-year unlimited mileage warranty, with 16-inch multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, colour-keyed bumpers, door mirrors and tail-light trim, air conditioning, leather-trimmed steering wheel, sport mats and badging, chromed grille, daytime running light trim, sidebars and tailgate trim.
- The Citan Sports visual embellishments plus that evocative three-pointed star brings a touch of class to every business delivery.
- The bulkhead, while good for comfort, does limit the load potential for those with need of the occasional longer capacity where the passenger space could be put to use.
- On comfort, the passenger seat has no height adjustment and its relationship with the overly deep glovebox can leave a larger passenger banging their knees against the offending item’s hard plastic edge.
- There is just one cup-holder sat in a hugely wasted space between the two seats that could have been used to house more storage, a cool box or a work-pad area with more cup-holders!
- We found the brakes were weighted with too much of a delay on our test vehicle leading to a couple of scary moments when a quick dab had not been enough to knock the cruise control off.
- The near £2,000 Sport upgrade does not include a sat-nav or, possibly more importantly for a van that is likely to spend much of its time on congested city streets, no rear parking sensors.
- Real-world fuel consumption on our 800-mile test of motorway and city driving returned a disappointing 43.6mpg – way below the factory claimed combined figure of 61.4mpg.
- The cost of the Citan Long Sport at £16,740 excluding VAT is difficult to justify for most business users versus the Renault-badged equivalent Kangoo Maxi at nearly £3,000 less.
Verdict on Mercedes-Benz Citan CDI109 Long Sport
In pure cost terms, it’s difficult to recommend the Citan Long Sport against a wealth of other capable vans in this sector.
That said, not all businesses are just about the bottom line when it comes to logistics. Those that need, or desire, that superb ride and comfort, a wonderful sound system to keep a smile on the driver’s face, and the glamorous arrival at a job where your brand image is vital (and the cakes intact), it’s easy to see how this van could be worth the extra.
Lowdown on Mercedes-Benz Citan CDI109 Long Sport:
|On the road price (ex VAT):||£16,740|
|Load width (max):||1,700mm|
|Towing capacity braked/unbraked:||1,050kg/675kg|
|Engine:||1.5-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel|
|Economy (claimed combined):||61.4mpg|