Mercedes-Benz Citan 109 CDI Long
What is it?
THE new Citan completes the Mercedes-Benz van line-up, sitting alongside the larger Mercedes Vito and Mercedes Sprinter to fill the German manufacturer’s vacancy for a small, dedicated delivery van for the urban environment.
Although it’s based on the Renault Kangoo, Mercedes has done impressive work to make it worthy of the three-pointed star on the front.
Three lengths – Compact (3.94m), Long (4.32m) and Extra-Long (4.71m) – will be available. The extra lengths are in the wheelbase and not extensions of bodies, which helps maintain the driving dynamics.
The Mercedes Citan will also be available in three model variants, with three direct-injection turbo-diesel engines putting out 75hp to 110hp, plus a supercharged 114hp petrol engine.
And Dualiner and Traveliner variants are both equipped with a second row of seats allowing a crew of five to be carried.
Our test vehicle was fitted with the 90hp engine. It has bags of torque delivered smoothly across the rev range, propelling the Citan rapidly up to speed and pulling strongly at even at low revs in third gear.
The gearbox is pleasingly precise, but this model – revving at around 3000rpm at 70mph – is crying out for a sixth gear.
The 109CDI Extra Long Panel Van, equipped with the more powerful 110hp engine, will have a six-speed box. This is due in around three months, as is the Compact model.
On the road, the Citan impresses. The steering is accurate and sensitive, the ride is outstanding and the handling is taut. According to Mercedes, the suspension, damping and stabiliser bars have all been carefully attuned.
At normal road speeds, the cab seemed quiet enough and I also found the seating very comfortable.
On the downside, the interior is slightly disappointing with swathes of plastic and surprisingly little in the way of stowage for paperwork or personal effects, although the Citan does have is a full-width overhead shelf.
The two cup holders in the transmission tunnel seem impractically positioned given the operation of the handbrake. Likewise, the handbrake lever could hamper the 12V socket.
That aside, the Citan comes with a generous level of equipment as standard.
This includes Electric Stability Program ADAPTIVE ESP, which takes the vehicle load into consideration and combines the functions of the Anti-locking Brakes System ABS, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) which counters over- and understeer, and Traction Control System (TCS).
It also includes Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) and drive and braking torque control.
And Start-off Assist, daytime running lamps, central locking, electrically operated windows, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity and driver airbag all come as standard. But air conditioning is an optional extra.
Loadspace access is provided by twin asymmetrically split rear doors and two sliding side doors (standard on all Citans). A tailgate can be specified in place of the rear doors. And a plastic floor covering is also standard.
Additional extras on the test model were: electrically folding exterior mirrors (£119); light and rain sensor (£138); ultrasonic reversing aid (£275); air-conditioning (£872); and centre armrest with storage compartment (£92).
- The 108 CDI Compact is available from £13,095
- The 109 CDI Compact Trade Edition is available from £195/month
- The 108 CDI Long is available from £260/month
- The 108 CDI Compact BlueEFFICIENCY is available from £245/month
- High-torque responsive power units
- Impressive ride and handling
- Packed with a high level of desirable standard equipment
- 24,000 miles service interval
- Option packages – Drivers Pack, Safety Pack, Appearance Pack, Cargo Pack and Flexibility Pack – can be specified to fine-tune to your requirements
- Slightly disappointing interior, with plasticky feel
- Stowage could be better
- Handbrake position could prove awkward
- Six-speed gearbox not available across the range
Business Vans verdict
The Mercedes Citan is an impressive van that feels well built, and has the ride, handling and a power unit to make driving great fun. It’s also packed with equipment as standard that would be costly extras on some makes.
It’s let down a little by the interior finish, but all in all, this should be a hit for Mercedes-Benz, especially for SMEs already running its larger stablemates but in need of a small city van.
What you need to know
|On the road price ex-VAT||£15,918|
|Load width (max)||1,219mm|
|Load capacity||3.1cu m|
|Towing capacity braked/unbraked||1,050/750kg|
|Engine||1,461cc 4-cyl diesel|