Citroen Dispatch
Bold and distinctive face for the Citroen Dispatch
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Citroen Dispatch 2.0 HDi 120 Enterprise

What is it?

The Citroen Dispatch is Citroen’s all-new van to take on established rivals such as the Ford Transit Custom and Volkswagen Transporter.

Brand new from the ground up, the Citroen and sister vans the Peugeot Expert and Toyota Proace,  share the same EMP2 platform and are offered in the same wide variety, including XS, M and XL versions.

We’ve got the expected mid-range Dispatch best-seller, the 2.0-litre HDi Enterprise Medium version, to see how it compares to the established opposition.

 What’s hot

  • The Dispatch’s 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine, which boasts 120bhp and 340Nm of torque, plus the class-leading 53.3mpg figure and 139g/km CO2 emissions figure. On the road, this engine is a solid performer that’s happy to be revved, but majors on the low-down torque. As a result, it makes this Citroen van feel fast when taking off from junctions and traffic lights.
  • All Dispatch models are capable of carrying up to 1,400kgs of load, which is impressive. But even with a light load, on long trips we found the ride is impressively refined on the standard 16-inch steel wheels.
  • Okay, so the similarities between the Peugeot and Toyota sister vans are obvious, but we’d argue that the Citroen Dispatch is the boldest looker of the three. Why? Well it’s hard to miss its distinctive nose, which is dominated by those charismatic double-chevrons in the centre and the headlights with their detailed reflectors.
Citroen Dispatch
Very helpful rear camera display
  • Inside, could this be the most car-like driving position in a van? You don’t feel like you’re climbing up to get in the Dispatch and the horizontally-designed dashboard design continues the feeling when you’re there. Plus, we found the driving position particularly comfortable on long trips. It might have been an option, but we appreciated the head-up display, projecting the speed on to the windscreen that’s easy to read at a glance.
  • All-round visibility is generally good, but reversing was helped further on our test van with the fitment of rear sensors (£240) and the way they hook up with the rear camera which shows on the again, optional central touch-screen Connect Radio (£480) in the dashboard – very useful!
  • Our test Dispatch was in the expected most-popular trim for the UK market – It includes remote central locking with deadlocks, air-conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, power windows and mirrors.
  • In Medium form, the Dispatch shares the same 3,275mm wheelbase as the Long, with 5.3m3 load capacity. However, if it’s fitted with the clever Moduwork load through the bulkhead and seat, so that loads can come through into the cabin on the passenger side and increase load space to 5.8m3.
  • We like the solidly made, no frills approach to the Dispatch’s interior – it feels made to do hard work.
  • Our test Dispatch was fitted with the Easy Entry Pack, which admittedly is costly at £1,350. However, we reckon it’s a worthwhile option for the convenience it gives. As by waggling your foot under the rear bumper, the side doors open – great if you’re carrying big parcels!
  • Along with the impressive fuel economy, the Citroen Dispatch will be cheap to run with long 20,000 mile service intervals.

What’s not

  •  That 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine might be pokey, but the Dispatch’s drive is distinctly average.  The steering is over-light and the six-speed manual transmission lacks finesse.
Citroen Dispatch
Like the dash – but some ergonomic issues
  • The Dispatch’s standard touchscreen might be useful when connected with a rear camera, but it’s fiddly in use and on the Enterprise version that we drove it lacked digital station connectivity.
  • We like the Dispatch’s dashboard design, but we take issue with some of the ergonomics. For example the heater controls are low down the dashboard and are difficult to read in everyday use. Plus we’d also question the position of the start/stop button which is on the left hand side of the steering column, when logically it should be on the right!
  • Is a start/stop button on the Dispatch really necessary? They are usually fitted as part of a keyless system, but with this Citroen van, you still have to get the fob out of your pocket to lock and unlock the Dispatch.
  • The Dispatch seems a safe van, it’s just a shame that so many of the clever features are expensive options.

The Verdict

Citroen has made a giant leap forward with the new Dispatch compared with its predecessor. A strong performer, this Citroen should be cheap to run with the impressive economy and long service intervals.

What it lacks in driving finesse, the Dispatch makes up for in comfort and clever technology – it’s just a shame that so many innovative features are costly options!

Lowdown on the Citroen Dispatch 2.0 HDi 120 Enterprise:

On the road price (ex VAT): £25,398
Load length: 1,835mm
Load width (max): 1,628mm
Load height: 1,397mm
Load capacity: 5,300 litres
Payload: 1,487kg
GVW: 2,660kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked: 2,500kg/ n/a
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel
Power/torque: 120bhp/340Nm
Economy (claimed combined): 53.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 139g/km
Citroen Dispatch
Sliding side door opens when foot waved under rear bumper

 

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