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Citroen_Dispatch_review
In this long wheelbase, high roof form the Dispatch is only a whisker away from big brother Relay in terms of load volume – and it does much more to a gallon of diesel

Citroen Dispatch L2H2 125bhp

What is it?

When is a medium panel van not a medium panel van?

When it’s the vehicle on test here, we reckon, because the Citroen Dispatch L2H2 (that means long wheelbase high roof to you and me) is so big that it nudges right on to the next size up, the Citroen Relay.

So why, you ask, does Citroen bother producing this van when it is virtually the same size as the smallest Relay?

Aha, we reply, there are a few good reasons in fact.

For starters the Dispatch is £400 cheaper to buy than the smallest Relay, it uses a lot less fuel (62.8 mpg against 37.7 mpg on the combined cycle) and if you are of an environmental bent, it uses less metal and therefore takes up fewer of the earth’s resources.

Is that reason enough?

Citroen_Dispatch_review
Four fully opening doors are a feature across the range so access to the load area is excellent (the pic is of the low roof model)

This middle of the roader has been around since 1997 and has been treated to a series of relaunches and nips and tucks along the way – and it also makes an appearance as the Peugeot Expert, Fiat Scudo and Toyota Proace too.

Our test model came with the highest-powered 2.0-litre turbosdiesel 125bhp powerplant. The Dispatch is also available with a 1.6-litre with 90bhp and 95bhp outputs.

Our model weighed in at £19,470 ex-VAT but we also had the Enterprise pack featuring reversing sensors, steel bulkhead, air-con and electric heated rear view mirrors, plus cruise control and a driver operated speed limiter, bringing the total to £20,510.

To be fair it isn’t quite as big as the Relay (seven cubic metres of loadspace against eight for the bigger van) but as most vans are never loaded to the gills we don’t reckon anyone will notice in real life.

 

Citroen_Dispatch_review
To keep up with all the new vans out there, Citroen is loading the Dispatch with extras – like the Trafficmaster sat nav and stolen van tracker

What’s hot?

  • Well that amazing mpg figure for starters. Over 60mpg for a van this size is extraordinary.
  • With 125bhp under its bonnet this van fairly flies along, although we didn’t manage to try it out up any steep hills with a full load on board.
  • To keep it fresh against some red hot opposition such as the Ford Transit Custom and the new Vauxhall Vivaro/Renault Trafic, Citroen is now offering a range of new gadgets such as height-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, a tailgate, rear air suspension and a grip control pack. Can’t be bad!
  • And don’t forget that the Dispatch also comes with a free natty Trafficmaster sat nav and stolen tracking unit, unlike any of its rivals.

 

What’s not?

  • The Dispatch is an ageing product and to be honest ride and handling aren’t up to the newer rivals.
  • The gearchange on our test van was a bit clunky and the steering a little wooly. Mind you to be fair, most drivers won’t notice and will be quite happy with what’s on offer.
  • The driver’s seat lacked any lumbar support. It’s not particularly important for short haul stuff but anyone who undertakes lots of long journeys may find themselves with a twinge in the back.
  • As we always mention, official fuel test figures are calibrated in a shed on a rolling road, so the mpg figure for this van will be the same as for the low roof equivalent which is blatantly nonsense once you get out on the road with a stiff wind blowing against you. So don’t be disappointed and come crying to us if you don’t manage to get 60mpg in real life.

 

Citroen_Dispatch_review
The Citroen Dispatch is good value, goes like stink, and although you won’t see the official 63mpg, it’s still a frugal performer

Business Vans verdict

An all-round performer at a decent price but we think Citroen will soon have to relaunch this van to keep up with some stunning new rivals.

 

What you need to know

On the road price ex VAT (as tested):£20,510
Load length:2584mm
Load width (max):1600mm
Load height (max):1750mm
Load capacity:7 cu metres
Payload:1200kg
GVW:3000kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked:2000kg/750kg
Engine:2.0-litre 4-cyl turbodiesel
Power/Torque:125bhp/236lb-ft
Economy (combined):62.8mpg
CO2 emissions:183g/km

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