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The Citan is the most compact of the Mercedes van range – based on a Renault Kangoo but re-engineered to meet the requirements of the three-pointed star

Mercedes-Benz Citan 109 CDI Compact Wheelbase

What is it?

Mercedes-Benz introduced the Citan to complete its van line-up, filling the gap below Sprinter and Vito as a compact delivery van for towns and cities. It’s based on the Renault Kangoo, but the Mercedes Citan has been extensively re-engineered to ensure it does justice to the badge.

It comes in three lengths – Compact (3.94m), Long (4.32m) and Extra-Long (4.71m) – and in three model variants, with three direct-injection turbo-diesel engines putting out 75hp to 110hp, plus a supercharged 114hp model.

Our review vehicle was the Compact model. With 2.4cu m of load space, it’s comparable with the Fiat Fiorino, Peugeot Bipper and Citroen Nemo.

And, although the Mercedes Citan is based on the Renault Kangoo, the compact Kangoo model was withdrawn from the UK towards the end of 2011.

Power for this version comes from a 90hp engine which offers decent helpings of torque across the rev range. It pulls strongly and spurs the Citan quickly up to speed.

Quiet and comfortable in here, and the Citan is very well equipped – rather a lot of plastic though

There are two manual gearboxes in the Mercedes Citan range, depending on the power output.  Both the lower powered 108CDI and 109CDI both come equipped with a five-speed transmission, while the more powerful 111CDI and the 112 petrol come as standard with the 6-speed gearbox.

We’ve tried both and the six-speeder feels more comfortable cruising at 70mph on motorways – it’s worth considering this version if your Citan is going to be subject to higher mileages or carry more weight.

Mercedes’ re-engineering means that the Citan impresses on the road. The ride is outstanding and the driving experience is all pleasure.

The cab seems quiet enough and the seating is very comfortable. But the interior is let down by a swathe of plastic. It doesn’t have the feel of a Mercedes.

Stowage could be better, although the Citan does have is a full-width overhead shelf.

There are two cup holders the transmission tunnel but they seem poorly positioned given the operation of the handbrake lever, which could also interfere with use of the van’s 12V socket.

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