MERCEDES’ new Citan may be based upon the humble Renault Kangoo – but it has already caused a stir in the marketplace since it was introduced in the spring. An upmarket Kangoo with a posher badge it may be, but many operators like the sound of it.
As is Mercedes’ practice, the van range is supplemented by a brace of passenger-carrying variants called Dualiner and Traveliner that are aimed at the crew bus and dual-role (social and business use) market sector.
The Extra long-wheelbase 109 CDI Blue Efficiency is pitched at the mid- end of the range, although with certain options our test example (including VAT) still topped a hefty £19,000.
The folding-rear-bench-seat option is part of what’s called the Flexibility Pack, costing £719. A clever sturdy folding wire mesh grill automatically swings into play once the seat is folded down for full van use, but rear passengers get a pretty poor short straw deal with minimal leg room and a bolt upright rear seat that’s only tolerable for short journeys as a result.
It’s a shame that the design couldn’t allow for a split-rear-seat seating plan so passengers could also be accommodated in “van mode” as is possible if the Flexibility Pack isn’t specified.
The Citan is more than a glorified Kangoo. Mercedes engineers retuned the suspension and engine and most of these very welcome improvements are to be found on the new Renault, which now ironically offers a 48-month warranty over the German’s three-year plan.
It also quotes 25,000 mile service intervals against 24,000 (originally 18,000 miles) for the Citan – expect to see more jostling for position over the coming years…
Having yet to test the new Kangoo, we can’t comment on which is the best of the pair; it will be pretty close as you’d expect, and the final choice may come down to individual deals and preferences.
Mercedes-Benz claims Citan resale values (and so leasing plans) will be superior and more attractive purely thanks to the German’s famed name, and it stresses that like-for-like price comparisons with a similarly kitted out Renault can make the Citan similarly priced. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to use a Merc for work?
VAN Mercedes-Benz Citan 109 CDi Blue Efficiency Dualiner
SERVICE INTERVALS 24,000 miles
LOAD l: 1,337-2,137mm/ w: 1,219mm/ h: 1,128 mm
PAYLOAD 755 kg
MAX TOWING LIMIT 1,050 kg
ECONOMY 65.7 mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS 112 g/km