What Car? says...
We won't start this Citroën SpaceTourer review with a dodgy Star Trek reference – although it is very tempting. Instead, we’ll focus on the kind of space this MPV excels at: space for loads of people.
The SpaceTourer gives you up to nine seats (various set-ups are available), trumping all those MPVs and SUVs that are maxed out when seven people are on board. That makes it the logical next step for any family that's managed to outgrown their Volkswagen Touran or Ford Galaxy.
There's a simple reason Citroën has been able to make it such an ace of space: if you look beyond the fancy alloy wheels and leather seats of the test vehicle in these photographs, it’s really a van underneath.
That puts the SpaceTourer up against other options in the van-based MPV category (the Ford Tourneo Connect, Mercedes V-Class and Volkswagen Caravelle, for example). As with its rivals, you can choose from a range of diesel engines and have a manual or automatic gearbox.
That's not all, though – there's also the ë-SpaceTourer. As that little 'e' suggests, it's an electric vehicle (EV), replacing diesel power with a motor fed by a battery tucked away under the floor. You can read all about that version in our separate Citroën ë-SpaceTourer review.
Anyway, back to the standard SpaceTourer, and you might be wondering whether it's the perfect family companion, or simply too big for its own good. We'll let you know in this review.
We'll help you work out which seating option is likely to suit your needs best, too. There's a six or eight-seat layout that allows people to face each other, plus forward-facing five or nine seat set-ups.
We'll compare the Citroën SpaceTourer with its key rivals, rating its performance, passenger and boot space, quality and value for money. We'll also tell you which trim and engine combination is the best.
Once you're ready to buy a new car of any make and model, make sure you get it for the best price by searching our free What Car? New Car Buying service. It could save you thousands of pounds, and features loads of new Citroën SpaceTourer deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Citroën SpaceTourer is available with a choice of three diesel engines (we've reviewed the electric ë-SpaceTourer separately here).
Kicking off the range is the 118bhp 1.5-litre diesel that comes attached to a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s a fair option to keep the price low, but you’ll have to accept its leisurely acceleration time of 12.0sec to get from 0-62mph. That only gets worse if you're carrying loads of people, of course.
We’d recommend spending a little more to get the 142bhp 2.0-litre diesel with a manual gearbox. It gives more low-end power, so you don't have to work it as hard to get up to speed. Performance will only ever be adequate, but the SpaceTourer isn’t the kind of vehicle you’d want to hustle along a country road anyway.
The final option Citroën gives you is a 2.0 diesel with 175bhp and a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox. It certainly makes motorway work easier, and thanks to the additional power, can do 0-62mph in 10.6sec. The automatic gearbox changes more smoothly than the dual-clutch auto in the Volkswagen Caravelle too. The trouble is that this engine is only available in the top Flair trim level or longer XL versions, making it a very expensive choice.
Refinement is good in both 2.0 diesels, with little vibration and hushed manners when you’re at a cruise. Wind and road noise aren’t bad by van standards, although the Mercedes V-Class is much better in this regard. The roof of the SpaceTourer doesn’t seem to have much soundproofing, though, because you hear loads of tinny noise in the rain.
If you’re ambling along, the SpaceTourer is a comfortable companion for the most part. Smooth but undulating roads are soaked up with a gentle waft that suits the relaxed nature of the driving experience. The calm is shattered when you run over broken road surfaces or expansion joints, with the SpaceTourer bobbling around noticeably.
When you reach a corner, there’s no mistaking that this is a van underneath. The steering is quite slow, and there’s an awful lot of body roll if you corner with even moderate enthusiasm. Grip levels are lower than in a regular MPV, with the front end always gently washing wide if you’re going too quickly.
The interior layout, fit and finish
The first thing you’ll notice when you clamber into the Citroën SpaceTourer is just how high up you sit. Even with the height-adjustable driver’s seat on its lowest setting, you tower over SUVs for a truly commanding view of the road.
Visibility is, for the most part, very good, thanks to the SpaceTourer’s boxy shape. Only the disappearing nose makes it tricky to park, because you’re never quite sure where the front bumper is. To help out, all models get rear parking sensors, while Flair gets front parking sensors and a rear-view camera system.
When you look around the interior, it’s clear that you’re in what is basically a van. There may be lashings of chrome-effect trim and even a leather-wrapped steering wheel on Flair models, but the acres of hard plastic give the game away. The Volkswagen Caravelle has a smarter interior with some soft touch plastics (but then it does cost more).
All versions of the SpaceTourer get a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, a USB socket and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring (so you can use your phone's apps through the screen). Sat-nav is optional on the entry-level trim and standard on high-end Flair. It’s a fairly easy system to navigate, but some of the icons are small and the screen can be a bit sluggish to respond to commands.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Unusually for an MPV (but not for a van), the Citroën SpaceTourer is available in two lengths.
The smaller M option is available with two or three rows of seats (all suitable for adults) but only has a small boot if there's a third row. The bigger XL can seat three rows of people in comfort, with a decent amount of room for luggage behind them.
The M and XL both feel much more spacious than the Ford Galaxy and Volkswagen Touran. Most versions come as standard with five seats (two in the front, three in the back), with three seats optional in the third row.
Business Lounge models get two seats for the second row as standard with a sliding central armrest and the option of pop-out tray tables. Business versions get the option of a three-seat front bench to allow up to nine people to travel together.
The second and third-row seats can be slid backwards and forwards, and can also be reclined to prioritise space or comfort. If you really want the maximum space, the second and third rows can be removed entirely, for a load area that’s as cavernous as – surprise, surprise – a van’s. (The seats are pretty hefty, so we’d recommend getting a friend to help you remove them.)
The SpaceTourer comes with some of the biggest door pockets we’ve ever come across, plus two gloveboxes, a cubby on the top of the dash and a handy shelf by the USB port that’s the perfect size for a smartphone.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
There’s no doubting that the Citroën SpaceTourer gives you an awful lot of motor for your money. Our favourite version is the Feel trim with the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit. That gets you a 7.0in touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, a DAB radio, auto lights and wipers, air-con and rear parking sensors.
Flair is too expensive to recommend, although Business trim might be worth considering if you need nine seats. In terms of length, the XL can be a little unwieldy, so unless you need the extra luggage space, stick to M.
Running costs might be a little higher than you might expect, given the relatively small diesel engines. The SpaceTourer is a heavy thing, and CO2 emissions range from 168g/km to 187g/km depending on engine – which is worth bearing in mind if you're a business user. Fuel economy will be worse than the likes of the Ford Galaxy or Volkswagen Touran, but on a par with similar sized van-based MPVs.
The SpaceTourer should be commended for its five-star Euro NCAP rating, with higher scores than the Galaxy in all but the pedestrian protection category. The Mercedes V-Class is better at protecting adults, though.
You’ll need to pay extra for the Safety Pack to get automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, speed-limit recognition and a driver attention alert. Blind-spot monitoring comes as part of the Visio Pack on Business and Feel models
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|RRP price range
|£36,460 - £55,880
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|MPG range across all versions
|40.6 - 40.6
|Available doors options
|3 years / 60000 miles
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£73 / £3,261
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£146 / £6,522