What Car? says...
When the Mercedes Citan was first announced there were more than a few raised eyebrows. Why would a premium brand like Mercedes partner with Renault to make a van? The answer is simple: the Renault Kangoo on which the Citan based is one of the best-selling vans in Europe.
Mercedes is an expert in the large van segment where its Sprinter is among the class leaders, while its mid-sized Vito is also a fine choice. But although both are Mercedes’ own creations and not shared with any partners, the brand does have form when it comes to tapping into the expertise of others when entering a new sector; it’s X-Class pick-up truck is closely related to the Nissan Navara.
Power for the Citan comes from a 1.5-litre engine available as a 109 CDI producing 94bhp or 111 CDI with 114bhp. Both are paired to a six-speed manual gearbox and meet Euro-6d emission standards.
Citan vans come in two lengths – standard (L2) and long (L3) – but are only available at a single roof height. There is also a crew van version with up to seven seats, which Mercedes calls the Citan Tourer. Payloads of up to 932kg can be carried, while load space is up to 3.8 cubic metres.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The steering is one of the best features of the Citan, because it’s light yet responsive. However, in other respects the drive is a little rough around the edges.
Mercedes has tuned the Citan to its own preferences rather than relying on Renault’s suspension settings, but the result still isn’t as dynamic or smooth-riding as the Ford Transit Connect or the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo sister vans.
More positively, the six-speed gearbox has a smooth action and feels well matched to both the 94bhp and 114bhp engines.
We’d choose the latter, because the greater amount of torque that it produces helps you pull away more smoothly.