Citroen Nemo Multispace driven
* Small but practical * Choice of two engines * Priced from £9995...
Citroen Nemo MultispacePrice from: £9995
On sale: Now
You'll like: Low price; low running costs; practicality
You won't: Van-like looks; basic standard equipment
The Berlingo is bigger than it once was; the new C3 Picasso is priced rather optimistically. As Citron's other small MPVs become larger and dearer, in steps the no-frills Nemo Multispace as an entry-level option.
Don't expect sumptuous upholstery, shiny and intricate trim detailing or all the latest electronic driver aids and entertainment features. Instead, the Nemo fulfils the brief for basic transportation.
Choice of two engines
Bottom-line pricing starts at £9995 for the 75bhp 1.4i petrol version, but it's worth paying an extra £1000 for the 70bhp 1.4 HDi diesel and its better mid-range pulling power.
This takes 18.7 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill and tops out at 94mph but, in practice, it's adequate enough and not left standing at the traffic lights. It's even relatively quiet and unstressed at motorway speeds. More to the point, it returns 62.8mpg and emits just 119g/km of carbon dioxide, which puts it in tax band B. Insurance? Group 2E.
In the cabin
The Nemo Multispace isn't quite a full family-sized MPV and its rear seats are a tight fit for three. The 360-litre boot is deep, and although there is a total potential load space of 2500 litres, the overall length of the load-bay isn't that long.
The rear seats are fiddly and heavy to tumble or remove, too. So it's not quite as roomy and or versatile as it looks, although it does well for a vehicle thats shorter than 4m.
The cabin finish is plain and functional, with wipe-clean rubber mats, a PVC floor and black plastic for the dash.
On the road
The Nemo is narrow enough to slip easily through city traffic and it doesn't feel top-heavy to drive. Nor does the driver sit in an overly upright position.
In fact, this is a neat-handling little thing and it feels stable in corners. It also has a town-friendly tight turning circle and gives a great view of the road in all directions through its huge windscreen, flat tailgate glass and wide windows.
Although it shares its underpinnings with the Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper panel vans, refinement is generally good and the ride firm but smooth.
Buying and owning
As a step up from spartan, basic equipment Citron is offering just one specification level the Nemo Multispace comes with remote central locking, front electric windows, heated door mirrors and a CD player.
Air-conditioning is a £500 option, the worthwhile Road Pack (roof bars and front fog lights) an extra £200 and a SensoDrive auto gearbox a further £800. Only front and side airbags are available, however.
As an unpretentious all-rounder, the Nemo Multispace's main rival is its sister model, the Fiat Qubo, although that features Fiat's own 1.3 JTD Multijet diesel engine and is considerably more expensive.
However, the more versatile Nissan Note's only a little longer and more enjoyable to drive.
Cheap, cheerful and useful, but not quite as roomy as it looks