Mercedes-Benz enters 1-tonne segment with premium new Citan van

The all-new Mercedes-Benz second-generation, entry-level van, Citan has just gone on sale from today with a premium offering. I drove all available variants yesterday on a range of roads and surfaces, both empty and with a load.

I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of both the 95 and 116 bhp versions (similar engine to the A-Class), even when laden. The fully adjustable leather steering, great wing mirrors (practically eliminating blind-spots, ride comfort and overall premium feel, adds up to a very nice package.

There is no bare-bones entry model, rather a well-specified starter version priced from €23,245 plus VAT called the ‘Pro’ version. Its arrival marks the entry by Mercedes-Benz in Ireland into what their commercial vehicles sales manager, Fergus Conheady rightly describes as the ‘highly-competitive’ 1-tonne panel van segment.

Buoyed by the popularity of their large-capacity Sprinter and medium-size Vito series, the introduction of the all-new Citan into the line-up of Mercedes-Benz vans will create what Conheady believes will be ‘a strong premium product offering at all points in the panel van market’.

“With its compact exterior and ‘impressively-spacious’ interior, Citan is expected to achieve sales in sizeable numbers supported by a dedicated and ambitious dealer network,” Conheady added.

In being chosen joint winner of last year’s International Van of the Year award, alongside the Renault Kangoo, the jurors are reported to have been influenced by ‘its numerous safety features’ and by the inclusion of the MBUX infotainment system. That is the much-vaunted driver assistance device drawn from the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. In addition, the Citan has received a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety standard.

Poised to extend Mercedes-Benz’s appeal amongst buyers who seek a holistic product proposition, Conheady also sees the Citan attracting ‘strong interest’ from SMEs, urban delivery users, small trades and the wider services markets.

The premium German manufacturer says that the Citan is a Mercedes-Benz through-and-through. Stylish in design, and with an outer appearance that echoes its larger siblings, Sprinter and Vito, with hints of B-Class and other models from the passenger car side, its high-quality appeal is reflected throughout.

Impressive is its level of interior comfort with a completely changed dashboard, car-like steering wheel and seating, and the standard MBUX infotainment system and 7-inch driver information screen. There is also a good rear-view camera as standard. Door bins can hold 1.5-litre bottles while lidded storage is provided on top of the dashboard and under the centre armrest. Two trim levels are offered – the PRO and PRO +.

The €23,245 plus VAT is the ‘Pro’ price with the ‘Pro +’ adding an extra €1,500 plus VAT. The Pro + gains you Alloy wheels, LED Headlamps (similar to the V-Class), Colour coded bumpers and mirrors, keyless go, and electronic parking brake. There are eight body colours to choose from, with metallic paint adding €600.

Initially available in standard wheelbase length, an extra-long wheelbase will follow late this year. The Citan is 4,498 mm long with a gross vehicle weight of 2,235 kgs. Towing capacity is up to 1.5 tonnes and drawbar load is 75 kg. Load capacity in the panel van is up to 2.9 m3 with a load compartment length of 1,806mm, large enough to fit two Euro pallets.

The easy-to-access panel van can be equipped with up to two sliding side doors, giving an opening clearance 451mm wide by 1059 mm high. The rear loading sill is 59 cm high and rear doors can be blocked at a 90-degree angle or moved through 180 degrees to the sides of the vehicle.

Power comes from a 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine in two power ratings – a 95hp, 110CDI and a 116hp, 112CDI. Both are Euro 6d compliant, feature ECO start/stop function and have a claimed WLTP combined fuel economy figures of 5.6 l/100km or just over 50 mpg.

Coupled with six-speed manual transmission, models are also available with seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). The latter version adds €2,500.

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