Your location:

Citroen Relay Enterprise (2013 - ) van review

 

Citroën Relay Enterprise (2013 -    ) van review

Citroën Relay 35 HDi 130 L3H2 Enterprise review

By John Fife

£25,090

Verdict 4.4 out of 5

When it comes to big vans, the extra high roof, long wheelbase Citroën  Relay is a belter. It may not be the prettiest pup in the litter, but no-one can dispute its sheer practicality. Just move the bullocks to one end of the van and there’s room for a barn dance at the other end. OK, that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration, but it’s sheer size makes it ideal for a mobile workshop as well as a volume carrier.

 

Pros

TrafficMaster as standard

Well thought out cab

Huge loadspace

 

Cons

Handbrake position

It’s over 2 metres wide

14.14 metre turning circle

 

1. Exterior

With a blunt front, flat back and slab sides, the Citroën  L3H2 can only be described as handsome in a ‘Desperate Dan’ kind of way. On the other hand, those acres of tinwork provide the perfect backdrop for a bit of signwritten advertising while it will undoubtedly be big enough for people to notice! And with a vehicle of this size, those big rounded front bumpers, substantial rear bumpers with step, and plastic cladding on the flanks will be needed.

Our rating: 4

 

2. Interior

If the van is a belter, the cab is a cracker. The seats are wide and comfy, the dashboard is full of cubby holes and storage slots and the doors have deep pockets. In fact the central storage dropdown box will accommodate a laptop computer and it has a built-in USB connector. The pop-up clipboard on the top of the dash might appear gimmicky, but it is extremely useful for pinning lists and travel instructions. In the same way, the back panel of the central seat folds down to reveal a tray and two cupholders for civilised lunchbreaks in laybys. There are just two issues. The handbrake is sited on the right hand side of the driver’s seat which means that it can be quite difficult to release the lever fully with the door shut without rattling knuckles on the door trim. Secondly the over-windscreen shelf projects sufficiently for those over six feet tall to give it the occasional headbutt, although tall drivers will soon learn to duck. Despite that, it’s still a very good cab.

Our rating: 4

 

3. Practicality

The cab has a high floor over the front wheel drivetrain, engine and gearbox, but there is a decent man-sized footstep behind the wide doors which makes access easy. It’s the same with the loadbox. This being a FWD van, the floor is quite low and lower than many of its rivals courtesy of 15 inch wheels as opposed to the 16 inch jobs favoured by others. Naturally a big van gets big doors which makes loading and unloading so much easier while the rear bumper has a built in footstep. However, the van’s sheer physical bulk means that it won’t suit everyone, so make sure it fits in your yard before buying one. It’s over 2 metres wide – and that’s with the door mirrors folded. Another neat touch is the door handle design. At first glance the upright handles look odd, but that means they can be opened by either hand if carrying a toolbox. 

Our rating: 5

 

4. Ride and handling

There are few vans which offer a more comforting ride, courtesy of the well cushioned seats and the independent front strut coil-sprung suspension with dual rate semi-elliptic springs at the rear. This offers an equally cosseting ride whether running empty or loaded. The wide track of this large van no doubt contributes to the comfort and stability of the ride while the steering wheel is comfortably angled and enhances the whole driving experience.

Our rating: 5

 

5. Performance

The 2.2 litre four cylinder Euro-5 turbo diesel is not the quietest engine around, but it’s not intrusive and perfectly acceptable for everyday use. The test vehicle had the 130 hp version with 320 Nm of torque, although there are 110 and 150 hp versions and there is also a 180 hp 3 litre job, but the 130 had more than enough poke to fully enjoy the drive.

Our rating: 4

 

6. Running costs

Citroën  claim a combined fuel consumption figure of 32.5, but in all honesty I struggled to get over 30, ending a week’s mixed driving with a figure of 30.2 mpg. Considering the size of vehicle I was still quite pleased with that. Perhaps if I had made more use of the Cruise Control/Speed Limiter functions I might have done better. Servicing intervals will depend on what Citroën  calls the ‘duty cycle’, that is depending on how you use the van, whether for start/stop operations or high mileage cruising, these can be up to 30,00 miles apart. Fortunately, the on-board computer will remind you.

Our rating: 4

 

7. Cargo area

The cargo area is long, wide and flat and this being the biggest van in the Relay range had a floor length of 3705 mm, which is just over 12 feet in real money. It’s also 1870 mm at its widest and 1932 mm high which means that six footers can wear a hat inside without knocking it off. As for the loading height, that’s a measly 530 mm above ground level, barely 20 inches, so the old codgers won’t be laughed at by the apprentice. A neat touch is the provision of a 12v socket near the rear doors.

Our rating: 5

 

8. Safety

The all round disc brake set-up comes with ABS and EBA (Emergency Braking Assistance) and if that seems modest in comparison to others, it is perfectly adequate for a big sensible FWD van. There is just the one driver’s airbag and the driver’s seat incorporates an anti-submarine design, but I would worry about that overhead shelf.

Our rating: 3.5

 

9. Equipment

The biggest advantage over the Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer cousins is the inclusion of the TrafficMaster guidance system which now comes with a full colour screen. This is now standard across virtually all of the Citroën LCV range and can be upgraded to full Telematics and Fleet Management functionality.

In basic trim, the Relay is a cracking van, but it’s worth paying the extra for Citroën’s Enterprise specification.  This adds air-conditioning, full height steel bulkhead, reversing sensors and Bluetooth compatibility, as well as £900 to the standard £24,190 base price.

Our rating: 4.5

 

10. Why buy?

If you favour function over fashion and need a big van, then the high roof, long wheelbase Relay has to be near the top of your list. The clincher is the price. You get a lot of van for 25 grand.

Our rating: 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thought about buying a new Citroen?