Fleet News

Citroen Synergie

Citroen

Review

THERE'S been a glut of new or revised people-carriers this summer, punctuated by the odd mini-MPV (and a couple of them have been very odd indeed). Since June alone, new Volkswagen Sharan, Toyota Previa and SEAT Alhambra models have been given the full road test treatment, as have the more compact Citroen Xsara Picasso and Nissan Almera Tino. And the run of MPVs isn't over yet. This week our attention has been grabbed by the Citroen Synergie with a new sequential automatic gearbox. Next week there'll be a close look at the latest Ford Galaxy in Zetec trim.

This frenzy illustrates the cyclical nature of manufacturing: all that energy spent on freshening up the MPV sector in the early part of 2000 will be diverted elsewhere - principally in the direction of SUVs over the coming weeks and then to fleet mainstays from the autumn motor shows onward with the arrival of new Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat.

But back to the present: Citroen Synergie 2.0i 16v SX five-door auto. There's more than the tip-shift transmission that's new about this: it's got a beefed up 138bhp petrol engine that produces 12% more power than its eight-valve predecessor while returning better fuel consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions; and the SX version we had on test can seat eight people (previously, seven was the limit in a Synergie).

Seven and eight-seater SXs are the same price - ú20,520, and across the 2.0-litre petrol range, starting at ú17,240 for the five-seater LX, there has been a rise of ú200 to reflect the extra valves and styling tweaks. However, while Citroen has not yet cut its official list prices, it has been offering ú1,500 retail cash-back on all Synergies - 'so what?' for fleet buyers, but a pointer to where its RRPs will be positioned should the manufacturer bite the bullet and realign.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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