Fleet News

Long-term road test new arrival: Citroen Relay 30L1H1 100

Our newest long-term test vehicle, the Citroën Relay, sports a jaunty coat of cherry red paint and a chic and stylish exterior.

If it drives as well as it looks, we’re in for a treat.

This Relay is the smallest example on offer, at three tonnes gross vehicle weight and in short-wheelbase, low roof height guise. But it’s still a chunky performer offering a payload of 1,155kg and a loadspace of eight cubic metres.

Entry is via remote plip locking and with security in mind, the front and rear of the van can be opened separately.

It’s a big climb up into the cab, which means the driver has a panoramic view of the road ahead.

Mention must also be made of the driver’s seat, which is a dream.

It’s firm but supportive and hugs the body from neck to knees. In fact, a great deal of thought has gone into the cab all round.

There are so many cubbyholes that I’m still not sure I’ve found them all.

There’s a pop-up clipboard on the centre console while the middle of the back of the third seat folds down to reveal a little desk with a clip and two cup-holders.

On the minus side, there isn’t a cup-holder near the driver’s right hand.

This Relay features a four-cylinder 2.2-litre HDi diesel engine and as it already had 14,000 miles on the clock when we received it, there was none of that old diesel tightness present.

The Relay has 100bhp on offer but it feels quicker owing to the fact that there is also a meaty 184lb-ft of torque on tap from a very low 1,500rpm.

Citroen Relay Mention, of course, must also be made of the Relay’s standard Smart-nav system that is part of the package on all Dispatches and Relays.

Citroën came up with this USP a few months ago in a bid to distance its models from the ones offered by Peugeot and Fiat (the Relay is the same as the Boxer and Ducato).

It’s a ploy that seems to be working as Citroën had one of its best sales months on record in September.

I’m one of these old groaners who doesn’t like new-fangled technology and refuses point blank to spend hours poring over a manual working out how to use these units.

But the Citroën product is something else altogether. For a start, it’s linked to the Traffic-master system so that when you key in a destination it will automatically take you round any hold-ups.

And keying in a destination couldn’t be simpler – you just tap on the little envelope (it’s a touch-screen system) and key in the postcode letters and figures you want. In the meantime, the system warns of approaching speed cameras and the like and it also incorporates a Trackstar tracking system if the vehicle is stolen.

Fact file

Price: £15,150 (ex VAT)
Mileage: 14,778
Company car tax bill (2007) 22% tax-payer: £55 per month
Insurance group: 5
Combined mpg: n/a
Test mpg: 37.1
CAP Monitor RV: £4,325/28%
Expenditure to date: Nil

  • Figures based on three years/60,000 miles
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