Citroën’s new Relay has undergone a similar nip and tuck update as its Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato cousins, giving the van a sharp new look, with high-mounted headlights incorporating daytime running lights and a very open weave honeycomb grille.
The real benefits are more than cosmetic however, as Relay gets increased body reinforcing to improve rigidity and durability. The rear doors have been reinforced too
and there are stronger hinges to increase longevity, which should bode well for residuals. Stronger rails and runners on the sliding side door, plus sturdier locks to boost security, complete the bodywork upgrades.
There is less new under the bonnet, where the 2.2HDi engine is available in three outputs, of 110hp and 250Nm of torque, 130hp and 320Nm or a range-topping 150hp and 350Nm. Citroën won’t be offering the 180hp 3.0-litre engine that Fiat and Peugeot have on the books, though most fleets won’t be too bothered by that as it is aimed more at the motorhome market that makes big use of this chassis.
The 110hp engine pulls well in this 3-tonne van. Citroën claims fuel consumption of up to 41.5mpg should be possible, with competitive CO2 levels of 180g/km. Further cost savings will come from service intervals that have been stretched out to 30,000 miles or two years.
There are updates in the cab too, as all new Relay vans get Bluetooth and a DAB radio with steering wheel mounted controls. Electric windows and mirrors, those daytime running lights, a full steel bulkhead and most importantly ESC stability control are also standard kit now.
The popular Enterprise trim level provides air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control with a speed limiter, a perimetric alarm, audio streaming through the Bluetooth connection, an MP3 compatible stereo and a five-inch colour touch screen in the centre of the revised dash. It will add £800 to the list price however.
Talking of that touchscreen, in the Boxer and Ducato it incorporates the sat-nav system. But with Citroën tied into a deal with Trafficmaster Smartnav, Relay ends up with two touchscreen devices, the centre one used to control the stereo and act as a monitor for the optional rear view camera (£225).
Other options on our van included metallic paint (£400), electric folding mirrors (£100), LED daytime running lights (£150), a front passenger airbag (£180), tyre pressure sensors (£90), wheel trims (£30), fog lights (£95) and a lane departure warning system (£300).
Unless you have a major problem keeping a van between the white lines, this is not a box that we would tick. It shows a graphic on either side of the dash and if you cross a white line without indicating, provides an unpleasantly noisy audible warning. You can turn it off, but it reactivates every time you start the engine.
It doesn’t stop Relay being a comfortable van to drive however, with its high-riding cab offering a good view of the road ahead.
Given the additional equipment and specification on offer Citroën has been fairly keen with its pricing policy too, our van starting at just over £20,000. Of course, Citroën pricing can be notoriously flexible.
What we think
Citroën has listened to customers and made changes where required, particularly in terms of durability. Add improved specifications and reduced costs for a convincing update.
MODEL Citroën Relay 30L1H1110HDi Enterprise
BASIC PRICE £20,205
FUEL INJECTION Common-rail
POWER 110hp @ 3,500
TORQUE 250Nm @ 1,750
KERB WEIGHT 1,845
MAX TRAILER WEIGHT 2,000
LOAD SPACE LENGTH 2,670
LOAD SPACE WIDTH 1,870
LOAD SPACE HEIGHT 1,662
LOAD HEIGHT (unladen) 507
LOAD VOLUME 8.0m3
FUEL TANK CAPACITY 90 litres
COMBINED MPG & CO2 41.5mpg/180g/km
OIL CHANGE 2 yr/30,000 miles
WARRANTY 3 yr/100,000 miles