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Citroen Relay: Review and rate

The Citroen Relay van (or the Citroen Jumper as its known in Europe) has been with us for some time now. With each generation comes more comfort, power and carrying capacity. So, what do these Transit rivalling Citroen commercial vehicles have to offer on the panel van buyer?

What is the model range?

Undoubtedly, the new Relay vans are big vehicles. If you want something that drives like a car, then buy a used Citroen Berlingo or Despatch van. The range of options available is huge and means that there is no tradesman, who won't be able to find a combination to suit. The Relay has three well proven diesel engines: the 2.2 HDi100 has 100 bhp, the HDi120 manages 120 bhp and the top of the range 3.0HDi musters an impressive 160hp. The less powerful version manages with five speeds, but the two others benefit from six gears. All these engines have the capability to run on a 30% bio-diesel mixture, which may prove to be a bonus if fuel prices continue their upward spiral. Body style flexibility is another area in which these vans excel. Four different vehicle lengths are available on three wheelbases. Allied to three height options, this makes it an immensely practical range. Vehicle loads of between 1100kg and 2000kg add yet more possibilities to the menu. Safety is well-catered for with ABS and comprehensive central locking. An alarm is an optional extra, but it should be standard on a vehicle like this. Self-levelling pneumatic rear suspension will no doubt be a boon, as will the standard Traffic Master system. Creature comforts are well appointed with electric windows, air-con and ample storage space.

What's the competition?

In this marketplace the Ford Transit is the sales king, The original and, in many eyes, still the best, this stalwart has many challengers for its crown. The Citroen Relay LWB and its close relative, the Peugeot Expert are prime examples of the speed, with which other manufacturers have caught up. There really is little to choose between them in terms of abilities, so it may come down to issues like appearance to help you decide. The Relay has an advantage as the swooping lines and neat styling touches are very pleasing to the eye. Some may argue that the Renault Master has a better interior and the Vauxhall Movano the edge on size, but it's subjective. In the end, it's likely that the price and servicing costs will be the ultimate factors in your choice of panel van. Shop around and drive a hard bargain, but be assured that if Citroen give you the best deal, you won't be disappointed with the Relay.

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