The first generation of Citroen Dispatch and its Peugeot Expert sibling first saw the light of day back in 1994. New generations appeared in 2006 and 2016 with a substantial facelift in 2023 – to carry the van into the electric era – so it has been a mainstay of the sector for 30 years. 

Throughout that time it has been propelled by PSA’s excellent HDi common-rail turbo-diesel engines, not the most refined units on the market but otherwise very underrated, they have good torque characteristics and excellent fuel economy. 

Although available latterly as a 1.5-litre 100hp entry-level engine, the 2.0-litre stalwart is the one to go for. It comes in three states of tune; nominally 120hp, 150hp and 175hp with the middle (actually 148hp) version the best all-rounder. However this unit only comes with the (decent) manual transmission. The 120hp was available with manual or automatic and this eight-speed auto ’box is standard on the 175hp version.

Matching the four engine choices are four trim levels starting with the X model featuring DAB, Bluetooth, central-locking and cruise control. 

The third-step Enterprise is actually best of the bunch, with touchscreen controls, climate control, automatic lights and wipers, and passenger-side underseat storage. The Enterprise Plus adds satnav and reversing camera but most of its additions are merely cosmetic. In all versions the cab is comfortable and driving position good, although oddments space around the cabin is poor save for the decent door bins. The controls are light with a good manual gearchange – the eight-speed auto is great for urban work – while general visibility is good but shorter drivers have commented on the difficulty in judging the left-front corner in tight manoeuvres. Looking rearwards, the mirrors are decent enough.

There are two overall lengths of 5.0m and 5.3m, with load lengths equating to 2.5m and 2.8m. A height of 1.9m and width of 2.2m mean it’s at home in tight urban environments while an internal width of 1.25m and headroom of 1.4m conspire to create load volumes of 5.3m3 to 6.1m3 – in the long version. Payloads vary with length, trim and equipment levels ranging from 1,100kg to 1,450kg with a generous 2,500kg towing capability up for grabs on the 2.0-litre versions. Twin side-loading doors are standard and on higher trim versions the hands-free opening and closing feature is a boon. Like opening a luxury saloon car’s bootlid, with the ‘keyless’ fob in your pocket, you wave your foot beneath a sensor in the rear bumper at the side you wish to open. 

There is a huge choice on the used market and of course the same van is available as the Peugeot Expert, Toyota ProAce or Vauxhall Vivaro – since the Stellantis take-over – with slightly differing trim and equipment levels in an attempt to give them separate identities. All hit the mark for this class of van, and are equally at home in town or on the motorway, they all carry comfortably more then a tonne and return decent mpg. Build quality trails Ford or VW equivalents, but the Dispatch is a good all-rounder.

Plus points

1) Strong engine range

2) Comfortable cab

3) Tech options worthwhile

Minus points

1) Moderate in-cab storage

2) Not the best build quality 

3) Lacks body choice of rivals

Second-hand buys





Price ex.VAT

2.0HDi 120hp1400





2.0HDi 120hp1400 





2.0HDi 150hp1400





2.0HDi 175hp1400 





2.0HDi 150hp1400