Mercedes-Benz eCitan (2023) review

Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2024

On Sale: September 2023
Key Rival: Peugeot e-Partner

The second-generation version of the Citan, Mercedes-Benz’s compact van, was introduced in 2021. It is closely related to the Renault Kangoo and Nissan Townstar, which makes it unsurprising that as with those vans, a fully-electric version of the Mercedes is now available. Badged as the eCitan, it features a 122hp electric motor, driving the front wheels, and a 45kWh battery, with the latter allowing a range on the official WLTP combined cycle of up to 175 miles between charges. It has an AC charging capacity of 22kW, and a DC charging capacity of 75kW, with the latter meaning a 10-80% battery charge is possible within 38 minutes.

The model has first arrived in the UK as an L1 panel van, with L2 and crew van versions following subsequently. With the L1, a load volume of 3.3m3 is the same as that offered by a diesel Citan, though the electric version’s payload is slightly down.

The eCitan comes with a choice of Progressive and Premium trim levels. We sampled the latter, which costs just under £2,000 more than the entry-level version, with extra standard features including 16in alloy wheels, colour-coded bumpers, LED headlights and foglights, and metallic paint. This builds on an already extensive list of standard equipment, which includes features such as climate control, a reversing camera, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and attention assist. A pre-conditioning function, which allows the van to be cooled or heated while charging, is available via the Mercedes Me app – a three-year subscription to which is included with the van from new.

On our test drive, with an unladen eCitan, the electric powertrain provided fairly good acceleration. At first glance the eCitan seems to be an untypical EV since it appears to have a gear lever, however this is in fact a lever for choosing between the various levels of brake regeneration which are available (like most EVs the eCitan features a single-speed transmission). There’s a choice of three levels, ranging from what Mercedes describes as ‘maximum coasting’, to one where the braking/recharging effect on lifting off the accelerator is reasonably severe, though we would say it still falls a bit short of full ‘one-pedal’ driving capability.

Perhaps reflecting the weight inherent with EV batteries, the eCitan’s ride has a degree of firmness to it, but in handling terms it feels nicely planted and can cope with brisk cornering, although the steering is unfeelsome.

The eCitan’s interior is largely trimmed with hard-wearing plastics, but the leather steering wheel is very much in tune with Mercedes’s luxury image – a vibe which is added to by the presence of silver detailing around the air vents.

The eCitan comes as standard with the Mercedes MBUX infotainment system. This includes sat-nav EV optimisation, which Mercedes says allows route planning to incorporate the most suitable available charger should the battery need replenishing during the programmed route. A 7in touchscreen is a step behind those fitted with Mercedes’s car range, but it works well enough, although the image with the sat-nav display isn’t the clearest. In front of the driver, there’s a colour display flanked by more traditional instruments.

Overall, the eCitan is a fairly impressive electric van – as you’d expect given its close ties to the Kangoo E-Tech and Townstar EV, both of which we’ve previously reviewed favourably. It should be noted that prices for the Mercedes start at a slightly higher point than with its cousins, and it also has a slightly lower official EV range, which Mercedes suggests is down to differences in spec. Buyers will have to decide if some of the eCitan’s more premium elements are worth those sacrifices.

Mercedes-Benz eCitan Premium L1

Price (ex VAT, inc PIVG) £33,470

Price range (ex VAT, inc PIVG) £31,495-£34,640

Insurance group 5E

Warranty 3yrs/unlimited mls (battery capacity 8yrs/100,000mls)

Service intervals 1yr/24,854mls 

Load length 1,806mm

Load width (min/max) 1,248mm/1,524mm

Load bay height 1,256mm

Gross payload 499kg

Load volume 3.3m3

Engine size/power 122hp electric motor with 45kWh battery

Range 175 miles

CO2 0g/km



Adds some luxury garnish to a proven formula.


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