The What Van? Road Test: Citroen Relay 35 review

Date: Monday, July 3, 2017   |   Author: Steve Banner


Even the most critical reviewer would not be able to complain about a lack of  storage space in the three-seater cab. Drivers have so many places to put all the bits and bobs they need to carry around with them that the only danger they face is forgetting where they put what.
Admittedly the glove box isn’t huge but there are two big shelves above it plus a shallow lidded compartment on top of the fascia. Next to it is a pop-up clipboard that can be used to hold delivery instructions.

There are shelves either side of the clipboard, a full-width shelf above the windscreen and a shelf in the console that sticks out from the middle of the dashboard and also plays host to a couple of cup-holders. Unfortunately, the console restricts the middle passenger’s legroom. Flip down the centre section of the back of the middle passenger seat and it turns into a desk complete with a pen tray, a clip to keep your paperwork tidy and two more cup-holders – one big, one small.

You will find two bins in each of the doors.  In each case the lower of the pair is remarkably deep, so much so that it can be difficult to reach items lying in the bottom from the driver’s or the outboard passenger’s seat. Look under the driver’s seat and you will find a tray – something we only discovered after several days with Relay – and there is yet another shelf to the right of the steering wheel.

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The quality of the plastic trim leaves something to be desired and one aspect of the cab that really irks us is the way in which the steering wheel is slightly offset to the left so the driver is not sitting directly in front of it. One assumes it is a quirk of the conversion from left- to right-hand drive and it is one we could do without. At least the wheel is height- and reach-adjustable. So is the height of the driver’s seat cushion, and the seat back comes with an adjustable lumbar support.

Another mild annoyance is the positioning of the handbrake lever familiar from previous Relays, which sits between the driver’s door and seat. If you are wearing a jacket then you can pretty much guarantee that it will become entangled with the lever every time you climb out. Nor does it always fully release the parking brake first time round.

Electric windows and electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors with a fixed lower wide-angle section all form part of the deal. Other standard features include a multi-function trip computer, a 12V power socket – you will find another in the load area – and a driver’s airbag.

Teletrac Smartnav satellite navigation is standard too – a praiseworthy initiative that includes stolen vehicle tracking – and employs a detachable colour screen mounted on top of the dashboard close to the A-pillar on the driver’s side. It seems a little old-fashioned given that most manufacturer-installed satnavs employ a built-in screen positioned in the centre of the dashboard these days.

As it happens, a five-inch colour touchscreen with Bluetooth compatibility, audio streaming and SMS was fitted along with a MP3-compatible CD player and a DAB radio with steering wheel-mounted buttons. So was air-conditioning, and it is pleasing to be able to use nice, chunky, heating and ventilation controls rather than little fiddly ones.


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