The What Van? Road Test: Citroen Dispatch (2019)

Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Rear 3 4


Citroen’s quality control needs tightening up. Although our test van had only clocked up a modest mileage the parcel shelf was working loose, as was the side rubbing strip on the driver’s door. 

Service intervals are set at two years/25,000 miles and the Dispatch is covered by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty, with no mileage limit in the first two years. If you are proposing to hang on to your light commercial for a while then bear in mind that Toyota’s Proace carries a five-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Fuel economy? The maximum WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) combined figure cited is 40.5mpg, but we did rather better, at closer to 45mpg.

S&S – Stop & Start – is a standard feature, and not something we experienced on the first version of the current Dispatch we drove. It kills the engine at the traffic lights or in queues, while making it easy to restart.

Citroen Dispatch BlueHDi 120 S&S M 1400 Enterprise 

Price (ex VAT) £26,030

Price range (ex VAT) £23,645-£42,380

Gross payload 1,458kg

Load volume 5.3m3

Load length 2,512mm

Load width (min/max) 1,258/1,628mm

Load bay height 1,397mm

Loading height 544mm

Rear door aperture 1,282 x 1,220mm

Side door aperture 935 x 1,241mm

Gross vehicle weight 3,100kg

Braked trailer towing weight 2,500kg

Residual value 19.8 % (after 4yrs/80,000mls source: KwikCarcost)

Cost per mile 50.7p

Engine size/power 1,997cc, 120hp @ 3,750rpm

Torque 340Nm @ 1,750rpm

Gearbox 6-spd

Fuel economy (WLTP) 40.5mpg

Fuel tank 70 litres

CO2 (WLTP) 190g/km

Warranty 3yrs/100,000mls

Service intervals 2yrs/25,000mls

Insurance group 38E

Price as tested £26,490


Metallic paint £460


Ford Transit Custom

Price (ex VAT) £23,090-£43,925

Load volume 6.0-8.3m3

Gross payload 685-1,459kg

Engines 105hp, 130hp, 170hp, 185hp 2.0 diesel, 92.9kW PHEV

Verdict: This is one of Ford’s most significant UK van market success stories. Its handling, ride and overall performance are all top-notch, and the PHEV plug-in hybrid and mHEV mild hybrid are both likely to appeal to customers who want to cut emissions, but still suffer from range anxiety. That helped Ford drive off with the What Van? 2020 Green Manufacturer of the Year award.

Renault Trafic 

Price (ex VAT) £23,450-£34,400

Load volume 5.2-8.6m3

Gross payload 1,036-1,255kg

Engines 120hp, l45hp, 170hp diesel

Verdict: The Trafic was extensively revised in 2019, receiving new engines plus the Efficient Dual Clutch gearbox – an exemplary transmission that is undoubtedlty worth sampling. The Trafic is short of some of the more intelligent safety devices found on certain of its key competitors, however – a lack that Renault needs to address. The Trafic is also marketed by Nissan as the NV300 and by Fiat Professional as the Talento.

Volkswagen Transporter

Price (ex VAT) £22,115-£49,290

Load volume 5.8-9.3m3

Gross payload 713-1,309kg

Engines 90hp, 110hp, 150hp, 199hp 2.0 diesel, 83kW battery-electric

Verdict: With a very high level of build quality plus a commendable emphasis on safety, the Transporter ticks almost all the boxes. It has just ticked one more with the advent of a battery-electric model produced in conjunction with ABT. Strong engines and a slick gear-change complete the picture, but the van’s styling is less than exciting.

The Final Verdict 

Design 7/10 – Attractive-looking with some practical features.

Cabin 6/10 – Three seats in a cab when there is really only room for two seems ill-advised.

Ride 7/10 – Tad choppy even on smooth highways, but improves with weight on board.

Refinement 6/10 – In-cab noise under control, but some loose trim cheapened the experience.

Load area 7/10 – Ability to push extra-long items through a flap in the bulkhead is a plus point.

Handling/performance 8/10 – The former is exemplary. Performance turned out to be adequate.

Engine/transmission 6/10 – No issues with the first. The latter not always as smooth as it might’ve been. 

Standard equipment 8/10 – Lots of comfort-inducing goodies, but more safety stuff would’ve been good.

Operating costs 6/10 – Decent warranty, but quality control needs tightening up.

What Van? subjective rating 7/10 – Lots to commend in a competent package, but lags behind the Transit Custom.

Overall Rating = 68/100





View The WhatVan Digital Edition