The car-cube vans which we now take for granted as the mainstay of the CDV sector can trace their origins back to the Fiat Fiorino, a shape Fiat has carried through to the Qubo and Doblo ranges. As with the larger vans in the SEVEL partnership, the French giant PSA shares designs with Fiat here too, in its Peugeot and Citroen brands, the latter of which is badged Nemo. It offers a car-cube design similar to the Berlingo in a sector normally the preserve of conventional
car derived vans, most of which are nothing more than small hatchbacks with their rear seats and side glazing deleted.

The benefits of the ‘cube’ design manifest themselves in a 2.5m3 load volume, the ability to accept a standard Euro-pallet and, with the passenger seat folded flat, a load length of up to 2.49 metres. The payload is generous by car-derived van standards at 660kg and the LX version adds a sliding side loading door as standard too. This was a £220 option on base models and air-conditioning could be had for £500. Standard issue driver’s airbag, ABS brakes and central deadlocking gives a good level of safety and security whilst electric windows and mirrors complete the picture.

Although petrol versions are available, PSA’s ubiquitous HDI common-rail diesel unit in 1.3-litre guise is the Nemo engine of choice. It develops 75hp and returns up to 62.8mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 119g/km.

The 1.3 HDI has routine service intervals of 2 years or 22,500 miles and is equipped with
an intelligent service indicator requesting the actual service point depending on operating conditions. For instance the oil pressure warning light will flash if the oil and filter need changing before the 2 year/22,500mile limit is reached.

On the reliability front VOSA tells us of a couple of recalls of the Nemo, firstly a vacuum hose failure which can reduce braking assistance.
A recall was issued for VIN numbers VF7*****C8275977 to VF7 C8283182, built June
to August 2012, and also for a possible crack in the rear suspension cross-member on VIN numbers VF7*****84261298 to VF7*****A8070439 built December 2008 to October 2010. Citroen dealers will be able advise if the vehicle you are looking at is affected and if the recall has been executed.

Otherwise, the Nemo has few documented problems. The electric power steering is known to fail, but check it is not a power feed issue before buying a new motor. There is some evidence of turbo trouble too, variously reported as turbo seal or pressure hose problems. Either way, a drop in engine performance and black exhaust smoke are the symptoms. Otherwise it’s a case of the usual checks on a used van for fluid leaks, any smoke, or noises from transmission and steering. The little 1.3 HDI can also lead to a bit of heavy-footed driving from the unsympathetic, so look out for tired clutches too.

Second-hand buys

So how much should a good used Nemo cost you? The used van locator found a few across the country but, the Nemo is not prolific on the used market at the moment. A late 2013 1.3HDI with 12,000 miles on it for £7590, or a 2011 51,000 miler for £6499 shows the Nemo holds its value well with a 2010 example sporting 33,000 miles being offered at £4999.