Microvans have been missing from the Citroën line-up ever since it ditched the Citroën Nemo in 2017, but Stellantis’ recent electrification push has allowed a very unusual little van to hit the market. 

The Citroën Ami is a two-seater car that is also to be sold as a commercial vehicle. While we call it a car it’s technically a quadricycle. Its speed is limited to 28mph but can also be driven without a full driving licence. It is more of an alternative to a motorbike, suitable for couriers, food delivery and small businesses who need to transport small items around towns or cities. 

The Cargo version has its passenger seat replaced by a modular storage area complete with a flat upper surface designed to be used as a mobile office, and a cargo area with small dividers giving 260L of storage. The payload is essentially the allowance you’d have for a passenger plus a bit more which means it’s just 130kg but considering its size of just 2.4m long and 1.4m wide, that’s not bad. 

It’s definitely not very big then, and can be parked nose to the kerb in a parking space like people used to with the G-Wiz and original Smart car. Yet it’s probably most similar to the Renault Twizy Cargo, but whereas that has a single-centred seat, the Ami Cargo is left-hand drive only even in the UK.

Power comes from a 6kW electric motor and 5.5kWh battery giving it a range of 46 miles but charging from zero to full can be done in just three hours. The two-seat car version of the Ami gets plenty of choice and customisation options with Ami Pop and Ami Vibe trim levels but there’s no such frivolity for the van. There is no fancy infotainment system (not that the car gets one, both interiors are the same) but you do get a dash-mounted smartphone holder and there’s the option of a standalone Bluetooth speaker that you can buy as an accessory. Tall drivers won’t struggle to get comfortable, despite the steering wheel being fixed, but having the seat far back will eat into valuable storage space behind the seat.

Speaking of seats, they’re hard and basic with minimal padding. Fold-up windows like in the original 2CV make life more spartan still, and the door locking is done the old fashioned way, with a key. 

It is though, full of surprises when it comes to driving. The first shock is that it’s fast – not lightning quick, but with just a driver and some modestly heavy items it will keep up with traffic. The problems will come when you add more weight or if you encounter a steep hill. The 28mph limit is sufficient in busy towns where you’ll mostly be travelling under 20mph. Buzzing around at top speed can get a bit tiresome as the Ami Cargo is not particularly quiet due to plenty of road noise. There’s also no regenerative braking to speak of either, which is unusual for an electric vehicle. One annoying feature is the lack of self-cancelling indicators.

Handling is impressive, and because the Ami Cargo is so little you feel encouraged to dart around into gaps. Ride quality is generally poor and let down by the suspension. It’s bouncy and coupled with the hard seat it doesn’t make for a comfortable ride. Potholes and cobbles are the nemesis of the little Ami. 

It’s main strength is the visibility, with more glass than a goldfish bowl. A large windscreen, narrow A-pillars and glass roof gives a real sense of openness and space. 

At slower speeds the Ami is a great city vehicle, but if you must do a stint on a 40mph limit road you begin to feel vulnerable. Best to try and blot out that there are no airbags, no fancy safety features and no crash protection standards to comply with. 

Despite its negatives, any small business might do well to consider it. Not least as a mobile branding tool and advertising board. With a price of just £7,995 including VAT or the option of cheap monthly payments it’s exceptionally affordable.

Citroën Ami

Price (inc. VAT) £7,995 

Insurance group tbc

Warranty tbc

Service intervals tbc

Load length 1,200mm

Load width (min/max) 450mm (est)

Load bay height 600mm (est)

Gross payload 130kg

Load volume 0.3m3

Engine size/power 8hp electric motor with 5.5kWh battery

Range 46mls

CO2 0g/km