We’ll al­ways have Paris

The lit­tle load hauler can’t quite shake its French roots

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working wheels -

MERCEDES-BENZ will in­tro­duce the new small Ci­tan van in Aus­tralia mid next year.

Cars­guide checked it out in the metal in Europe re­cently.

While Mercedes doesn’t talk about it much, the Ci­tan is based on the Re­nault Kan­goo, which is al­ready on sale in Aus­tralia. Even if you didn’t know this fact, it is ev­i­dent when you see the van.

The nose is unique, but the mid­dle sec­tion and the rear look rather Re­nault.

Mercedes has tried harder on the inside and the dash­board looks like it could be­long to other Mercedes-Benz vans.

The only re­minder this ve­hi­cle started off life as a Re­nault is the U-shaped hand­brake lever.

While it is a Mercedes, the van is expected to be af­ford­able (al­though no pric­ing has been an­nounced) and you get that idea when you sit inside. Not to say it’s cheap and nasty, but the plas­tic sur­faces are hard, not soft like a pas­sen­ger car. The de­sign is clean and sim­ple and the con­trols are easy to use.

Ex­te­rior de­sign al­ways comes down to per­sonal pref­er­ence, but the Ci­tan is not a par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive van. Not that looks are a pri­or­ity when it comes to load haulers, but the fussy styling is nowhere near as good-look­ing as the Kan­goo.

The Ci­tan is likely to be a prac­ti­cal van with pos­i­tive car­like han­dling given its re­la­tion to the Re­nault. It will also take Kan­goo en­gines, al­though it is not yet clear which ones will be com­ing to Aus­tralia.

There are four en­gines for Europe: a 1.2-litre four-cylin­der petrol with 84kW and 190Nm and three 1.5-litre turbo diesel fours, which are rated at 55kW and 180Nm, 66kW and 200Nm and 81kW and 240Nm.

James Stan­ford

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