New Generation Mercedes-Benz Citan

We’ve seen it described as ‘a giant in the small van sector designed for businesses with ambition’ so when the opportunity to put Mercedes-Benz latest generation Citan panel van to the test, courtesy of MBNI Truck & Van at Mallusk, we jumped at the chance, as Van Ireland’s Phil Eaglestone reports.

The new Mercedes-Benz Citan panel van has only recently become available here, so we have been among the first to get behind the wheel of the compact L1 model; L2 variants as well as crew van and electric models will be available later in the year.

Right away, we noticed some significant high quality improvements on the earlier Citan; with its seven speed automatic transmission, it was relaxing and comfortable to drive,  offering effortless handling along the busy roads in and around Belfast.

Our test model came with the Premium trim level and with its 16-inch alloy wheels, and its sharp new design, body-coloured bumpers and chrome trim, complete with LED high performance headlights and front fog lamps,  it certainly attracted plenty of attention as we put it through its paces.

Powered by 1.5-litre diesel engine generating 95 hp and 260 Nm of torque, and delivering up to 54 mpg, the new front wheel drive Citan L1 is as safe to drive as they come, with standard specifications including Active Brake Assist with pedestrian recognition technology; Attention Assist, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired; and Hill-Start Assist to prevent rolling back.

There’s also a speed limiter, an emergency breakdown assistance call button, rear parking aid with a reversing camera and no fewer than six airbags. Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Speed Limit Assist can all be specified as options.

Don’t let its compact exterior dimensions mislead you, either, because the load compartment and the driver cockpit are spacious. The Citan L1 has a 666 kg payload and is rated to tow trailers up to a maximum gross train weight of 3,500 kg. Wide-opening side doors on both sides and a low loading sill means it lends itself to a wide range of possible uses.

It also boasts a host of other standard features including armrest with stowage compartment, heat-insulating glass all round, a multifunction steering wheel that can be adjusted for both rake and height, an ECO start/stop function, air conditioning and interior LED lighting, but it was the multimedia functions, including a seven-inch touch screen and a multimedia system with ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant and smartphone integration via Apple Carplay that really caught our attention.

With Mercedes me connectivity also coming as standard means that real-time vehicle data can be accessed remotely via a smartphone app to help optimise uptime, safety and security. Features include over-the-air software updates, access to vehicle monitoring in the event of theft. Fuel levels, mileage and remote door-locking functionality can also be checked via the app.

Award winning support

As with all Mercedes-Benz vans, the new Citan comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and round-the-clock roadside assistance. This award-winning service is free for three years on all new vans and renewed every 12 months after this period, when serviced at an authorised Mercedes-Benz workshop, for up to 30 years.

Known as MobiloVan, it covers accidents, breakdowns and a number of minor mishaps and driver errors – from running out of fuel or using the wrong fuel to flat tyres, lost keys and attempted theft or vandalism in the UK and across Europe. The Citan also includes anti-theft protection in the form of double locks and an integrated alarm system.


Having spent much of the day with this new generation Citan, we are in no doubt it will appeal to a diverse range of operators – from urban delivery users and small trades to services markets – seeking an economical, practical, compact and image enhancing work van; it ticked all the boxes for us.