Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
25 Aug 2021
4:25 pm

‘Junior Vito’ debuts as Mercedes-Benz reveals new Citan van

Charl Bosch

As before, the Citan is a reskinned version of the Renault Kangoo, albeit with a different interior, appearance and revised chassis.

Citan panel van.

With alliance partner Renault having taken the covers off of the new Kangoo last year, Mercedes-Benz has revealed its interpretation in the form of the second-generation Citan.

Confirmed to spawn a more upmarket passenger model called the T-Class either later this year or next year, the Citan, which originally debuted in 2012 as part of a joint venture between Benz and the then Renault-Nissan Alliance, debuts as either a panel van or a five-seat people mover called the Tourer.

New Mercedes-Benz Citan
Barn-style rear doors are standard on the Citan panel van.

Riding on the same CMF-B platform as the Kangoo but with a restyled B-Class inspired face and a different rear facia, the Citan measures 4 498 mm in overall length with its wheelbase coming to 2 716 mm, height to 1 859 mm and width to 1 832 mm or 1 811 mm in the case of the Tourer.

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Fitted as standard with a barn-style rear doors or optionally with a traditional tailgate, the Tourer also comes with the option of electric dual-sliding side doors with the panel van sporting conventional manual opening doors with or without windows as an option.

New Mercedes-Benz Citan
Five-seat Citan Tourer

Able to haul between 318-782 kg with seating for two or three, the panel van boasts a loading volume of 2.9m3 with Mercedes-Benz claiming a towing capacity of 1.5 tonnes and ability to carry two full size Euro pallets behind each other.

Inside, Stuttgart has reworked the Kangoo’s interior by fitting the Citan with a bespoke dashboard housing not only different air vents, but also the freestanding optional seven-inch touchscreen MBUX infotainment system.

New Mercedes-Benz Citan
Citan Tourer can be specified with electric dual-sliding side side doors.

In addition, the Citan also gets a different steering wheel to that of the Kangoo, subtly revised centre console and Mercedes-Benz specific dials within the instrument cluster.

Depending on the specification, safety has gone a step-up with the inclusion of Active Distance Assist Distronic, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keep Assist to name but a few. In a further departure from the Kangoo, Mercedes-Benz has also revised the Citan’s suspension, shocks and steering while also adjusting the stabiliser bars.

New Mercedes-Benz Citan
Citan panel van can swallow 2.9m³ of cargo with a payload of up to 782kg.

The Citan’s Kangoo genes are most prominent underneath the bonnet though where the venerable 1.5-litre K9K Renault made turbodiesel engine makes up of the bulk of the powertrain line-up, supplemented by the 1.3-litre turbo-petrol, three-pointed star had co-developed with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

Offered in two flavours, the petrol produces 75kW/200Nm in the 110 badged model and 96kW/240Nm in the 113, while the oil-burner comes in three states of tune; 55kW/230Nm in the 108 CDI, 70kW/260Nm in the 110 CDI and 85kW/270Nm in the 112 CDI.

New Mercedes-Benz Citan
Citan interior

Standard across the range is a six-speed manual gearbox with a seven-speed dual-clutch optional on the 113 and 112 CDI. Also confirmed is an all-electric model called the eCitan that arrives next year with a reported single charge range of 285 km.

Going on sale in Europe from next month, the Citan will have a reported starting price of around €20 000 (R351 668) for the very entry level panel van, but as with the original, it is not expected to come to South Africa soon.