Citroen Relay Review
The Citroen Relay, part of a triumvirate (sharing the body shell and chassis) with the Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer, is well established as a work horse in the UK market. Having supplied a reasonable number of these to customers across varying sectors JCS has not only had access to the van itself for the purpose of review but also received feedback from a number of customers.
These are two of the key positives for the Relay. Price and Payload.
The Citroen is clearly the cheapest van to contract hire or lease on the market today. Being a cheap van to buy in itself is key to this, but it’s popularity resulting in more units being sold has made it cheaper still.
Perhaps more important however is the Payload of the Relay. With an optimum Payload of 1600kg for the L2H1 is is streets ahead of the Ford Transit reviewed here, and 84kg far short of the optimum of Vauxhall Movano.
The payload benefit is mainly due to the lightness of the body which could be described as somewhat flimsy. However, having said that poking around what is considered to be the better built Mercedes Sprinter/VW Crafter you will see most of that is just held together with mastic (albeit with heavier panels).
Alongside the Payload is the load space. With the smallest L1H1 giving you just under 2.5m load length (taking into account the bulkhead), just over 1.5m load height through the rear doors and just over 1.4m (between the wheel arches) and the largest L4H3 giving you a useable load length of 3.9m, 2m load height through the doors and the same 1.4m width (between the arches) this is respectable. Furthermore, being Front wheel drive the load entry height is nice and low at no more than 60cm.
The 2.2HDi engine comes in 110, 125 and 150hp variants with the 125 being most popular matched with the standard 6-speed manual gearbox. Historically the Relay had been plagued with reliability issues on vehicles worked hard. Whilst the Relay engine may not be as strong as the Sprinter, we have as yet only had one complaint from a customer on this and heard of only a handful of issues, but no more or less than the competition.
On the Cab side of things, there is space for 3 and the spec is pretty reasonable with all vans having DAB Radio, Bluetooth Hands Free, Sat Nav with Trackstar stolen vehicle tracker, and electric windows. The highly popular Enterprise model also comes with Air Con, Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, Rear Parking Sensors, and a Touch Screen for all Radio and Sat Nav functions. To drive the van is pretty comfortable (for a van that is) and it feels light at the wheel.
Obviously, there is not much that can be said about a box on wheels, but as a box on wheels, the Citroen Relay represents excellent value for money and is a good workhorse.
It may not fair as well as a Mercedes Sprinter, but at a fraction of the price it doesnt need to.
For customers looking to buy the Relay outright, prices start at just over £15,000 RRP (although we typically supply with a respectable discount against this). For those looking to Contract Hire the Citroen Relay L3H2 Enterprise represents the best value for money at around £250+VAT a month (on a standard 3+35 / 10,000 mpa contract) and for customers who prefer Hire Purchase or any other purchase finance variant the rates are strong too.
If you are looking for a van with a good payload, is cheap to run and contract hire, that is not going to be worked too hard or abused too much then you really cannot go wrong with the Citroen Relay.
Payload: 1140kg “ 1600kg (up to 3500kg GVW)
Load Volume: 8cu.m “ 17 cu.m
Load Length (at mid height): 2.46m “ 3.92m
Load Height (through rear doors): 1.52m “ 2.03m
Load Width (between wheel arches): 1.42m
Vehicle Length: 4.96m “ 6.36m