Looks like Mercedes learned something from the Vaneo lesson but not THAT much. Otherwise I don’t understand how the Mercedes Citan came to be. Mercedes Citan – the official car of arranged marriage.
And here we are talking about the marriage between Mercedes and Renault and Nissan, in one of the most questionable car alliances in Europe. Mercedes developed the fabulous 0.9 Turbo petrol engine for Renault’s small cars like the Twingo (and later Dacia) and got the fabulous 1.5 dCi K9K diesel in return. But they didn’t stop just at sharing engines, as Mercedes Citan is an example of badge-engineering within the alliance. But is it an example of good badge-engineering?
At first glance, we have a Renault Kangoo that has Mercedes Citan written on it and it’s the sole reason worth paying extra for. And on that bombshell, I can go for a beer at the pub. Goodnight!
Really? That’s all there is to the Citan?
Sure, the Mercedes Citan is more expensive than the Kangoo, but that’s not justified by the badge on the front and on the steering wheel alone. In fact, the steering wheel is taken straight from the Kangoo but the front is Mercedes’ own recipe. As are the front suspension, seats, and dashboard. And the soundproofing. And the fact that they even thought about the eco option and gave BlueEfficiency packages on both diesel and petrol and even offered low rolling resistance tires. On a van. I’m not really convinced that Mercedes understood what the deal is with vans and the commercial area in general. They caught wind that it was a profitable segment at the time, with over 700,000 cars sold in Europe annually, and they said that they must definatelly catch this train.
And why go through the trouble of making your own van and fail, as they did with Vaneo? They just called the alliance and borrowed the Kangoo. They came with their own toys and they also came with a lot of standard features that kept it too far away from the regular, working class which is the actual buyer of a van, who wanted a simple Kangoo to do actual work.
Mercedes Citan Engines
1.2 Turbo of 114 horsepower – This is the same 1.2 TCe from the Juke / Qashqai / Megane / Clio and so on. Under the hood Renault is a decent engine, but under the hood of Nissan it suffers from oily incontinence. And the Mercedes Citan? Well to find out anything about this engine and how it performs on the Citan, one must first buy a petrol powered Citan. We’re still waiting for that moment.
1.5 dCi of 75, 90, and 110 horsepower – The famous 1.5 diesel K9K that needs no introduction. Instead, it should be mentioned that Mercedes played a bit with this engine and as a result it’s even more economical than on the Kangoo or Nissan NV200.
Mercedes Citan General Issues
- It’s not necessarily an issue with the car, but you have to keep in mind that the Mercedes Citan is one of the worst vans in terms of utility. Cargo space is not great not terrible, and the petrol version has a cargo capacity of just 500kg, with diesels stopping at 700kg. A far cry from the 1000kg of the Doblo / Combo. It’s not necessarily bad, but it doesn’t excel anywhere in particular.
- Because you have a Mercedes van you may as well have the reverse camera. Big watch out for water leaking on the reverse camera because electronics and water go hand in hand as well as weekends and work do.
Mercedes Citan Verdict
If you need a van for work, you have many much better and cheaper alternatives. If you still want to be the richest man in the hypermarket car park from where you stock up, the Mercedes Citan is clearly the way to go. Or maybe you’re getting old and you still want to stock up but want some comfort when delivering said supplies. Either way, Mercedes Citan appealed to a microscopic niche of customers and this was proven by even lower sales levels. Oh Mercedes, never learn. They never had a succesful badge-engineered commercial vehicle.
Which engines do I recommend? Realistically only the 1.5 diesel with either 90 or 110 horsepower. The other two engines are fairly irrelephant.