1 December 2016
Review: Citroen Spacetourer
Right, vans aren’t really sexy as cars, writes Brian Byrne. But they can make very good cars, and ones which are very enjoyable to use as well as having practicalities not available in the normal passenger field.
Such is the latest medium MPV from Citroen, the SpaceTourer. A challenge to the key players in this field, Ford’s Transit-based Tourneos and Volkswagen’s Transporter Shuttle. And it’s a good challenge.
Based on the new generation Dispatch van, it’s actually rather more than a mere conversion. The front underpinnings are those of the platform which carries the highly successful C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso, so the driver accommodation and the powertrains are well designed. From there back, it’s all SpaceTourer, with the heavier duty rear axle and other important pieces which make vans rugged and able for much heavier work than cars generally have to deal with.
The eight seat spaces adds value as a people- or family-carrier, each passenger one individual and all slidable and foldable, to allow for a variety of capacity formats. In fairness, there’s not a lot of cargo space behind the third row in this version if you’re transporting a full house of people, but in other situations you can deal with a fair bit of luggage, and long things are manageable with judicious use of the folding seat-backs.
The driving itself proved to be a really pleasant experience, and when you think of it, these days there’s no getting away with poor conditions for a van driver whose vehicle is his or her office and place of work for the day. So the SpaceTourer version would be really good for what its name suggests, a long tour.
Fine, it’s not for every family, but there are those ones which join together for shuttling kids between schools and activities and if you’re in that space, the SpaceTourer is a consideration. Definitely there is business to be done in the executive shuttle area, and in hire operators who get small groups of tourists who want to travel the country for a week or ten days.
In the technical department, the review car was powered by a 115hp version of the excellent 1.6 diesel available in other PSA Group vehicles. Well managed with the smooth 6-speed manual gearbox, it doesn’t do speed records, but is an easy drive that won’t tax the spirit or the body in any driving conditions. The claimed fuel consumption is in the order of 54mpg equivalent, and that’s respectable for the size of the vehicle.
My review car was the entry Feel BlueHDi XS, with stop and start, and at base price comes in at €38,000. The metallic paint added €760, and park assist another €950. Total of €40,010 is not cheap, but if kept for the 5-year period of the warranty, there should be still enough residual value to have made it a viable purchase, should you have need for what it can so excellently provide.