The Citroen Dispatch is one of the newest vans in the medium van segment, offering some innovative technology and superior ride and handling. Introduced in 2016, the third-generation Dispatch is available in a choice of three load lengths, four engines and payloads of up to 1,400kg.
The Citroen Dispatch was first launched in 1994, alongside its siblings the Peugeot Expert and Fiat Scudo. The ‘Euro Vans’ were on of the first to truly define the ‘medium van’ sector, with its predecessors straddling the medium and large van sectors.
Second-generation models were launched in 2006 but quickly fell behind in the market with the all-new Ford Transit Connect being launched in 2012 and the Renault Trafic (and badge-engineered models) in 2014. The third-generation Dispatch was launched in 2016 and is also badged as a Peugeot Expert, Vauxhall Vivaro and Toyota Proace.
Cab and interior
One of the first noticeable things about the Citroen Dispatch is the ease of access thanks to the low seating position and wide opening doors. However, a downside to the lower driver position and raised dashboard is the poor visibility; other medium-sized vans in this segment offer a much better view of the road ahead.
There is certainly ample space to store loose items, with a wide range of storage spaces from the large door pockets to under-seat storage, but they’re not very practical.
The dashboard itself is composed of durable hard-touch plastics and, while it may not be the most inspiring in design, its certainly tidy and well-appointed. For those versions with Moduwork (see Specifications below), the middle seat fold down to reveal a pivoting table with an elastic retainer that’s great for securing your tablet or laptop.
Citroen Dispatch specifications
Citroen offer the Dispatch in four trim levels ranging from the entry-level ‘X’ to the flagship ‘Driver’ model:
Citroen Dispatch X
- Remote control central-locking
- 4-way adjustable driver’s seat
- Driver’s seat armrest
- Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
- 12v socket in cabin
- Cruise control and speed limiter
- DAB radio with Bluetooth and Citroen Connect
- 16-inch steel windows
- Twin side loading doors
Citroen Dispatch Enterprise (in addition to X)
- Air conditioning
- Rear parking sensors
- Moduwork load-through facility
- 7-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Automatic lights
- Automatic windscreen
Citroen Dispatch Driver (in addition to Enterprise)
- Leather steering wheel and gear lever
- Folding door mirrors
- Front parking sensors
- Rear 180-degree rear camera
- Front fog lights with cornering function
- LED daytime running lights
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Body-coloured front and rear bumpers and door handles
- Metallic paint
- Satellite navigation
- Voice recognition
- Head-up display
- Safety Pack (traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, intelligent speed adaption, smart beam headlights and driver attention alert)
- Driver Assist Pack (adaptive cruise control, collision alert and active safety brake)
Citroen Dispatch Worker (in addition to X)
- Grip control with 17-inch wheels and 215/60 R17 3PMSF tyres
- Moduwork load-through facility
- 20mm thick under-engine protection
Engine and driveline
The Citroen Dispatch has one of the widest selections of engines and drivelines in the segment. Customers have the choice between a 1.5-litre (1,499cc) producing 100hp and 270Nm or 2.0-litre (1,997cc) diesel engine generating 120hp/340Nm, 147hp/370Nm and 174hp/400Nm. The 100hp and 150hp engines are only available with the 6-speed manual while the 174hp is mated with the 8-speed automatic; the 120hp is available with both transmissions.
Ride and handling
Boasting one of the lowest centre-of-gravity’s in the segment, the Citroen Dispatch is a pleasure to drive with the most car-like driving characteristics in its class. The steering is light and accurate but our only issue is that the controls are slightly off-centre to the driver’s seat, which means the body is slightly skewed when driving.
In terms of performance, the 1.5 100hp can be a bit lacklustre, especially with half a load, but the rest pull their weight well. The manual transmissions is smooth although we didn’t like the ‘square’ feel of the lever, while the automatic is seamless but very hesitant for a modern transmission.
Citroen Dispatch dimensions
Rather unusually, the Citroen Dispatch is available with a choice of three load lengths, but no option of a roof height. The distance between the bulkhead of rear doors measures either 2,162mm, 2,512mm or 2,862mm – depending on whether its an ‘XS’, ‘M’ or ‘XL’. Given the standard interior height of 1,397mm and standard interior width 1,636mm (1,258mm between the wheelarches), this relates to load volumes of 4.6, 5.3 and 6.1 cubic metres.
However, there is a load-through facility called ‘Moduwork’, which allows users to open a flap in the bulkhead and lift the passenger seat to load long items through to the passenger footwell. This extends the maximum load lengths by 1,160mm. Twin side loading doors, an interior light and six lashing points are standard across the range.
Citroen Dispatch payload and weights
Payload was clearly an area of focus for the engineers at PSA (Peugeot and Citroen) during the development stage. The Citroen Dispatch is available with a choice of three nominal gross vehicle weights (2.7t, 2.9t and 3.1t) equating to payloads, roughly, of 1,000kg, 1,200kg and 1,400kg. Towing capacities vary between 1,400kg and 2,500kg.
Costs and availability
The main drawback for the Citroen Dispatch is that this is no longer a cheap van. Prices start at £21,975 plus VAT for the ‘XS X’ version, rising to £35,180 plus VAT for the ‘M 180hp Auto Driver’ version. However, it is cheap to run thanks to great fuel economy (up to 44.2mpg combined on the 100hp with Start/Stop) and better residual values (although they’re still below average).
The Dispatch is backed by either a 2-year, unlimited mileage or 3-year, 100,000-mile warranty.