Citroen Dispatch – The Ultimate Middle Van
First launched in 2007 as a joint venture between Fiat and Peugeot Citroen, the Dispatch has become the mainstay of Citroens mid-range fleet. Available in a short-wheelbase model L1, and long-wheelbase model L2, there is also a high roof variation of the L2 designated L2H2.
If you need to carry stuff as well as goods, then crew cabs are an option, as are six and nine-seat combination variants, designated SX models. A platform van with various loading options is also available.
Although petrol engines were available on the earlier models, the range now is exclusively diesel using 1.6, 90bhp and 2.0 litre, 125bhp HDi engines.
The economy is the name of the game running commercial vehicles, and the engines, designed by Ford and PSA, return an impressive 42.2mpg with emissions of 177g/km for the 1.6 size, and an even more impressive 44.1mpg, with emissions of 168g/kg for the 2.0-litre.
Although 1600 may be slightly underpowered, the fuel consumption figures put the Dispatch in the same box as the Vauxhall Vivaro ecoFLEX, and the VW Transporter.
Depending on your choice of body, the Dispatch can carry 5.0, 6.0, or 7.0 cubic metres of cargo.
Unfortunately, air suspension is an extra, but at a cost of 410GBP, well worth considering. It allows the rear end to drop to 491mm, lower than any other similar commercial. The package also includes automatic monitoring of the tyre pressures.
Safety and Reliability:
One of the Dispatch’s big let downs are electronic stability control is an optional extra, and not available at all for the L1H1 1000 HDi 90. Fitted with a driver’s airbag, a passenger airbag is a 140GBP option and side airbags aren’t available for any model.
Engine wise, both 1.6 and 2.0-litre sizes have a tried and tested history, and are a good reliable workhorse in commercial vehicles.
Cab and Comfort:
I’ve always found the driving position in Citroens, both car and commercial comfortable and relaxing, and the Dispatch is no different. With seat height adjustment, and steering column adjustment, the Dispatch will accommodate drivers of all shapes and sizes.
The range doesn’t have an automatic gearbox option, but the manual five and six-speed boxes have a light action when shifting up and down through the gears.
Plenty of cab storage space is available with the usual door pockets, plus cubbyholes in the dash, and a deeper bin on the passenger side. Central locking, electric windows and trip computer are all standards. If you require a higher spec cab the Dispatch Enterprise offers air-con, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, and a USB socket for 880GBP.
All in all, a hard working economical mid-range van, high load carrying capabilities and an easy drive make the Dispatch a good, value-for-money, all-rounder.