Citroen has announced that at the upcoming Commercial Vehicle Show (April 24 -26) will present the facelifted versions of its Dispatch and Berlingo LCVs. The new models received both style and technical modifications and also a few interior upgrades.
Together with the new models the company will also showcase the latest Euro 5 Nemo, Berlingo XTR+, two Relay Enterprise panel vans and a Relay Specialist tipper.
Scott Michael, Citroën’s Commercial Vehicle Operations Manager, said: “The 2012 Berlingo and Dispatch ranges offer further fuel economy gains and emissions reduction benefits. These improvements will put the Berlingo and Dispatch models even further ahead of their competitors.” The 2012 Citroen Dispatch is available in standard and Enterprise trim levels with a choice of 1,000 or 1,200kg payloads.
Compared to the outgoing model the, 2012 Dispatch received only a few exterior upgrades, but it overall keeps the same design. The grille was slightly revised and now features a sharper design, while the front headlights have also been reshaped. Other modifications were made to the door handles and the lateral mirrors which now feature a more aerodynamic shape.
The rest of the design remained unchanged and the Dispatch keeps the raked windshield and the streamlined profile of the bonnet. The wrap round bumper is also the same as the old one and features a central air intake flanked by two circular headlights.
Viewed from the profile, the Citroen Dispatch features an aerodynamic design combined with deep mouldings and a sporty crease that runs along the doors. The back features two vertical rear lights and a tailgate for accessing the load area.
The 2012 Dispatch range includes L1 and L2 versions, as well as a choice of two roof heights (H1 & H2).
The cabin was designed around functional requirements, hence don’t expect to any fancy interior style. The design remained mostly unchanged and you’ll find the same intrusive dash from the old model. The overall ergonomy isn’t too bad and is at par with its competitors, but the plastics and materials used are definitely part of the third class as it will be impossible to find a soft-touch surface as the gray plastics on the dashboard and door panels are hard with no texturing on any surface.
The good part is that these plastics look like they will pass pretty well the test of time and are easy to clean. Everything is also cleanly finished and looks well put together.
The central console is pretty basic with all the controls placed within easy reach. The instrument cluster has a simple design and follows the same utilitarian style as the rest of the cabin.
You won’t complain about space and the Dispatch offers room for up to free people on the front row of seats. One of our favorite features is the middle seat that transforms into a useful desk with mobile phone slots and two cup holders if it is folded. All 2012 Citroen Dispatch panel vans have a dual passenger seat and twin side load doors, while the range also includes a 6-seat crew van and a platform cab for special bodywork.
We don’t have any major complains about the driver’s seat either as it at par with its competitors and comes with plenty of adjustments. Though, we’re not big fans of the rudimentary design of the steering wheel, but it does its job fairly good and offers a good grab while it can also be adjusted for reach and rake.
The storage department is also pretty well represented and the Citroen Dispatch features a refrigerated glove box, door pockets, a bunch of well placed cup holders that pop out from the dash and convenient over head consoles. All Citroen Dispatch panel vans are fitted, as standard, with Citroën’s unique Trafficmaster Smartnav satellite navigation system and Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking.
Engines and Performance
The 2012 Citroen Dispatch, is now available with a choice of HDi 90, HDi 95 and HDi 125 engines, all mated on 6-speed manual gearboxes.
The company claims that the new engine range features a significantly improved fuel economy of up to 6.3% and up to 15g/km emission reduction, compared to the previous models.
In addition, the 2012 Dispatch range now includes a new Grip Control option pack for improved performances on difficult terrains. The new Dispatch Grip Control option pack includes ESP, Traction Control and Hill Start Assist as well as 16in Michelin Agilis tyres. With the Grip Control pack, the driver can select from four modes - normal, all-terrain, snow or sand - and this advanced anti-skid option then automatically adapts to offer maximum traction.
|HDi||95@ 4000||180 @ 1500|
Ride and handling
The Citroen Dispatch is equipped with a standard adjustable pneumatic rear suspension, which is optional on diesel Panel Vans, Enterprise and Combi models. The air suspension offers better vehicle stability and a constant ride height of less than 1.90m. The air suspension can also be adjusted by means of a manual control allowing a reduction of the rear sill height to 49cm. The steering is also pretty well balanced and offers a good maneuverability in most of the situations.
The list of standard safety systems includes ESP, ABS, EBD and the HBA system that boosts the braking force in case of an emergency. Other safety features are driver, passenger and side airbags and window bags.
The Dispatch, offers a nice mixed between comfort, functionality and fuel consumption, and thanks to the new upgrades it will be even more efficient. Thanks to its wide range of versions the Citroen Dispatch will appeal to a large number of buyers and the exterior design is also surprisingly modern for a commercial vehicle. The interior is kitted with a host of high tech features and apart of its hard plastics the overall build quality looks lasting.