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Mercedes-Benz eCitan

STAR POWER? (some text hidden) --NONE--

By Jonathan Crouch

Mercedes campaigns in the compact part of the EV van market with this eCitan. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 40

The eCitan is the most class-competitive Mercedes EV van yet, thanks to borrowed Renault mechanicals, which it clothes with slightly smarter packaging. We've waited a long time for a small battery-powered Mercedes LCV. Can this one live up to expectations?

Backgroundword count: 159

One of the unexplained mysteries in the van industry is why Mercedes never offered a full-electric version of its first generation small LCV, the Citan, sold between 2013 and 2022. That Citan was, after all, based almost entirely on the Renault Kangoo, the first small van in the industry to adapt adopt full-electric power back in 2011. Fast forward to 2023 and the very different market landscape means that there is absolutely no chance of Mercedes ignoring full-battery tech for its second generation Citan. Indeed, this MK2 model, which still sells mainly as a diesel, will be the last new Mercedes van to offer a combustion engine. This second generation design also shares Kangoo mechanicals in both its forms, making it also basically the same proposition as a Nissan Townstar. Which means in the case of the eCitan EV model we look at here a 44kWh battery with very competitive range and charging stats. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experienceword count: 218

In some ways, Mercedes' reticence to fit a full-electric drivetrain to the previous generation Citan is easy to understand. Even the final versions of the first generation Kangoo Z.E. were slow to charge and could go just 143 miles between spells of replenishment for the relatively small 33kWh battery. The second generation Kangoo E-Tech powertrain that Mercedes has borrowed for this eCitan is a much stronger proposition. There's a much bigger, more easily chargeable 44kWh battery which can take this LCV 176 miles between charges (for some reason 10 miles less than an equivalent Kangoo E-Tech). It's an eager unit with 90kW (122hp) of power and 245Nm of torque. There are two drive programmes - 'Comfort' and 'Eco' - the latter optimising range but restricting engine output. There are also three selectable brake recuperation levels - 'D-', 'D' and 'D+'. Mercedes says that it's worked hard to give this Citan 'Mercedes DNA' in the way that it rides and handles, re-tuning damping and driving dynamics to better suit brand values. With some other EV vans, all the deletion of a combustion engine does is to emphasise wind and tyre roar, but there's little of that here. And there's a whole range of advanced camera drive assist features available which could never have been fitted to the previous model.

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Category: Vans

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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