Petrol engines are making something of a comeback. They particularly appeal to urban-based delivery operators for whom maximizing fuel consumption on long hauls is less of an issue and also to those who prefer a more refined, quieter driving experience.
Mercedes covered its bases early in 2014 by introducing a 114hp 1.2-litre petrol-engined model, dubbed the Citan 112. Like the 110hp 111CDi diesel, it gets a six-speed manual gearbox rather than the five-speed transmission used in the rest of the line-up.
Official fuel consumption on the combined cycle for the petrol van is put at 46.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 140g/km. This compares to 64.1mpg and 115g/km respectively for the 111 diesel.
We can attest that the petrol-powered Citan delivers a relaxing and smooth driving experience, particularly on short city routes where the slick six-speed gearbox comes into its own. In contrast to many diesel vans the 112 is more than happy to function in third gear at speeds barely touching 20mph whereas out on a dual carriageway the top gear is a welcome feature.
The cabin came with cruise control, speed limiter functions and height adjustable steering and driver’s seat but was otherwise fairly basic, with fiddly radio controls and no DAB reception.
The shovel-like handbrake betrays the van’s heritage as an adaption of Renault’s Kangoo and the tailgate is heavy and cumbersome, which could take its toll over the course of a busy working day with regular delivery drops. Our van came with optional air-conditioning for £872, metallic paint for £390 and 16” alloys for £799.
The refined petrol engine will appeal to some urban operators but the Citan 112 is likely to remain a niche product.