What with Ford’s Transit continuing to benefit from its iconic status and Mercedes-Benz’s Sprinter still the fastest van on the M1, Citroen’s front-wheel drive Relay could be forgiven for feeling somewhat marginalised.
With strong diesel engines, a respectable payload capacity and long service intervals, it has some advantages, however, and operators might consider putting it on their shopping lists.
Both produced by the PSA Group, the Relay and Peugeot’s Boxer are identical apart from their badges. They share their basic design with Fiat Professional’s Ducato thanks to a long-standing joint-venture agreement between PSA and Fiat.
We’ve been taking a look at the latest, Euro6 version of the Relay van. The old 2.2-litre diesel has gone. Power now comes courtesy of a 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel at 110hp, 130hp or 160hp depending on which version you pick, with gross weights of 3,000kg, 3,300kg, 3,500kg or 4,005kg. Load cubes are at 8m3, 10m3, 11.5m3, 13m3, 15m3 or 17m3 while payload capacities run from 1,140kg to 1,995kg.
The Relay is also produced as a chassis cab and as a chassis crew cab, and marketed with tipper, dropside, Luton, car transporter and plant bodies under Citroen’s Ready to Run programme. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range and you can pick from two levels of trim - entry-level and Enterprise.
We got to grips with a 130hp 13m3 3.5t Enterprise van – the sort of workhorse that is regularly acquired by businesses all over the UK, and with more frills than most.