The Relay’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine comes with high-pressure common-rail direct fuel injection. Maximum power makes its presence felt at 3,750rpm while top torque of 350Nm bites at 1,750rpm.
The Relay comes with independent front suspension with MacPherson-type struts while trailing arm suspension helps support the rear. Our demonstrator’s 15-inch steel wheels were shod with Bridgestone Duravis 215/70 R15C tyres. Power-assisted steering delivers a 14.14m turning circle between kerbs. Disc brakes are fitted all round and the safety systems installed include ABS, electronic stability control and emergency brake assist.
The Relay handles surprisingly well and you can push it hard through bends without having to worry that you will come unstuck – unless, of course, you do something really foolish. Our demonstrator nipped away sharply from rest, accelerated strongly through the
gears and cruised the motorways quite happily at the maximum permitted speed limit.
It did so reasonably frugally too.
We averaged around 44mpg over a mixture of routes running either half-laden or empty. Unusually – and perhaps recognising the degree to which official fuel returns have been discredited – Citroen quotes minimum and maximum combined-cycle mpg figures. They are 42.8mpg and 47.1mpg, respectively.
Unfortunately, the gear change was notchy and clonky, which impeded our progress, and the ride turned out to be adequate rather than outstanding. It was the level of in-cab noise that really concerned us, however – especially under acceleration – and we were obliged to turn up the radio on more than one occasion because the broadcast was being drowned out by the din.
With tougher penalties promised for speeding offences it is perhaps just as well that cruise control with a variable speed limiter was provided. It should help to keep you legal.