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First Drive Written by Richard Gooding

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FIRST DRIVE

Citroën Dispatch What is it? The 2016 Citroën Dispatch is the latest in a long line of light commercial luminaries from the French company, which includes the 1939 TUB (Transport Utilitaire série B) and the now-fashionable Type H of 1947. Launched at the 2016 Commercial Vehicle Show (GreenFleet, issue 94), Citroën’s latest medium-sized panel van has both French and Japanese relatives in the shape of the Peugeot Expert and the Toyota Proace. Three lengths are available as well as a passenger-carrying SpaceTourer version. Aimed at fleets who desire a 1,400kg maximum load weight but find a Berlingo or similar-sized LCV just that little bit too small, the Dispatch range starts with the new ‘XS’ variant, which is a unique offering in the light commercial sector. With an overall length of 4.6m-long and a base 4.6m3 load capacity, the new ‘compact’ Dispatch aims to offer all the versatility of a larger van in a smaller footprint. Longer length 4.95m ‘M’ and 5.3m ‘XL’ models enjoy load capacities up to 5.8m3 and 6.6m3 respectively, and can carry one additional Euro pallet over the pair which can be swallowed by the XS. All versions have

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a standard height of 1.9m, which Citroën cites as a benefit for urban use where car park restrictions come into play all too often. Overall, nine body configurations are available, business users able to choose between panel van, crew van and platform cab models. The new Dispatch is a smart-looking light commercial, and embraces styling cues from Citroën’s passenger car ranges both inside and out. Externally, a ‘friendly’ face includes the company’s famed grille chevrons which flow into the headlights, while pronounced wheel arch styling neatly incorporates the fuel filler flap.

an electrically-sliding side door which can be activated by a button on the dashboard or by gesturing your foot under the rear bumper corner. This makes loading a much simpler operation and is a handy and useful touch for awkward hands-full moments. For added practicality, the optional ‘Moduwork’ system comprises a dual passenger bench seat with fold-up outer seat, a fold-down writing table in the central seat back, as well as storage under central seat. But, most importantly, the full steel bulkhead has a load-through flap under the outer passenger seat to increase overall load length to an impressive 3.3m on XS compact models and 4.0m on XL variants. Inside the loading area, floor and/or side loading area coverings are available in either wood or a durable non-slip coating, while crew vans enjoy both fixed or folding partition options. The second and third row of seats can be removed entirely for maximum

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How practical is it? The 50/50 rear doors on Dispatch panel van and crew vans swing out to 250 degrees for the ultimate in easy access, while a lift-up tailgate is optional. One neat touch the French company has incorporated is

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GreenFleet 96  

The only fleet publication dedicated to promoting a cleaner environment

GreenFleet 96  

The only fleet publication dedicated to promoting a cleaner environment