Versatile, spacious, practical and reliable, the hard-working Citroen Dispatch van – the sister vehicle of the Toyota Proace and Peugeot Expert – has won a bunch of awards since it was revamped in 2016. Here are ten reasons why it’s definitely one to consider.
The post-2016 Dispatch comes in three lengths and can carry a payload of up to 6.6 cubic metres, or 1,371kg, in a loading bay up to 4.03m long and 1.26m wide. That's room for three Euro pallets or some 8x4 plywood sheets. Even the smallest XS version has 5.1 cubic metres of load space. The Dispatch can also tow a braked trailer weighing up to 2,500kg.
All panel vans have two passenger seats, but if you plan to carry lots of people, there's a six-seater crew van, a nine-seater combi and a platform cab. The crew van can still carry four cubic metres of cargo and has 73 litres of storage under the second row of seats. Possible conversions include a refrigerated van with an insulated bulkhead - which also provides better soundproofing - or adaption to carry up to six people with mobility issues.
2016 revamp was pretty comprehensive, but even so, if you go back to the previous generation (vans from 2007 to 2016), body shapes and load capacities are similar: up to 7 cubic metres or 1,200kg in a loading bay up to 2.58m long, and a towing capacity of up to 2,000kg.
Twin sliding side doors make loading a doddle, and there’s a step into the cabin to make getting in there easy too. Some versions also have hands-free sliding doors that you can open and close with your foot – fantastic if you have your hands full. As long as you have the key on you, you can just wave your foot underneath the door.
The cabin looks and feels smart and good quality, and is cleanly and practically laid out, with good visibility thanks to the high driving position. The driver's seat is height, reach and lumbar-adjustable, with good support for your thighs and lower back, so even tall drivers will find it easy to get comfortable. There's also a driver's armrest for comfort on long journeys.
There are 49 litres of cabin storage, including two glove boxes on the passenger side, an A4-sized compartment on top of the dashboard, large door bins and a storage tray. The middle seat can be folded into a laptop table on some versions. A full steel bulkhead is standard on all panel vans.
On the road, the Dispatch is car-like, comfortable, refined and quiet; it feels well planted and easy to place on the road, with a smooth, pliant ride. AutoExpress wrote: “The Dispatch feels stable while cornering, and is relaxing to drive. With the Dispatch, Citroen can justifiably claim its place as one of the comfort leaders in the van sector.”
There's a choice of either a 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engine, the former available with 94bhp or 114bhp, the latter with 120bhp, 150bhp or 180bhp and up to 251lb ft of torque. The larger engine offers greater load-carrying capacity by 400kg. Both engines are Euro 6 compliant.
Pre-2016 Dispatches usually come with either a 90bhp 1.6-litre diesel or a 125bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine; there are also some petrol versions around too, though these will be older.
Fuel economy is up to 55.3mpg with the best-performing 114bhp 1.6-litre engine, and all versions return at least 51mpg. Honest John described the Dispatch as “one of the best in its segment for day-to-day usability and costs.”
The Dispatch is, handily, less than 2m tall if you go for the two smaller versions, which is low enough for you to take it into a multi-storey car park.
Auto Express said: “Where the Dispatch is set apart from many rivals is the array of technology on offer.” There are three trim levels; in entry-level X trim, all panel vans come with cruise control, electric front windows, a full-size spare wheel and 12-volt sockets in both the cabin and cargo area. A DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB and aux connectivity is also standard.
Enterprise trim adds a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, air conditioning, automatic headlights and wipers, and a load-through bulkhead that allows you to carry long, thin items. Enterprise Plus includes alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a rear parking camera, front fog lights and metallic paint.
The Dispatch has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test safety rating, and standard features include electronic stability control, driver and front passenger airbags, ABS with emergency brake assist and traction control with hill assist.
Security features include remote central locking with deadlocks, and an alarm on Enterprise trim, which also has separate locking for the cab so you can keep it secure while you're loading and unloading.
Since its revamp, the Dispatch has won What Van?’s light commercial vehicle of the year award in both 2017 and 2018, and Commercial Fleet magazine's medium van of the year award in 2018.
What Van? editor James Dallas described the Dispatch as “the most versatile and economical product in its sector,” adding that it had “excellent engines and transmissions”.
What Car?, in its review, called it “an all-around very attractive van both in terms of its looks, practicality and cost of ownership” and praised its “capable range of engines”.
Knowing all this now you are ready to go on a hunt for your next van. Check our available stock for many different types of pre-owned commercial vehicles.
Panel vans, minibuses, pick-ups, and tipper vans from the biggest makes are all available at great prices.
If you'd like to test drive one of the used vans for sale, have a look at our website to see what we have for you, and call us at our Essex dealership on 01279 216163. Ask us about our vans on finance and van contract hire offers too.