Our regular vehicle correspondent David Stokes recently roadtested the new Citroen C2 - 'a wonderful and award-winning van'. Here is his report.
Although vans are not designed to be fun, Citroen could not remove the fun from its new C2 van. We all know the C2 mini-hatch is a fun car whatever engine is installed. I had the pleasure of a week's loan of the 1.4 litre diesel model and I defy anyone who drives it not to have a silly grin on their face.
Essentially, this is a small van really only suitable for someone with the minimum of tools or cargo. A foreman or team leader would find it an asset and so would the firm, owing to the van's very minimal fuel thirst.
The payload is a tiny 331kg which we all know will not set the world alight - but for a chap with a tool box and a few spares it will fit the bill.
The road holding is almost at 'sports car' standard, with a wheel on each corner it really does give the driver confidence as do the brakes with ABS, EBA, EBD which brings the van to a quick and quiet halt. Changing gear is slick and effortless and the ratios are well-spaced apart allowing the van to accelerate smoothly and to cruise along at motorway speeds seemingly with ease.
Standard in the van are driver and passenger airbags, seat belts with pretensioners with force limiters, height adjustable seats, energy absorbing side impact protection and - in case of a crash - the hazard warning light comes on automatically.
Personal storage is generous, there is the traditional glove box and door pockets but unusually there is a place for the car's tools in the lower part of the split tailgate. The now obligatory cup holders are in the centre console along with a coin tray and an ashtray.
In the cargo area there four tie-down points for expensive or easily breakable loads and to protect the occupants a solid steel and steel mesh bulkhead to stop items not tied down. A Citroen eccentricity is the black glass side panels instead of metal panels one normally sees where a hatchback is turned into a van.
Out on the road the van is able to easily keep up with all the other traffic, the power steering is well weighted and is nicely variable so there isn't too much assistance at motorway speeds causing the steering to become woolly.
One has the feeling that by turning this vehicle into a van Citroen has really just taken out the rear seats, put in a flat floor and replaced the side windows of clear glass for black glass nonopening windows.
A wonderful van - and an award winning van at that - gaining a 'Best Small Van' award from Professional Van & Light Truck Magazine. A class act and I'm not the only one to say so - great fun and a great van.