Citroen E-SpaceTourer review | Mazic News

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The Business Edition of this van-based EV is affordable, adaptable, and practical, but its small battery might be a stumbling block

Citroen isn’t messing around with its electrification strategy.

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That means anyone trying to replace the now-discontinued seven-seat Grand C4 Spacetourer MPV with another Citroen (or Peugeot, for that matter) only has electric options.

While the e-Berlingo is a smaller “leisure vehicle” with up to seven seats, the e-SpaceTourer is a full-fledged van with up to nine seats.

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It’s available in two lengths – M or XL – and two very different trim levels, with eight or nine-seat configurations but with just one powertrain option.

The equipment lines are clearly aimed at two different markets. The £48,000 Flair Edition includes family-friendly touches like touchless sliding doors, a two-piece split tailgate, dual-zone automatic air conditioning with additional rear vents, keyless entry and start, panoramic glass roof panels and a reversing camera as standard. It also features cosmetic touches such as body-colored bumpers and mirrors, alloy wheels, and tinted rear window.

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In contrast, the Business Edition starts at just under £36,000 and gets by without these gimmicks, although our test version came with the Look Pack, which adds body-coloured bumpers, power mirrors and rear parking sensors (£480) and the Connected Navi infotainment Upgrading (£400). While the specification is a significant step down, the Business Edition still gets a small digital instrument display, 7-inch media screen with smartphone mirroring and steering wheel controls.

It also comes with nine seats in a 3-3-3 configuration instead of the eight-seat configuration in the Flair. In this arrangement it is an extremely practical people carrier. A third of the center row folds forward to give access to the rear seat, and each row offers plenty of space for passengers. The bench seats can also be folded flat and removed, increasing the standard 700 liters of cargo space to a maximum of 4,200 litres. There are also plenty of storage compartments, cup holders and attachment points – remnants of Dispatch’s transporter on which the e-SpaceTourer is based.

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As previously mentioned, the e-SpaceTourer has just one powertrain – a single 134hp electric motor powering the front wheels and powered by a 50kWh battery. Three riding modes – Eco, Normal and Power – can help adjust performance to conserve battery power, and there are two levels of brake regeneration to suit different riding conditions.

The EV powertrain works great from a van perspective, especially for last mile delivery.

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As with any electric vehicle, throttle response is instant and smooth, and you don’t have to worry about shifting gears. It’s not exactly fast – 0-62mph takes 13.1 seconds – but initial response is good. Compared to a manual transmission diesel unit, it makes life so much easier, quieter and smoother. For drivers operating in inner cities, where traffic and intersections result in constant stop-start driving, the easier, smoother driving experience is to be welcomed.

However, there is a caveat, particularly with the business specification. With nine seats and less luxury than the Flair trim, it’s clearly designed as a people carrier for the kind of businesses that ply their trade as airport taxi services and the like.

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The relatively short range of the e-Spacetourer could become a problem here. It uses the same 50kWh battery found in cars like the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e and can offer a relatively short range of 136 miles in this large, boxy minibus format.

While that’s good enough for a day of city driving, a few long-distance trips at higher speeds to far-flung interchanges will quickly drain the battery, especially when fully loaded with people and luggage. On the plus side, the e-SpaceTourer supports 100kW DC charging, so can charge from zero to 80% in around half an hour, and can also be specified with 11kW AC charging.

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That lack of range is the price Citroen is paying for being one of the first to sell an electric van, but if the expected 230-mile-plus Ford Tourneo Custom arrives in 2024, it could become a deal-breaker for companies and large families will be when considering an all-electric passenger transport.

Until then, the low entry price – cheaper than some ICE competitors – the tax advantages and the exemption from various congestion and environmental zone fees could be enough to compensate for the range limitation.

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Citroen e-SpaceTourer Business Edition

Price: £35,795 (£37,400 as tested); Engine: single synchronous electric motor; Battery: 50kWh; Perfomance: 134 hp; Torque: 221 pounds foot; Transmission: single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive; Top speed: 81 miles per hour; 0-100km/h: 13.1 seconds; Area: 136 miles; Consumption: n / A; Load: up to 100kW

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advantages

  • massive space
  • Cheaper than ICE competitors
  • Smooth EV driving experience

Disadvantages

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  • Very limited range
  • Basic specification levels
  • Looks and feels like a van