Citroen e-Space Tourer
By Bill McCarthy
HOW do you make a van look sexy? Well, you can’t, but with Citroen’s electric nine-seater you can smooth out the rough edges and give it a touch of refinement.
Clearly not an everyday runabout, it is ideal for big families, small businesses, where the seats can be removed for transporting goods, or a taxi.
Citroen has added curves and signature Citroen chevrons grille, sleek headlights and smart wheels to give it a more striking stance, but it is still hard to disguise the fact it is based on a van.
Clues to the fact it is an electric vehicle are the discrete charging point at the left front wing, and the bespoke front grille with an “ë” monogrammed on the right side of the front grille and on the tailgate. Other neat styling touches are black door mirrors and stylish 16-inch wheels.
The range is OK as well, but with 136 miles available, a couple of trips to the local airport will mean charging up pretty regularly, but in terms of running costs, it will be hard to beat, with zero tailpipe emissions freeing it of congestion and clean air zone charges. Not to mention taxation and Benefit in Kind savings for business users.
Which is what the Business version driven here is designed to cater for.
It features a 50kWh battery which can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in around half an hour using the powerful 100kWh chargers. In an emergency, it can be charged with the correct lead from a normal house socket, but this will take in excess of 14 hours.
Mated with a CVT transmission, the electric motor delivers 136hp, hits 60mph in just over 13 seconds and has a top speed of 81mph. There are three driving modes, eco, normal or power which speak for themselves with eco obviously the most energy-efficient.
But this is not the type of vehicle being bought for performance. It’s all about practicality and can accommodate nine when acting as a minibus or, fold the rear seats down it still accommodates six, but also offers a huge amount of stowage space, with 2,381 litres of luggage space available.
For even more room, fold all of the seats, including the front passenger seat, to open up a cavernous 4,554 litres to the roof. There are multiple seating combinations to accommodate people, luggage or loads to the tip.
The hands-free sliding doors add to practicality and allow passengers and them under the corner of the rear bumper to automatically unlock and open the side door you’re next to.
The interior is spacious and comfortable with excellent head and legroom and features high end goodies such as the centrepiece colour capacitive touchscreen which controls media, phone and navigation.
An option is Citroën Connect Nav with voice control which delivers real-time traffic information, the location of fuel stops and prices, car parks and even the latest weather.
There are plenty of practical creature comfort including the 180° reversing camera on this model, air conditioning, electric and heated door mirrors, electric power steering with reach and rake-adjustable steering column and one-touch electric front windows with pinch protection
It is also packed with safety kit, including full complement of airbags, ABS (with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, hill start assist, cruise control and driver attention alert.
Not sexy, but hugely practical, well equipped and cheap to run.
Citroen e-SpaceTourer Business Edition 50kW 136 M
Mechanical: 130bhp electric motor driving front wheels via auto gearbox
Max speed: 81mph
0-60mph: 13.1 seconds
Range: 136 miles
Insurance group: 33
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles