The runner up in Parkers’s Medium Van of the Year for two years running, the Citroën Dispatch is a super van for a wide variety of uses. The 2021 Dispatch is a continuation of the completely redesigned, third-generation model that Citroën first introduced in 2016.
We’ve got the Citroën Dispatch available here at Van Sales for low-rate finance options or of course cash sales, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think this might be the van for you. If you’re not sure yet, read on, and I’ll do my best to tell you about it.
Engines and Transmissions
There is a very wide of engines available, and in some cases, what is available will depend on whether you’re buying new or recent or you’re buying a used Dispatch from before May 2019. The older range of engines comprises 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre engines. In the 1.6 category, there’s a 1.6-litre Blue HDi diesel available in 95hp with either a five-speed manual or six-speed “automated manual” transmission, and there’s the same but with 116hp and a six-speed manual gearbox.
For the 2.0-litre BlueHdi diesels, there are 120hp and 150hp versions with a six-speed manual gearbox, and there’s a 180hp variant with a six-speed automatic transmission.
All of the engines perform admirably, although the 1.6-litre, 95hp model does struggle just a touch with heavy loads. The gearboxes get mixed reviews; the general view is that they’re not the best out there.
From May 2019, in accordance with the Euro 6d-Temp emissions requirements, the Dispatch’s engines changed every so slightly. The 2.0-litre models are more or less as they were, although the 180hp version now comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 1.6-litre engines have been changed for a 1.5-litre, 100hp model. It’s the same engine that Citroën (or Citroen) have been using in their passenger cars, so there is plenty of evidence to attest to its reliability.
The Dispatch, like many other new vans, uses the AdBlue system to help reduce emissions, specifically the particulate emissions that diesel engines produce. You can get around 9000 miles on a tank, and it’s easy enough to buy the replacement liquid and refill the tank yourself.
One of the great things about the Dispatch is it impressive on-paper fuel economy. The earlier batch of engines was claimed to attain 48.7mpg to 55.3mpg. The current line-up’s figures are lower (35.9mpg-41.3mpg), but this reflects better / more realistic testing rather reduced efficiency of the newer engines. Other manufacturers have seen their values fall too.
The Dispatch is available as a panel van, crew van (think combi), or platform cab. The crew van offers another row of seating behind the driver’s and main passengers’ seats and is a practical option if you need to carry cargo and extra humans. If your loads are only inanimate though, the panel van would be your best choice.
With three body lengths (but only one roof height), the Dispatch gives you plenty of choice in finding the best size for your needs. It also benefits from “Moduwork”; this is a load hatch / gate in the bulkhead which provides a load-through capacity into the passenger footwell. The hatch only works for thin objects like planks and piping, but it could save you having to tie your rear doors open and attach a little flag to the ends of your planks to stop the car behind from driving into them. Best to have everything safely secured inside the van if at all possible!
So, in the three variants imaginatively named XS, M, and XL, you have:
Maximum load length: 2160mm (3324mm with Moduwork)
Maximum load height: 1397mm
Maximum load volume: 4.6m3
Maximum load length: 2510mm (3674mm with Moduwork)
Maximum load height: 1397mm
Maximum load volume: 5.3m3
Maximum load length: 2860mm (4024mm with Moduwork)
Maximum load height: 1397mm
Maximum load volume: 6.1m3
The Dispatch gives you 1628mm of load width in all three body lengths with 1258mm between the wheel arches. And the exterior height — just the one as I said — is 1905mm for the XS, 1890mm for the M, and 1940 for the XL. (Essentially just the one: there’s just the smallest bit of variation among the three models.) Each of these figures is below the height limit for most car parks, so you should have no trouble parking the Dispatch wherever you are, although do be aware of your length if you go for the XL.
There are sliding doors on both sides of the van; these are standard across all body length and models. The standard bulkhead is full steel, again this is fitted to all models.
GVWs and Payload
Whereas the payload is how much cargo you can carry in weight, the GVW (gross vehicle weight) is the entire permitted weight of the vehicle and includes the cargo, the weight of the van itself, and the weight of the driver and any passengers.
The Dispatch offers three different GVWs:
XS: GVW 2.7tonnes, payload 1000kg
M: GVW 2.9tonnes, payload 1200kg
XL: GVW 3.1tonnes, payload 1400kg
Interior and Trims
While the Citroen Dispatch is fantastic in terms of its payload, technology, and fuel economy, some people feel that it lets drivers down a little on the cab layout. It can feel a bit tight and cramped, and as the steering wheel is offset from the pedals on the right-hand drive models, drivers may feel that they have to sit in an uncomfortable position to reach everything. That said, everybody (and every body) is different; given that the Dispatch is so excellent in almost every other way, it’s absolutely worth giving it a test to see if it works for you.
There’s reasonable — but not the best – storage in the cab, and if you go for the Moduwork bulkhead, you’ll also get a passenger bench where the middle seat folds down halfway to make a desk, and the outer seat folds flat.
With regard to trims, the specs up until May 2019 were:
- Electric windows
- Cruise control
- DAB radio
- Spare wheel (full size!)
- 12v sockets in the cab and cargo area
- Connectivity for USB and Bluetooth along with an aux-in jack
Next up, there’s the Dispatch Enterprise:
- Parking sensors (rear)
- Automatic wipers and lights
- 7.0-inch touchscreen “infotainment” system
- Heated door mirrors with electric adjustments
- Moduwork (load-through bulkhead with folding twin-passenger bench)
After that, you have the Enterprise Plus:
- 17” alloy wheels
- Metallic paint
- LED daytime running lights
- Front foglights
- 180° rear parking camera
- The heated door mirrors fold in on this one!
- Front parking sensors (in addition to the rear ones on the Enterprise, of course)
- Bumpers, door handles, and side rubbing strips colour-coded to match the body
- Sat nav (Connect) with breakdown assist and emergency-call function (standard on all models after May 2019)
In May 2019, Citroen introduced two new trim levels to the range: the Dispatch Worker and the Dispatch Driver. The Worker is designed for the rough terrain of some construction or works sites and has the Moduwork bulkhead fitted as standard. It also features Citroen’s Grip Control system, an augmented traction capability. It’s great for slick or slippery surfaces as not only does it have tyres specially designed for mud and snow, but it also includes some advanced electronic traction-control technology. The Worker has an additional 20mm of ground clearance over its non-Worker siblings, and it has a 20mm-thick sump guard to protect its sensitive areas from obstacles and salt spray.
The Citroen Dispatch Driver is aimed at those people who spend a lot of time in their vans. It features most of the extras found in the Enterprise Plus, and it also benefits from additional safety equipment including adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure-warning system, and autonomous emergency braking (AEB). The Driver also has increased insulation: temperate and noise.
The Dispatch is considered to be a quiet van overall and a smooth ride, nowhere near as bouncy as some of its competitors. It has a low centre of gravity so feels stable on the road. It’s quite well-insulated in general, even without the Driver version.
Safety and Reliability
As I’ve already mentioned, a full, steel bulkhead is standard on all models. Driver and passenger airbags are standard too as are deadlocks. Beyond that though, while there are a lot of safety features available for the Dispatch, like electronic stability control, blind-spot monitors, a speed limiter, forward distance alerts, etc., along with those included in the Driver trim, most of them are only available if you pay extra.
The Dispatch is generally considered to be a reliable van, and its engines — both pre- and post-May 2019 — have been well tested. However, it has been the subject of a fair few recalls on everything from the engine to brakes, steering to suspension, so if you’re buying used, it’s super important that you find out from your dealer exactly which recalls have affected the van you’re considering and what work has been carried out to fix the issues. You could also check with Citroen, who should be able to advise you.
As with the purchase of any second-hand vehicle, it’s vitally important that you find out as much information as possible. Ask for the the van’s paperwork, check its service history, and look carefully at the body for any damage or signs of repair. A reputable dealer will be delighted to talk for hours about the vans on offer (we never stop at Van Sales), so you should be able to learn everything you need to know to make a solid, informed decision.
The Van for You
If the Dispatch sounds like your perfect van or you’d like more information, give us a ring at Van Sales today; our lovely sales team will talk you through whatever you want to know. We do our best to ensure that our customers are happy, so whether it’s a cash deal you’re after, or you’d like to discuss our Citroen Dispatch finance arrangements, our affordable Citroen Dispatch lease, or a hire purchase plan, we’re always ready to help however we can.
Checkout the offical Citroen website