Citroen Relay Review 2024

Citroen Relay At A Glance


+One of the largest vans in its class, wide choice of wheelbases and heights, punchy engines, suited to heavy work and towing, comfortable ride and good handling.

-Drab plastics and the passenger bench seat is not as comfortable as it should be for long distances, noisy at all speeds.

Jointly developed with Fiat and Peugeot, the Relay is a good large van that majors on carrying big loads for the lowest possible cost. This explains why it is one of the few serious threats to the Ford Transit’s superiority in this corner of the market.

The workmanlike appearance of the Citroen Relay’s cab tells you all you need to know about this van. It’s here to work and do a job, and do it well. This sums up the Relay’s approach to life and the cab offers a high-set driving position to give a great view of the road ahead. There’s also good vision from the side windows, though reversing can be tricky due to the Relay’s size. Load volumes span from eight to 17 cubic metres, while all get a useful 1.4 metres between the wheel arches. Payloads range from 1155kg to 1900kg.

All Relay models get navigation as standard in all models. This helps separate the Relay from its large van rivals and is a good selling point; however you have to spec up to Enterprise trim to get air conditioning and parking sensors.

The Relay comes with a choice of four body lengths, three roof heights and a spread of 110PS, 130PS and 150PS 2.2-litre turbodiesel engines and a 3.0-litre turbodiesel with 180PS. In 2016 Citroen introduced a range of Euro6 2.0 BlueHDi engines, with lower running costs and emissions. Power outputs, however, remain virtually unchanged. 

The Relay has some of the lowest running costs in its class, with advertised fuel economy peaking at 48.7mpg for panel van versions and 42.8mpg for dropsides. What might put you off the Relay is the amount of wind and road noise that can be heard in the cabin.

While the engines are decently quiet and keep themselves to themselves at higher speeds, the amount of whistle and grumble from wind and road can leave you wishing for a set of earplugs. The ride is also quite bumpy when the van is lightly loaded. This is a real shame for the Relay, especially when the Ford Transit is noted for its quiet and comfortable nature.

Used Buying Guide - Citroen Relay

A canny choice then for a business looking for a smart, capable, huge, used van, the Peugeot Boxer has plenty to offer the second-hand buyer.

Read the buying guide here >>

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Ask Honest John

Could you recommend an electric van or a petrol Euro6 model?

"Are there any electric panel vans, equivalent to a Citroen Relay or similar, available? If not, as I suspect, what would you recommend in the petrol vehicles, that meet ULEZ requirement of Euro 6. I ask as we use a Relay as a street food vehicle, so need something sizeable. Otherwise we are stuck with diesel and will have to pay big sums when the new ULEZ scheme starts in 2021."
Both the Volkswagen Crafter and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are available with electric powertrains. No petrol large vans. But you can claim up to £6000 off the list price with the ULEZ scrappage scheme when you trade in your old van:
Answered by Dan Powell

What will happen if I don't change the engine oil straight away?

"I have a two year old Citroen Relay van (2.0 diesel). It had an oil and air filter change a year ago at 4000 miles. It's now done another 4000 miles and a change oil warning light comes on at the start of each journey. I'm on the garage's waiting list for the van to be serviced. The van handbook is light on detail. Can you tell me if the van will go into limp home mode at some point as I have no idea when I will be able to get it serviced? "
The oil and filter should be changed every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first). It shouldn't go into limp home mode, but the old oil might increase general wear and tear due to fact it will lose its lubricity over time.
Answered by Dan Powell

Can I haggle a discount on a new vehicle when a scrappage discount is already in play?

"I have more or less decided on a new Citroen Relay van. I note I could obtain one from a broker for about £18,000 (excluding VAT). However, I note that Citroen are offering £10,000 scrappage/swappage on their site for the Relay. I have an old Kangoo that is idea, it's literally on death's door and wouldn't be worth £300. £10,000 against it sounds enticing. How much should I expect to be able to pin down on a discount, before hitting them with the £10k scrappage they have advertised? I'm fully aware that they will want to give with one hand (offer a new scrappage promotion) and take with the other hand (simultaneously inflate prices and cease discounting.) £10k off full price (ie: £22k ex VAT) leaves them still uncompetitive in relation to a van broker site. Do you thinking its doable to get up to £5k or so negotiated discount off the list price then the £10k scrappage/swappage offer enacted on top of that again?"
In my experience, dealers are usually unwilling to haggle when they are offering scrappage for a part-exchange van. By all means try (if you don't ask...) but I'd expect the dealer to argue that their hands are tied due to the scrappage discount. It might be better to speak with two separate Citroen dealers and get two prices. That way you can a haggle a price without scrappage at one and then try and haggle a better deal at the other with the scrappage discount.
Answered by Dan Powell

If I get my old van converted to Euro6, will it become exempt from the ULEZ charge?

"I have a Citroen Relay. It's Euro4, so it falls foul of the ULEZ in London. If I get it converted to Euro6, will Transport for London revise their assessment of the vehicle and exempt it from the ULEZ charge?"
I'm unaware of any affordable conversion schemes that will upgrade a Euro4 van to Euro6. In theory, it might gain exemption from the ULEZ charge, but you would need to get this in writing from TfL before doing any such work to the van.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Citroen Relay cost?