The Citroen Nemo is powered by a 1.25 litre Multijet diesel engine, formally named the Hdi 75. This produces 74bhp and can manage 50-60 miles per gallon depending on driving practices. Previously, Nemos with a 1,360cc Peugeot Citroen petrol engine were also available, which produced 72bhp. This version has since been dropped from the line-up, though naturally it is still available to used van buyers. The Nemo has a five-speed gearbox which comes in either standard manual or stop-start electronic flavours.
Depending on the exact model you purchase, the Nemo can handle payloads of up to 660kg. The load volume is 2.5 cubic metres - enough to swallow up a Euro pallet. Access is by a sliding door and side-hinged double doors at the rear. Some models offer twin sliding doors to allow access from either side.
Efforts to maximise load space have eaten into cabin space somewhat, though there are still plenty of compartments for storage space.
There are two seats: a fully adjustable driver's seat and a passenger seat that can fold down in order to add further loading versatility by giving room for longer loads. A fair range of basic features such as a CD player stereo and driver's airbag come as standard. The more recent Enterprise model adds a few more bells and whistles to the Nemo's arsenal, including Bluetooth functionality, rear parking sensors and air conditioning.
Positives and Negatives
The combination of small size and impressive loading space is definitely the key strength of the Nemo. It is small enough to handle like a hatchback, be easy to park and to weave deftly through urban traffic. In spite of this, it offers very decent load space and weight-bearing capacity, giving it a lot more carrying capability and versatility than its overall size would suggest.
Both the current diesel engine and now-discontinued petrol engine offer plenty of pull when moving off and at lower speeds. This, in combination with its overall compactness, makes the Nemo perfect for urban driving. However, neither the diesel nor the older petrol engine are especially well suited to high speeds. Get them on the motorway, and you will find yourself faced with a bit too much engine noise and not quite as much power for overtaking as you would like.
The choice of gearbox could make quite a bit of difference to your driving experience. The manual gearbox is smooth and light, but the electronic gearbox is rather slow to respond compared to a more traditional automatic.
Cabin space has suffered as a result of the drive to maximise loading room. Most drivers will not find this a major issue, but taller individuals may start to feel a bit cramped. On the subject of ride comfort, the suspension, while not terrible, does leave you with a rather rough and bumpy ride compared to many of the Nemo's competitors. On the positive side, as is often the case with hard suspension, the handling and road holding are very good.
The Citroen Nemo is by no means a perfect vehicle. It offers a bumpy ride, a smallish cabin and an engine that was not built for a comfortable motorway experience. Nonetheless, it is a highly capable van in a small package, and its compact size makes it hard to beat in many key aspects of city driving.