Relay Airdream Review

Citroen Relay Airdream Review

Citroen Relay Airdream Review

Designing and building a new van is an expensive business. Tooling up, passing the safety tests and coming up with a new configuration that offers more than existing vehicles can be a long and demanding undertaking. It is no wonder, then, that so many manufacturers now collaborate on such projects, working on common platforms and engines. The upside of all this joint working is that the van operator can expect more new vans coming on to the market. The downside is that some of these vans can be extremely hard to tell apart.

One such collaboration, and one of the longest running, is that between Fiat Group and Peugeot Citroen (PSA). This partnership has given us the Citroen Relay, Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato. This is a close relationship where Fiat takes the lead role and builds the vans for PSA. All three companies use the same design for these vans, so telling them apart can be a challenge. We can say that the PSA vans are powered by a different engine than their Fiat counterparts, but other than this and a few cosmetic design tweaks, there is really very little to distinguish each van.

Relay Telematics

One area where the Citroen Relay 2.2 E-HDi Airdream does differ is in its telematics system, which is offered as standard. This Teletrac system is found on the full range of Citroen Relay panel vans and includes the company's intelligent satellite navigation package, Smartnav, along with their stolen-van tracking system, Trackstar. The Teletrac system also allows the option of specifying the company's fleet management system, Fleet Director.

These features at least set the Citroen Relay 2.2 E-HDi Airdream apart a little from its siblings, and for those operators who are looking to introduce telematics to the fleet, it could be enough of a difference to persuade them to go for the van. The Teletrac system is able to provide excellent vehicle routing capabilities, avoiding traffic problems and making operations that bit more efficient. The system allows for vehicle tracking, aiding recovery in the event of the van been stolen and therefore potentially reducing insurance costs. It also removes some administrative tasks from the driver, easing the working load a bit.

Updates

The Citroen Relay 2.2 E-HDi Airdream is really an update of the existing model rather than a totally new van, but it does have some significant advantages over the old van. These tend to be focused on comfort, equipment and fuel efficiency. The Citroen Relay 2.2 E-HDi Airdream has stop-start to aid fuel consumption, reaching a whisker under 43mpg on the combined cycle. All models come with a proper steel bulkhead, electronic stability control, Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB radio. If you plump for the Enterprise model, you also get a five-inch colour touch screen, perimetric alarm, speed limiter and cruise control. There are also options for a reversing camera, lane-departure warning system and a special system for increased traction, featuring air suspension and hill descent control. The cabin is comfortable, and 236 lb/ft of torque promises good load-carrying capabilities. Taken together, these features may just help the Citroen Relay 2.2 E-HDi Airdream to stand out from the crowd.

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