Although it has the attributes of a very versatile van (more of that later), the Nemo is first and foremost car-like to drive, light years away indeed from small vans of old. Better still, in Enterprise spec, it’s perfectly equipped for city use.
The new more powerful, higher torque, more frugal engine not only has lower emissions than its predecessor, but now benefits from stop-start technology.
Starting this in traffic, when you depress the clutch there is a small lag-time before the engine comes to life. Sounds awkward but I found that I quickly got used to this and within a couple of days was able to incorporate this quirk into my driving.
It’s not like you don’t get anything for the trouble – excellent fuel economy and emissions, for a start.
The cabin is well-designed and thanks to the addition of air con, Bluetooth and reverse parking sensors when in Enterprise guise, the Nemo is again car-like in its abilities to please. The Enterprise also comes with an MPS player, remote control central locking with deadlocks, separate locking of cabin and rear compartments, electric front windows, electric heated door mirrors, height adjustable drivers seat, with lumbar adjustment and armrest, a height adjustable steering wheel and a near side sliding door. A list that brings us back to that phrase ‘car-like’
Both on the motorway and around town the Nemo is quick and nimble. I really enjoyed diving it – if you think about how a small hatchback handles, you’re on the right path.
As I mentioned earlier, the Stop-Start facility helps deliver superb economy. The official figures claim a combined cycle of 65.6 mpg. I averaged closer to 57 mpg in the week I drove it, but this was unladen if you don’t count my son, George, sat next to me. CO2 emissions are a credible 113g/km with the engine also having a Diesel Particulate Filtration System fitted to further reduce harmful emissions. This all keeps the Nemo on the right side of Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans for emissions in London.
However, while you can dwell on the Nemo as ‘car-like’ as much as you wish, the fact is it remains a van. And vans and their drivers need certain things that car owners don’t get too bothered about.
Parking is aided by a great turning circle of just 9.95m coupled with an overall length of 3.86m. Internal load space is up to 660 kg and has been cleverly increased with the addition of the Extenso folding/sliding passenger seat, which works in tandem with a folding bulkhead which costs an additional £189 + vat. The bulkhead prevents the load intruding into the cabin. But, when the Extenso seat is folded down, the passenger side of the new bulkhead hinges so that it can be aligned with the drivers left side to provide protection from the load. It is really quite clever.
Indeed, the load space is so good that many companies could swap a larger van for a Nemo and gain space! Food for thought in these austere times.
Are there any negatives ? The seat depth from back to front is overlong and if you are under average height ,you may find long journeys tiring on your hamstrings. Also the side-loading doors aren’t as wide as some would like and the wheel arches are a little obtrusive n the back, but to be fair I am being picky.
Overall, I think that Citroen are on to a winner here and it is well worth a look, particularly if you’re running an old fleet of non-Euro 5 Escort or Combis for example, or if you are looking for a similar load space from a smaller more economical van.
The range starts at just £9,165 for the petrol 1.4i model. In my opinion finance departments would want you to pick one of the diesels for obvious reasons, which start at £10665, although I would pay a bit more for the LX at £11,365 which offers greater driver comfort, or push the boat out for an Enterprise.
You see, if you took the Enterprise option, it would give you a specification list that is… well … car-like!