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First Drive

First Drive: Citroen e-Spacetourer

The story: Citroen’s electrification of its model range continues with the addition of the e-SpaceTourer, a large MPV with configurations of five-nine seats that’s a sister to the e-Dispatch electric medium van.
Category:Large MPV
Key rival:Mercedes EQV
Efficiency:Range: 143 miles
On sale:Now

Electrification has hit the big and practical MPV sector in a major fashion, with the Citroen e-SpaceTourer, and its Peugeot e-Traveller and Vauxhall Vivaro e-Life pure electric siblings hitting the market as the only eight-seat-plus rivals to the Mercedes-Benz EQV. If you ignore the fact that the Merc is around £20,000 more expensive.

An official maximum range figure of 143 miles isn’t great in the face of superminis that can do more than 200 miles, but this is the same powertrain as the other smaller electrified models in the Stellantis line-up across Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall, so the extra weight and less efficient aerodynamics of a larger vehicle count against it. Those factors are also a clue as to the performance of the e-SpaceTourer, which by electric vehicle standards is lacklustre. It contains the equivalent of a 136hp powertrain in a large eight- or nine-seater, depending on spec, so we shouldn’t be too hard on it.

First Drive - March 2021 - Citroen e-Spacetourer - Image 3There are two trims – Feel and Business. The five-, seven- or eight-seat former is aimed more at the larger family market, while Business, which comes in five-to-nine-seat form, is the one targeted at the corporate market in terms of shuttles or other organisations that need to move larger numbers of people in a green fashion.

The Feel has the more versatile cabin, with sliding seats on rails for optimising boot or leg space for the rear passengers, while the Business layout is described by Citroen as “a al carte” in terms of configuration and equipment, and that it can be tailored to individual requirements.

The electric SpaceTourer comes only in the M body length, rather than the XL version that’s available with the diesel versions, and the battery pack is positioned under the floor to avoid any impact on cabin space or practicality.

Despite the big Citroen having a price approaching £50,000, it isn’t what you might call sumptuous, with the equipment levels on the functional side. Still, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are  fitted, and there is a smart new gear selection switch for the electric version.

There are Eco, Normal and Power settings for the powertrain, while the touchscreen system allows delayed charging and thermal pre-conditioning to optimise the vehicle cost of charging and range respectively.

paul barker

The verdict

It’s not cheap but the running costs and taxation benefits are significant, and alongside Peugeot and Vauxhall sibling products, there’s little with electric power that has anything like the versatility.