Van life is booming and particularly vehicles with external dimensions close to those of a passenger car are becoming more and more popular. In recent years, Mercedes‑Benz has successfully established its vans as basic vehicles for conversions in all segments – from the big motorhomes to the smaller-sized camper vans – and is planning with further growth.
In addition, there is the ‘in-house’ compact Marco Polo model family. The latest building block in the growth strategy of the brand with the star in the travel and leisure vehicle market: the recently introduced successor to the Mercedes‑Benz among small vans, the new Citan. The new Citan is a comprehensively new development. The vehicle possesses the brand-typical DNA, for instance regarding its unmistakable design, connectivity and safety.
Particularly compact external dimensions teamed with a well thought-out amount of space in the interior also open up a diverse range of possibilities in the increasingly popular segment of micro camper van conversions. Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating how such conversions can currently look like at the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf in Hall 16 from 28 August until 5 September together with VanEssa mobilcamping.
“The travel and leisure vehicle market is increasingly important for us as part of our strategic orientation. This also applies to the brand new generation of our Citan, which is an ideal basic vehicle for micro camper van conversions. That is why we chose the Caravan Salon for its first trade fair appearance.
Together with VanEssa mobilcamping we demonstrate just what camper qualities it has,” says Klaus Rehkugler, Head of Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We are delighted that we are in Düsseldorf again this year and look forward to direct feedback from customers.”
The highlights of the new Citan at a glance
In the small vans segment, Mercedes-Benz presented the successor to the Citan on 25 August. This completely newly developed vehicle stars different product highlights.
- The new Citan provides plenty of space and stowage capacity. Initially it will be available as a Tourer and Panel Van in standard length with a wheelbase of 2716 millimetres. Further versions will follow with a long wheelbase, plus the Mixto. Even in the standard length, the new Citan offers more space than its predecessor. Plus there are numerous shelves and compartments in the interior.
- The design of the new Citan is distinguished by balanced proportions and a sensual surface design. Muscular shoulders and striking wheel wells underline the vehicle’s power and emotive appeal – unusual styling elements for a small van. A particularly eye-catching aspect in the interior is the spirited, horizontal shape of the instrument panel.
- Comfort typical of the brand is ensured among others by wide opening sliding doors both on the left and the right sides (standard for the Tourer, optional for the Panel Van) and aero-acoustic measures to reduce wind noise. What’s more, the vehicle can optionally be equipped with comfort equipment familiar from passenger cars, including THERMOTRONIC, KEYLESS GO and an electric parking brake.
- The new Citan can also be optionally equipped with the MBUX (Mercedes‑Benz User Experience) infotainment system. The strengths of MBUX include the intuitive operating concept by touchscreen, touch control buttons on the steering wheel and Hey Mercedes voice control. There are also smartphone integration and digital radio (DAB and DAB+). The digital services from Mercedes me connect are also available ex factory in the new small van with the star. Customers can stay linked to the vehicle at all times.
- The engineers at Mercedes-Benz placed particular emphasis on brand-typical driving characteristics. The result: complete reconfiguration of the suspension – in particular regarding springs, dampers and stabilisers.
- A 1.5-litre diesel engine in three power stages and a 1.3-litre petrol engine in two variants will form the engine range of the new Citan at market launch. Shared strengths of all these are great driveability even in the low rev range and economical consumption values. All engines are combined with an ECO start/stop function. Also, in the second half of 2022 the Citan will be available with electric drive.
- Safety is a core principle at Mercedes-Benz. This is provided in the new Citan by the stable body structure with energy-absorbing load paths and also the extensive equipment with modern driving assistance systems, many of which are standard equipment, such as Hill Start Assist, Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, and the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system. These can all support and relieve the driver in numerous situations.
A micro camper van with VanEssa modules
From an everyday vehicle to a micro camper van in no time at all, that is the predominant concept in the van life scene for the vehicle category of small vans and works with so-called furniture modules that can be flexibly installed and removed.
At the Caravan Salon 2021 Mercedes-Benz, together with VanEssa mobilcamping, one of the leading providers in the business, show two examples of such solutions based on the new Citan Tourer: a mobile camping kitchenette and a sleeping system.
- The VanEssa system kitchenette for the rear area is based on a drawer system and comprises: an integrated gas cooker, a sink system with a 13-litre water tank and a 31-litre compressor refrigerator. There is also enough space for crockery, pots and pans, and supplies. The kitchen module weighs about 60 kilogrammes and can thus be installed or removed in minutes. There is a range of different colour options to provide scope for personalisation.
- With the VanEssa sleeping system, the rear of the small van can be transformed into a comfortable bed in a few easy steps. This is guaranteed by a high-quality mattress. While on the road, the system stays in the boot on top of the mobile kitchen and full use can be made of the rear seats. The sleeping module in the new Citan is 115 centimetres wide and 189 centimetres in length, providing sleeping space for two people.
 The new Citan is not yet available on the market. The exhibit of the new Citan Tourer that is displayed at the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf is a prototype.
 Scheduled to be available in 2022.
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