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★★★★☆

“I drive about 65,000 miles per annum as a Courier, and...”

Written on: 28/08/2010 by jim873 (1 review written)

I drive about 65,000 miles per annum as a Courier, and have driven my Citroen Nemo 1.4 Hdi LX van for almost 40,000 miles, since buying it new in December 2009. I have owned 2 Citroen Berlingo vans previously, and the Nemo measures up well compared with the Berlingo in all areas except for ride comfort and load volume.



First, the good points:

The radio, heater, CD player, and the overall build-quality are excellent, the seats are comfortable, and the Nemo has more leg room and better all-around visibility than the Berlingo, which is important for a six footer like myself. The foot pedals are light underfoot and my right ankle has been OK, even after a 700 mile drive holding down the accelerator pedal.



I do all my own routine servicing, so can say that the Nemo is a much, much easier van to service than the Berlingo. For example, there is no engine undertray to remove, to gain access to the sump plug, the air filter can be changed by simply undoing 3 screws, and the fuel filter unit is a doddle to change. Although it is a small van, access under the bonnet is good because the engine is small also. Head lamp bulbs are easier to get at than with the Berlingo. The gearbox has a drain plug which is fairly easy to get to if you remove the NSF wheel. The gearbox doesn't appear to have a filler/level plug, and you just bung 2 litres of gear oil in through the plastic gearbox breather cap tube on top of the casing. That's what I did 5,000 miles ago, without any apparent repercussions!



My Nemo returns 60+ mpg if I cruise between 55 - 60 mph, but will still do 54 mpg when thrashed all day on the motorway. The little 1.4 litre turbo-charged Hdi engine can more than hold it's own in the fast lane, and seems to perform best at speeds above 60 mph.



Now, the bad points:

The worst thing about the Nemo is the joggly ride over rough roads, and this is the one thing which will prevent me from buying another one. The ride is choppy even with a 400 kg load in the back.



The small engine suffers from lack of torque due to turbo-lag when driving at low speeds around town, and it is easy to stall the engine unexpectedly, if you are caught in too-high a gear while travelling sub-20 mph.



The van only comes with one 12v power socket, and one cup-holder. I removed the useless factory fitted "left-handers only" pull-up clipboard on top of the dashboard, and replaced it with a unit which I made from plywood which provides CD storage plus 2 more cup holders. Now my passengers can have a cup of tea also! The van suffers from a general lack of storage space everywhere in the cab. The door pockets are almost too thin to even get one's hand into them, and I can't carry a road atlas, because I've got nowhere to put it! Luckily, with sat-nav, an atlas is not absolutely essential nowadays.



To summarise then; It's a simple and economical urban runabout for local deliveries, which can handle the occasional motorway thrash. It is probably the ideal small van for a small business in a recession, but the ride could make you seasick unless you are truly a hardened professional driver used to spending 8 hours a day being bounced around on our potholed roads!

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