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The Warsaw Voice » Society » February 4, 2010
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Gallic Van-cum-Sedan
February 4, 2010 By Bartosz GrzybiŮski   
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The CitroŽn Jumpy, marketed as the Dispatch in Britain, Ireland and Australia, is comfortable, spacious and extraordinarily functional. This vehicle is the Gallic solution for those for whom a van is too small and a minibus too large.

Every car maker has a utility/delivery vehicle in its range nowadays. These invariably come in goods and passenger, long and short body, and 2WD and 4WD versions. A few examples that spring to mind are the Mercedes Vito, the Renault Trafic, the Volkswagen Transporter, and the CitroŽn Jumpy, which shares body design and components with the Peugeot Tepee and the Fiat Scudo. The delivery van version is partially or fully enclosed and the interior is designed for carrying loads. The passenger version has a driver's compartment and there are two or three rows of comfortable seating.

Passenger versions of delivery vehicles are enjoying increasing popularity. Their ability to comfortably carry between five and nine passengers (depending on the version) is their best thing they have going for them. The huge capacity and interior functionality that become available once the seating is removed is another plus. In any case, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I soon became convinced of this when I test-drove an elongated L2 version of the CitroŽn Jumpy.

The vehicle looks dynamic and modern. The huge window area of the passenger cabin conveys an impression of lightness at odds with the vehicle's 513 cm length. The wedge-shaped sloping windshield and hood lend the CitroŽn an aggressive front-end profile.

The 312 cm wheelbase makes for a spacious cabin and a comfortable ride for eight passengers (2+3+3). The resilient suspension, which uses McPherson struts at the front and coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers at the rear, does an excellent job of smoothing over any unevenness in the road. This is more like driving a luxury sedan than a van. There is heaps of room for baggage (553l), even with a full load of people on board. The low loading threshold of 58 cm and the height to which the hatch can be raised give easy access to the trunk. The wide (92 cm) sliding doors on the right and, as an optional extra, on the left of the vehicle, make it easy to get inside. This is a huge plus, especially in cramped parking lots. Six cubic meters of space and a loading capacity of 872 kg can be made available by disassembling two rows of seats.

The dashboard is more what you would expect to find in a passenger vehicle than a delivery van. It is ergonomically designed and stylish to boot. Good quality finishing materials have been used. The driver's seat and the steering column can be adjusted any number of ways to make the driver comfortable. Visibility is excellent from all directions. The reverse warning system and large external mirrors make maneuvering a lot easier.

The Jumpy is exclusively driven by a Common Rail turbocharged diesel engine. The version I test-drove was the most powerful in the range with a capacity of 2l and a (German) horsepower of 138 p.s. The maximum torque of 320 Nm kicks in at 2000 r.p.m., letting the vehicle, which weighs just under two metric tons, accelerate from standstill to 100 kph in 13.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 170 kph.

The engine is as fuel efficient as it is powerful. During our test drive, average fuel consumption barely hit 8.5l per 100 km under normal driving conditions. The technical specifications state 7.6l per 100 km.

The car is front-wheel drive and has a six-speed manual transmission.

There is a wide range of standard equipment, including ABS, BAS and EBD systems, front air bags, manual air-conditioning, an onboard computer and fully electric windows. For optional extras, the CitroŽn has everything from an ESP system, through to a 7-inch GPS navigation system with a color screen, right through to pneumatic suspension with loading threshold control.

Jumpy prices start at around zl.100,000. You can buy a well-equipped mid-range passenger car for that amount. The CitroŽn Jumpy can match this sort of vehicle for looks and equipment while its utilitarian qualities are extraordinary. The Jumpy is great for large families and small businesses. So much so that users rated it Van of the Year 2008.
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