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Punching above its weight

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The Euro-5 version of the Citroën Nemo is greener, more powerful and has greater loadspace than its previous iterations. Even the weather couldn't dampen our enthusiasm for this test vehicle. In fact, torrential rain and gale force winds made jumping into the petite Citroën Nemo more enjoyable than expected.

This Nemo is a new model in the range, sporting a Euro-5 engine and offering the holy trinity of increased power, higher payload and lower emission. Two-and-a-half years ago, when we last tested the Nemo, we speculated that creating an entirely new category of van at 1,700kg GVW with 2.5m3 loadspace was a brave move, but the resulting products from Citroën, Peugeot and Fiat have all flourished in the market place.

Visually, this Nemo is no different from the original, but changes have led to an increased payload capacity of 660kg; up from 610kg. The Nemo keeps the same two engines (1.4 petrol and 1.3 diesel); both providing 75hp.

Pictured here is the Enterprise model, but the Nemo also comes in X and LX trim. Enterprise models get air conditioning, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors over the LX trim's remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, and adjustable driver's seat. However, the biggest change, aside from the engine, and one that adds considerable length to the loadspace, is the Extenso folding passenger seat that is now standard on all models.

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Once again the Nemo has impressed with its economy, handling and comfort. The chassis is set up so well, you'd believe you were driving a much lighter car, and while there's no mistaking you're in a commercial vehicle, the comfort of the cabin is one of the best.

The extra space afforded by the folding passenger seat improves the versatility of the Nemo, giving it an edge over its Fiat and Peugeot siblings that offer the same device as a cost option. However, with the maximum width between the arches just over 1m, you'll have to think long and hard about the goods you carry, particularly as the Nemo does struggle with payload capacity.

That payload improvement might seem like a benefit on paper, but on the open road the extra mass hasn't been offset by the additional power. Greater green credentials are a great selling point, but increased payload capacity is a double-edged sword for those who like to run at full weight as they'll struggle to realise the economy, benefits of the new Euro-5 engine.

The engine upgrade has improved the Nemo, but that small power increase will only benefit those who run light they'll find the Nemo a fun and capable compact van.

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