Citroen Nemo vs rivals

Citroen claims its new Nemo combines the talents of a supermini-MPV, estate and family car. We test it against one of the best of each.

If you’ve got a growing family and want to trade up from a supermini, there’s never been more choice, even if you are buying on a budget. As well as traditional hatchbacks, mini-MPVs and supermini-estates, another class of value-for-money compact people carriers has emerged. The Citroen Nemo Multispace aims to build on the success of the larger Berlingo and mixes MPV practicality with low prices.

Developed in partnership with sister company Peugeot and Italian brand Fiat, the new Nemo promises the luggage space of an estate, the flexibility of a people mover and penny-pinching running costs, all for a £10,995 price tag.

Better still, it comes with a frugal diesel engine, where rivals costing similar amounts are only available with petrol power. On top of this, it features sliding rear side doors, a high roofline and a commanding driving position.

To find out if the newcomer really is as multi-talented as it sounds, we’ve pitched it against three very different challengers. First of all it faces one of our favourite supermini-MPVs, the versatile Nissan Note. The clever Japanese model has one of the most flexible cabins in the business.

Next, the Nemo’s load carrying capability will come under the microscope, as it goes head-to-head with Skoda’s Fabia Estate. The Czech contender’s boot is the biggest in this test.

Finally, the Citroen has to prove it can match the talents of a standard family hatchback – and for buyers on a tight budget, the Hyundai i30 is one of the most tempting choices around. It is spacious, well equipped and comes with the Korean manufacturer’s trademark five-year warranty. So, will the Nemo float to the top, or sink without a trace?

Verdict

On paper, the Nemo appears an attractive package. With its low price, economical diesel engine, versatile interior and large boot, it looks to be the perfect choice for family buyers on a budget.

But while the French car has an abundance of character and charm, it’s marked down by its low-rent feel and miserly kit list. Plus, you can get Citroen’s superb C3 Picasso for only £500 more.

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