The Citroen e-SpaceTourer is an all-electric nine-seater people carrier/minibus, which means that it doesn’t have much competition, and it’s much better to drive than the diesel model.
There aren’t many all-electric nine-seaters on sale, so the Citroen e-SpaceTourer is fairly unique. Because it’s electric, it has zero tailpipe emissions and it’s cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel model.
The Citroen e-SpaceTourer has a 50kWh lithium-ion battery, a 136 bhp (100KW) electric motor, and is front-wheel drive. It’s 4360mm long, 2032mm wide including mirrors, and 1520mm high. It has nine seats – three rows of three seats – and there’s even a ‘boot’ behind the rear set of seats, which offers 380 litres of space with the rear seats up, or 1250 litres with the rear seats down.
The e-SpaceTourer’s interior is predictably van-like, with a van-like driving position, but although there’s lots of space in the cabin, there are no sensibly-located drinks holders. There are two on top of the ends of the dashboard, but they’re quite small and so they don’t accommodate items such as large water bottles. So you’re left with having to put large drinks bottles in the door pockets, which aren’t in a convenient place to reach when driving.
Another feature that would be really useful is a storage compartment for the charging cables, ideally under the bonnet, but no such thing exists, so the cables have to lie in the boot or under the seats.
The Citroen e-SpaceTourer was presented with a challenge during its time on test: to transport its driver plus eight teenage girls and their rucksacks to a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition. We’re struggling to think of many electric vehicles that could do this, but the e-SpaceTourer managed to successfully accommodate all people and baggage.
It also transported people in a much more comfortable, smooth, quiet and refined manner than a diesel model could do. Because there’s no rough diesel engine and no gears or clutch, progress was serene. Yet performance was also good, and the ride quality was very smooth. From the driver’s point of view, the steering was very light and pretty vague, not that the passengers would have noticed.
The gear selector that appears to be standard fitment in most Stellantis vehicles featured in the e-SpaceTourer. We do find this a bit fiddly, especially in what is essentially a van – something more substantial would seem to be more appropriate. However it does give you the useful option of selecting ‘B’ to provide increased levels of brake regeneration.
There’s also a drive mode switch, providing the options of Eco, Normal and Power. Power was the best option, combined with the ‘B’ setting, when carrying a full load of passengers across the countryside.
The infotainment isn’t the most sophisticated of systems, but it does the job; Apple CarPlay can be linked to the small (7-inch) screen, there are six shortcut buttons around the small screen, and there also separate climate controls.
There’s no reversing camera – something that always seems a strange omission in a van or other large vehicle.
The driving experience described above is generally all good, but one issue is that the e-SpaceTourer only has a 50kWh battery, compared to the larger 75kWh battery in the van version. This means that the official combined WLTP electric driving range is only 135 miles, compared to 211 miles for the e-Dispatch Van. This limits the practicality of the e-SpaceTourer. The real-world range after a week of driving was averaging 109 miles.
Combined with the relatively short range is the issue that the range estimation wasn’t as accurate as most other EVs. When the battery gauge dropped to half, a remaining range of 37 miles was displayed. When the battery gauge dropped to one quarter, a remaining range of 11 miles was displayed. And the range drops at a scary rate at motorways speeds, even if you stick to 60mph.
As well as fitting a larger 75kWh battery, two other easy ways to improve the range would be to equip the e-SpaceTourer with a heated driver’s seat and heated steering wheel – our vehicle didn’t have these features, resulting in the heating being on more, so reducing the range. Also, the air conditioning kept switching itself on, further impacting the range.
Charging the battery from 0-80% at a 100 kW DC Rapid Charger takes around 30 minutes. A 0-100% charge using a 32A wall box takes around 7 hours 30 minutes. A full charge using a domestic socket will take at least 24 hours.
How to charge an electric car
The Citroen e-SpaceTourer costs £34,495. Our test vehicle had the options of metallic paint (£575), tinted rear side windows (£180), Citroen Connect Nav (£400) and ‘Look pack’ – body colour bumpers, wing mirrors, door handles, side rubbing strips, as well as electrically folding mirrors, rear parking sensors, front fog lights and LED day time running lights (£480), taking the total price of this vehicle to £36,130.
The Citroen e-SpaceTourer is a quiet, refined, smooth and comfortable way to transport nine occupants with zero tailpipe emissions – even if each pasenger has a rucksack. It’s much better to drive than an equivalent diesel vehicle.
If it had the same 75kWh battery as the e-Dispatch Van, giving an official range of around 200 miles, this would be fine. But strangely the e-SpaceTourer has a smaller 50kWh battery giving an official range of only 135 miles, or 109 miles in the real-world.
The Citroen e-SpaceTourer gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.