Practical expansion – Mercedes Citan: So small & new – already a camper!

The new edition of the Mercedes Citan is not yet on the market, as a camper variant is already celebrating its premiere. With expansion modules from VanEssa, the high-roof combination becomes an all-rounder that can be used equally for everyday life and leisure.

The commercial vehicle division of Mercedes-Benz has massively increased its involvement in the travel and leisure vehicle market in the recent past. The latest Sprinter generation is more in demand than ever among motorhome manufacturers, the in-house Marco Polo has been expanded into a complete model family, and now the new Citan is also set to arouse increasing demands in the increasingly popular micro-camper segment. No wonder that the new Citan is celebrating its exhibition premiere at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon (August 28 to September 5) and can also be seen there in a version converted into a camper van.

Miniature campers
In terms of security and connectivity – including the optional MBUX multimedia system – the Citan is perfectly equipped from the start. In cooperation with VanEssa, which are known for high-quality expansion modules, the high-roof combination is transformed into what is probably the most compact form of a camper, which enables double use as a spacious everyday car and as a leisure vehicle with sleeping and cooking facilities for two people. At least this applies to long weekend trips or the practice of elaborate outdoor sports.

The Mercedes micro-camper, which is based in Düsseldorf on the approx. 4.50 meter long short version of the Citan, relies primarily on two modules: the VanEssa system kitchen mounted in the rear of the vehicle and the folded bed on the mobile kitchen.

The kitchen is based on a drawer system in which a cartridge cooker, a rinsing facility with a 13-liter water tank and a 31-liter compressor cooler are integrated. The module, which weighs around 60 kilograms and can be easily removed and installed by two people, also has space for dishes and small amounts of supplies. There is scope for individualization through various color options. The cool box is connected to a 12-volt socket in the rear. An external 230 volt power connection can also be set up as an option.

You have to like each other a lot as a couple …
The three-part bed is folded out to form a 1.15 meter wide and 1.89 meter long bed. That is eight centimeters more in width than in the VW Caddy California, which is also celebrating its exhibition premiere in Düsseldorf, but for two people it gets snuggly tight here and there. The bunk built into the Citan, however, is nine centimeters shorter than that of its rival in Lower Saxony.

If the bed is folded up in the rear on the kitchen module, the Mercedes remains a fully fledged five-seater. The second row is of course omitted for the sleeping configuration, and some of the front seat backrests also have to be folded forward. At least it is possible to completely expand the rear row of seats, which creates additional storage space under the bed for camping use.

Only a very small number of Mercedes dealers in Germany will hand over the Citan Micro-Camper to potential customers as a complete vehicle. Rather, it is a “two-deal purchase”. For the base of the leisure vehicle, you are spoiled for choice among the numerous engine and equipment variants of the Citan and soon also between the short and long version. The VanEssa dealers then take over the expansion of the camping site. The company is based in Feldkirchen-Westerham, between Munich and Rosenheim. The modules can also be sent to Austria. The kitchen module is offered at prices from around 2000 euros. Just over 1000 euros are called for the sleep system. Realistically speaking, the total price of the micro-camper with the star, especially the more spacious long version, should be well over 30,000 euros.

The VanEssa variant will certainly not remain the only camper offer on the Mercedes Citan. The Stuttgart-based company wants to establish the high-roof station wagon as a base vehicle in the growing segment of compact leisure vehicles, just as it did two classes higher with the Sprinter. There is interest in other expansion brands. It remains to be seen whether the conquest rate will be as high as that of the large transporter.