Sporting a sharp new design and a stylish interior, the new Mercedes-Benz Citan panel van is an appealing vehicle.

There’s lots to like about this second generation L1 model, which is likely to catch the eye of small businesses with big ambitions.

It’s a compact workhorse with bags of practicality and everyday usability, and is clearly designed for ease and convenience.

Power comes courtesy of a four-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine, with a power rating of 95hp.

But it’s the torque – 260Nm – that’s more important than horsepower when shifting loads.

The Mail: The Mercedes Citan is a smart-looking machine

This 110 CDI version can go from 0-62mph in 13.8 seconds, which doesn’t sound especially brisk, but it actually feels a good deal quicker in real world driving.

The engine is also Euro 6d compliant, and features an ECO start/stop function. It’s quiet when driving in a relaxed manner, but makes a bit of noise under heavy acceleration.

Economy figures bring a smile to the face, with the Citan being capable of 54.3mpg on the official combined scale.

For extra convenience, the Citan has a wide-opening sliding door on the left, as well as a low loading sill height of 59cm for easy access.

Meanwhile, the height of the load compartment opening is 1059mm.

The interior is well laid-out, with all the main buttons and dials within easy reach of the driver.

The Mail: The Mercedes Citan

Featuring a completely changed dashboard and Mercedes’ own MBUX infotainment system, it looks very different inside to its predecessor.

The touchscreen offers crisp graphics and is very responsive and intuitive.

It’s a cabin that superbly blends premium materials with the more durable surfaces you’d come to appreciate from a work-use vehicle.

Door bins can hold water bottles while lidded storage is available on top of the dashboard and also under the central armrest.

The seating position is similar to that you might find in an SUV, with a high and fairly upright position offering a commanding view of the road ahead.

The Mail: The Mercedes Citan

The physical divide between the front seats and the loading area behind mean the seats recline a certain distance before meeting the divide, but I found there was still plenty of legroom for a six footer.

The six-speed gearbox is slick, with the gear stick mounted higher than on a conventional car, sitting in a square that juts out from the bottom of the dash.

There’s also an old-style proper handbrake lever - remember them?

Overall, it’s a cabin that retains a robust quality, but has been refined to a point where it’s now much closer to the quality found in Mercedes-Benz cars.

As vans go, the Citan is stylish in design, with an exterior that echoes its larger siblings, Sprinter and Vito.

The front end offers some sharp lines and nicely-integrated contemporary headlights.

Meanwhile, the 16 inch 10 spoke design wheels add another visually-pleasing element.

A raft of safety features have been added into the mix, including Active Brake Assist and an Electronic Stability Programme.

There’s a parking package, including a reversing camera, which is clearly very important for a vehicle with a full-width partition obscuring rear visibility.

So the Citan is a compelling package when everything is factored in.

It boasts new standards in design, technology and safety, with a price starting from £23,285, which looks like decent value for money.

The Lowdown

Mercedes-Benz Citan Panel Van

ENGINE: 1.5-litre diesel

PRICE: From£23,285 (L1 PREMIUM)

ECONOMY: 54.3mpg

EMISSIONS: 137g/km / Euro 6d

POWER: 95hp and 260Nm

WARRANTY: 3 year unlimited mileage