The new Mercedes-Benz Citan: the design

Oct 20, 2021

The design of the new Mercedes-Benz Citan is distinguished by balanced proportions and a sensual surface design. Muscular shoulders and striking wheel wells underline the vehicle's power and emotive appeal – unusual styling elements for a small van. A particularly eye-catching aspect in the interior is the spirited, horizontal shape of the instrument panel.

"At first glance, the new Citan is clearly discernible as a member of the Mercedes-Benz family," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at the Daimler Group. "The clear shapes with reduced lines and powerful surfaces imparts our philosophy of sensual purity."

With sporty, sensual design idiom: the exterior design

With its typical Mercedes-Benz front, the Citan merges seamlessly into the compact model family. An important characteristic here can be found in the flat headlamps. Also typical of the brand are the inner workings of the headlamps with their high-quality, detailed and precise design. And that even applies for the basic model with its H7 headlamps, LED daytime running lights and LED turn signal lamps. The radiator grill with three double louvres and centrally positioned star form a visual bridge between the van and its bigger siblings the Vito and Sprinter. Meanwhile, the bonnet is designed with two contoured edges. Thanks to the long-drawn headlamps and the contoured lower air inlets which reach almost as far as the wheels, the front overhang looks especially short.

The profile view is dominated by the muscular shoulders and the modelled door sill section which stretches over both wheel housings. This sporty yet sensual design idiom is unique in this segment. The window styling is similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLE with a counter-sweep at the C-pillar. The side wall of the Panel Van also adopts this design characteristic and thus highlights its membership of the Mercedes-Benz family.

A specific Mercedes-Benz characteristic can be found underneath the licence plate holder of the Citan in the form of a striking light contour in the rear panel. This is used for both door variants – i.e. the two-section rear doors and the tailgate. The light contour follows the flow of the lower edge of the rear lamps and thus elegantly links the two lamps with one another. Meanwhile, the additional brake lamp is housed at the top in the roof spoiler. Just like the break-away edges on the side walls and rear lamps, this serves to improve aerodynamics and thus increases the economy of the Citan. Distinctive rear lamps are used which feature a single-piece design. For the LED version, three vertically running fibre-optic cables dynamically scenarise the turn signal, brake light and tail lamp functions. With a similar layout to those in the V-Class, they make for a prominent design at night.

Detachable parts such as the bumpers, door handles or covers on the sliding door rails are optionally available in body colour instead of black grained plastic – see the Equipment chapter. Exterior paint finishes include four non-metallic and five metallic paints.

Harmonious balance of sensuality and elegance: the interior design

Emotion and intelligence are the two core elements of the Mercedes-Benz sensual purity design philosophy. This bipolarity is of course also present in the interior of the Citan too.

The Mercedes-Benz designers sought their inspiration for the full-bodied, voluptuously curved volume of the instrument panel support from the profile of a wing. A decisive aspect here was the continual, horizontal positioning. The narrow wing stretches across the interior and makes for a generous feeling of space. The instrument unit itself is cut out of this. Their shape is reminiscent of an eroded stone. The wing represents the functional focal point of the Citan and includes the instrument cluster, screen (optional) and the central air vents. The resulting slot between the wing and the stone makes for a practical stowage compartment for rapid access to important utensils. The air vent in front of the co-driver protrudes emphatically from the dashboard, and all four vents feature a carefully sculpted technical design.

As standard, the seats of the Citan Panel Van are upholstered in Caluma fabric. Caluma is black with fine white lines, similar to a dotted line. As an option, Norwich fabric is also available. This variant is black with a grey honeycomb structure. Norwich fabric comes as standard in the Tourer model.

Both Citan models are available to order with an Interior Design Package. Included in this are such components as a high-gloss black trim element in the instrument panel support. Chrome frames around the air vents in the instrument panel support and on the speakers are included in the scope of the package. The interior door handles are chrome-plated.

In the load/passenger compartment, Citan customers can choose between various floor coverings and side panelling to suit the specific field of operation:


Citan Panel Van

Citan Tourer

Standard side panelling



Optional side panelling

Plastic or wood

Standard floor covering

Painted/sheet metal


Optional floor covering

Plastic or wood