From £12,375
More car-like than its predecessor, but equally practical

Our Verdict

Citroën Berlingo
The van-based MPV gets an injection of sophistication

The Citroën Berlingo is the best of its breed: useful, well priced and not half bad to drive

What is it?

An all-new version of the popular van-based Citroen Berlingo Multispace MPV. Between 1996 and 2008 Citroën sold more than a million Berlingo Multispaces. To put that into context, Citroën only sold 800,000 Berlingo vans.

Actually it’s unfair to describe the new Berlingo as van-based. Where the old car was very much a van turned into an MPV, the new car has been developed as both.

So the van-like dimensions remain (and this is a good thing, as it affords acres of interior space, especially as the new model is 240mm longer), but the smooth and willing 108bhp 1.6 HDi motor, and general air of refinement and dynamic sophistication make the Berlingo feel more like a family hatch. Which is entirely natural, because the Berlingo (and its Peugeot Partner Tepee twin) share a basic platform with the Peugeot 308 and Citroën C4.

What’s it like?

The new Berlingo is much more car-like than its unpretentious but basic forebear. But there remain a few compromises. The driving position is spoiled by a steering wheel that, although adjustable for reach and rake, rests at an odd tilt.

The tall body also means plenty of body roll, and the ride, while composed, does not cope well with bumpy roads and coarse surfaces.

But these are niggles. Where the Berlingo really scores is its flexibility. As well as three individual, removable rear seats, there’s a delightfully simple removable storage locker/centre console, an overhead storage box (part of the Modu-top package which also includes rear air vents and a part-glass roof), and as many cubbies as you can count. There’s even an optional and ingenious internal roof rack.

It’s a shame, therefore, that most of these clever gadgets are either extras or likely to only be available as standard on high-spec models.

hould I buy one?

If you want an effective, versatile vehicle with which to lug your family around, the new Berlingo is an excellent choice. But value for money is equally as important as clever storage ideas at this end of the MPV market, so the price - and equipment levels - will have to be right.

Matt Rigby

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Comments
6

8 May 2008

We have an oldish Peugeot Partner to lug the kids around and if you're not concerned with the badge, there is no better family car for pootling around, especially if you need to get three child seats in the back. I really hope that the new one has at least some variants with air-con and the ModuTop as standard. I also wonder if PSA will bother offering an automatic gearbox option; that would be the icing on the cake.

9 May 2008

freudianskip if you want an auto diesel 5 seater check out the Fiat Fiorino Combi, it is smaller but it is 119co2 and still has a utilitarian charm which the latest Berlingo IMHO lacks.

9 May 2008

We did consider a Fiat Doblo when we bought the Partner, but the scarcity, the rumoured unreliability and the dodgy interior quality made us think twice.

12 May 2008

If you want that utilitarian charm from the Berlingo, it's perhaps worth taking a look at a Berlingo Multispace First. This is the old Berlingo, just with a new name and no doubt some tempting cashback deals...

15 May 2008

I was a fan of the old Berlingo, and am glad they're still carrying on with it as a value alternative - this is a similar idea to what Citroen are doing with the Xsara Picasso, what Renault are doing with the Clio Campus, and what Peugeot are doing with the 206 Verve. I love the honestness of the Berlingo. Whilst I think the new one has lost some of the charm, I still much prefer it to Renault's new Kangoo, but I just wish Citroen would chuck some more safety kit in - and have that fantastic ModuTop and ModuTrolley as standard items!!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

13 May 2014

It is brilliant looking back at this van and seeing how it has developed.

I remember when I first got a Berlingo in 2003, it was a great little run around and I have stuck with them. They are perfect for work and I think they are nice and reliable.

VanManMark!!

I'm a van fan!

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