The original Citroen Berlingo was a bit of a pioneer — at least in the UK. Although van-based MPVs have been popular with Continental families on a budget for decades, the original Berlingo was a bit of a surprise hit for Citroën when it brought the genre to the UK back in 1998.

MPVs based on commercial vehicles do not hold the highest of ranks in the pantheon of people carriers, though. They must provide simple, rugged and practical family transport, but their no-frills nature means that anything more than a token nod to luxury or refinement is unnecessary, if not undesirable.

This Citroën Berlingo Multispace is still based on a light commercial vehicle – the Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Partner van – but that car uses the same basic platform architecture and drivetrains as the Citroën C4 and Peugeot 308 hatchbacks. This should mean higher levels of comfort, refinement and dynamic than we’ve seen before in a van-based people carrier.

The question is, does this bigger, more sophisticated Berlingo Multispace live up to the promise of greater comfort, refinement and dynamic ability that its more sophisticated engineering background suggests? And can it still fulfil its core role as a good-value, practical, utilitarian family holdall, especially in a ever-growing segment, with the Ford Tourneo Connect and Volkswagen Caddy Life both making headway.

Entry-level Berlingo Multispaces come with a 93bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine or the perky 108bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre PureTech unit, although most buyers will rightly plump for a diesel. There’s a choice of two diesels, all 1.6-litre in capacity, but with outputs of 99 and 118bhp. Trim levels are limited to just Feel and Flair.

First drives

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