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.