- We like...Space, storage, the way it drives
- We don't...Only two airbags as standard on most
New van-based people-hauler makes genius use of its huge cabin and load spaceIf the thought of hooling around in a van with added windows just isn’t you, stop right here. You won’t like Citrn’s new Berlingo. But if you’re open to the idea – and, judging by the sales of the previous Berlingo, plenty of you are – this newie is a star.
To drive, it’s like a van. And, viewed from the side, the similarities between parcel-deliverer and family-hauler are clear. But both are positives. It's grown substantially over the original Berlingo, so it's a whole size bigger. What’s more, the Berlingo now borrows its suspension and running gear from the C4 Picasso, a notably comfortable and sweet-running MPV, but is a big whack cheaper.
But nothing comes for nothing. So while the latest Berlingo feels uncannily like its dearer range-mate while on the move, it’s more workaday inside. The dash is the same as the van’s, enlivened with a couple of trim inlays. That means that it’s hugely practical, offering a big bin directly ahead of the driver, the same for the passenger and several others.
And the same gs for the rest of the cabin. There’s a big space between the front chairs, into which a huge (optional) storage box can fit, and behind that a 2:1 split bench or three individually reclining and folding seats, according to model. Two big sliding doors make entry and exit particularly easy and these can be remote locked by the driver, to keep your kids safe (although this is, again, a cost-extra option). Out back, there’s a vast load space, enough for a week’s luggage for five and hidden by a hinged shelf. The rear seats fold, double-tumble or lift out entirely, while the front passenger’s tips and then drops towards the floor to create a near-flat load space fore-aft through the cabin. Wherever you look there’ll be a space to put something, be it under the front seats, in bins let into the floor amidships, in shelves let into the roof or in several spaces within the doors. If that’s not enough you can get optional fitted boxes and shelves for the roof – something Citrn calls the Modutop – plus bars for a roof rack and even slats to store items up close to the roof lining.
It’s neatly thought through. The cabin isn’t high-tone or plush but looks cheery and bright thanks to seat cloth co-ordinated to the body paint colour and silver trim on the dash and doors.
No Berlingo is quick off the mark – top power is a modest 110bhp – but the 90bhp and 110bhp 1.6 diesels pull strongly, allowing you to pick through the gears quickly using the high-mounted shifter. It sucks up bumps tolerably and gallops through bends flatly and under control.
There are five engines, two petrol and three diesel, each of 1.6-litres but offering between 75 and 110bhp, depending on version and fuel. There are three trim levels to match, taking prices from £10,995 to £14,625. The options list is huge and enticing – we’d forgive anyone for taking the lot and ending up with a £16,000+ purchase, although such a car would be a poor bet for future second-hand resale.
Diesel models are much the better bet, first because the engines suit the car and its likely uses and second because the extra cost is small for the promise of superior fuel economy. Of the lot, we’d choose the 1.6 HDi 90bhp in VTR trim at £12,375.
But if your budget won’t stretch to that, or even to £10,000, never fear. The previous Berlingo, now badged as ‘First’ remains on sale and will do for some while yet. It’s yours for as little as £8695.
- Engines1.6 HDi
- 0-60 mph14.1sec
- Insurance groupsna
Motors.co.uk value verdict: