Citroën Berlingo Review & Buyers' Guide
£11,845 - £14,415
Available as: Van, Crew Van, XTR+, Refrigerated, Glass Carrier, Platform Cab,Engine options: 1.6TD 75/90hp, 1.6P 95hp Volume (m³): 3.3 – 3.7, Payload (kg):625 – 850kg
Current Berlingo is a completely different beast to its predecessor. It’s bigger, much more sophisticated and has the choice of two body lengths. Berlingo has moved to the next level.
The highly successful original Berlingo — sold as the Berlingo First in its latter years — was replaced by a completely new model in the summer of 2008 and this time around it’s slightly bigger and comes in two body lengths; both on the same wheelbase. Berlingo received a facelift at the beginning of 2012.
The standard length models (L1) provide 3.3m3 of load space with a load length of 1,800mm. Stretch the budget to a longer version (L2) and these figures increase to 3.7m3 and 2,050mm respectively. The L2 has a rear overhang 248mm greater than that of the L1. As with its bigger brother, the Dispatch, there’s the option of an Extenso folding passenger seat which extends the load length by 1,200mm. Gross payloads are 625kg for the L1, 750kg for the L2 and there’s also an 850kg heavy-duty option for the L1. Twin asymmetrical side-hinged rear doors give access to the load area and there’s the option of either a nearside or twin sliding side doors. Loading height is reasonable at 584mm.
All the engines are 1.6-litre and there’s the choice of two diesels and a 95hp petrol. For the majority of buyers it’s the diesels which are of most interest. They can be had with power outputs of either 75hp or 90hp and the peak torque figures are 185Nm and 215Nm respectively, both occurring at a lowly 1,750rpm. The front wheels are driven via a five-speed manual gearbox, with the gearstick mounted on the dashboard; unless the electronic automated manual six-speed EGS system is specified. There's no clutch pedal or gearstick, the latter replaced by a turnwheel on the dash and steering column-mounted paddles.
Service intervals are set at a disappointing 12,500 miles thanks to needing an oil change. In daily use, however, both the diesels perform well with plenty of torque on tap and the 75hp is perfectly sufficient for around town work. Drivers will be happier with 90hp on the motorway, especially if they are hauling close to the payload limit.
These latest Berlingos are a pleasure to drive, ride well over most surfaces and the handling holds no surprises. Noise levels are also pretty well contained and a vast improvement compared with the original models.
The cab has been completely redesigned and is far more sophisticated than the one found in the forerunners. It’s very car-like and has an abundance of storage cubbies. Go for the Extenso option and it includes a half-size centre seat which is just about useless if it wasn’t for the large storage bin concealed in its base.
Standard equipment across the range includes power steering, ABS, central locking, trip computer, electric windows, internally adjustable manual door mirrors and a radio/CD player. Move up to LX trim and remote locking and electric mirrors join the list.
Link to the Author