Alongside sister vans the Vauxhall Combo Cargo, Peugeot Partner & soon to arrive Fiat Professional Doblo Cargo, competition is fierce in the small van sector, with other small vans such as the Ford Courier, Volkswagen Caddy, new Renault Kangoo & new Mercedes-Benz Citan also vying for your money. So what does the Citroen offer operators ?
When it comes to the range, Citroen have kept it simple, with Berlingo offered in two lengths, M & XL with just a single roof height. These models offer cargo space of 3.3 & 3.8 cubic metres respectively. All models bar the entry level X, feature the clever Extenso pack, which adds a through-loading bulkhead & an extra half a cubic metre of load space where the front passenger seats are located. In common with many small vans today, the front seat folds down so that longer items can be loaded.
Four trim levels; Berlingo X, then Worker, Enterprise & finally Driver. M vans get a single sliding side door, whilst XL versions get double sliding doors. Both models get asymmetric double doors at the rear. These rear doors come in steel as standard, but glazing can be added as an option.
All Berlingo van models feature electric front windows, electric mirrors, six lashing eyes in the cargo floor, remote central locking with deadlocks & separate cab locking.
Citroën has also upgraded the technology on-board the latest Berlingo Van, including the addition of a new 10″ digital driver’s instrument display, which is fitted as standard on ‘Driver Pro’ models & is optional on ‘Enterprise Pro’ versions. The new customisable display features improved graphics & replaces the existing analogue dials where previously fitted. The ‘X Pro’ and ‘Worker Pro’ versions now benefit from a 5″ black and white touchscreen as standard, a feature that was previously unavailable.
A new Euro 6.3 BlueHDi manual option has recently been added to the Berlingo Van range, in the form of a BlueHDi 100 six-speed manual Diesel (102hp), which replaces the outgoing BlueHDi 100 five-speed manual.
In response to customer demand, medium length ‘Driver Pro’ variants are now available with Citroën’s efficient PureTech 110 S&S (Stop and Start) engine. The 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder PureTech 110 S&S produces 110hp & 151 lb/ft of torque & comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.
We were testing the Berlingo LCV Long Wheelbase Crew Cab 1.5 Hdi 100 which is priced from £27,717.
This Berlingo features two seats up front & three behind the unglazed sliding side doors & is perfect for carrying crew to & from a location. Payload is reduced to 854kg with load volume at maximum of 4.0m3. In order to achieve this though, you need to old down the front passenger & rear seats, as well as the moveable mesh bulkhead that pivots, making raising or lowering it straightforward.
Climb aboard & you’ll find that the cabin is a comfortable place to be, with decent seat adjustment on offer. For those who love cubby holes & spaces to put their water bottles, keys or paperwork, the Berlingo offers eight dashboard storage spaces, two with lids, plus a full cabin width overhead storage space above the driver & front passengers heads. There’s even two decent sized door pockets.
A reach & rake adjustable steering wheel, makes it easy to get the right driving position as well. I’m pleased to say that like the larger Dispatch, the dashboard, fixtures & fittings in the Berlingo, are all of good quality, including the seat fabric, whilst also looking & feeling built to last.
Modern van customers, especially those who travel, will want to know what goodies Berlingo has in store to make those longer journeys more bearable. Al models come pretty well specced, with amongst other things on our test van, AirCon, a centrally located dashboard mounted 8″ touchscreen, which offers Citroen Connect DAB radio, MirrorScreen, Bluetooth, a USB socket & aux in.
Our test van also featured rear parking sensors, a 6-way adjustable drivers seat, tough rubber floor protection, cruise control with limiter, an alarm, a tyre pressure monitor, electrically folding mirrors with temperature sensor & a drivers airbag. All in all, not a bad haul.
A week behind the wheel gave me plenty of scope to drive the Berlingo locally & to collect my son from University 170 miles away. This is where the five seat crew cab was brilliant because my wife & our dog tagged along. Not only were we able to get all my sons things into the load space, we were also able to drive to Newcastle & back with plenty of passenger room too.
What’s really appealing about Berlingo, is that it drives like a small family car. Steering is light & the five-speed manual gear box fitted to our test van & clutch are very light & easy to engage. On the motorway I selected cruise control, adjusted this to 70mph & the Berlingo sat comfortably in lanes one & two as I journeyed across the Pennines to the NE & back. For those of you who want a small van that works well on the motorway, the Berlingo ticks that box. It’s quiet in the cab, the seats are comfortable, the mesh steel bulkhead actually does a good job of keeping noise at bay & when utilising the Bluetooth hands-free phone & the DAB radio, outside wind & road noise are not an issue.
On smaller roads around Altrincham, I found that the the Berlingo will sit quietly in traffic, with the light clutch a real bonus in stop-start traffic. There are some winding country roads in our area, so I took the Berlingo for a spin around Knutsford & again, the handling impressed. Point it into a corner & it does what’s required & with little or no rolling encountered on entry or exit from these.
For the van we tested these are 55.6 mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 148g/km. We tested the Berlingo laden with two passengers & over seven days of mixed driving across different types of road, resulted in an economy figure of 40.5 mpg, which isn’t bad.
Wide model range including a Crew cab, large choice of engines, very well equipped, competitive load & length space & attractively priced.
The only negative I could find is that the five-speed gearbox in our 100 model, can be found wanting at higher speeds, although if that ‘s problem for you, it’s now been replaced by a six-speed manual with an eight-speed auto available on other models in the range.
Berlingo’s of old, were popular because of their durability & price, but came with the caveat of little in the way of comfort or extras. The new version looks & feels tough, comes very well equipped with good tech & safety features & it’s attractively priced, with the Berlingo range starting at just over 20k. There may be stiff competition especially from the other Stellantis versions, but I’d hazard a guess that Berlingo will prove the most popular.
Body style Height Width Length
M panel van 1,840mm 1,848mm 4,403mm
XL panel van 1,840mm 1,848mm 4,753mm
Worker panel van 1,860mm 1,848mm 4,403mm
Load area dimensions
Body style Height Width Length Volume
M standard van 1,236mm 1,550mm 1,817mm 3.3m3
XL long wheelbase van 1,243mm 1,550mm 2,167mm 3.8m3
M with Extenso 1,236mm 1,550mm 3,090mm 3.9m3
XL with Extenso 1,243mm 1,550mm 3,440mm 4.4m3
(Width between wheel arches: 1,229mm)
Load volume: 3.3m3 – 4.4m3