Even if it was introduced in 2008, the latest generation Citroen Berlingo is sold next to its predecessor who is called the Berlingo First. The new generation however is a big improvement over the previous model. Apart from its modern design it’s also bigger and fitted with newer technologies.
The Citroen Berlingo is offered in two body lengths. The standard length model offers 3.3 m3 of load space with a load length of 1,800mm, while the longer version comes with a more generous load area providing 3.7m3 and 2,050mm respectively. The Citroen Berlingo is offered with three gross payloads namely 625kg, 750kg and 850kg.
The new Citroen Berlingo features a modern design and is 24 cm longer and 8 cm wider than its predecessor. Thanks to its bigger dimensions, the new Berlingo has a more imposing appearance and it’s also slightly more practical.
The overall design is pretty bulky with rounded corners and a lot of fluid lines. At the front we’ll find the common Citroen corporate grille which sets the tone for the dynamic design of the vehicle.
The bonnet has a pretty clean design and received only two shy creases which are barely seen.
Continuing the bold design language initiated by the grille, the deep wraparound bumper gels seamlessly with the rest of the body and it’s fitted with a big air intake and two circular fog lamps.
The big headlamps and smooth curves of the bonnet lead to taut side lines, and sculpted wheel arches giving the vehicle a more aerodynamic profile.
The Berlingo is also offered with a massive raked windscreen which offers a large glazed area of 4.6m² for improved road visibility.
Around the back, we’ll find a nice pair of vertical tail lights, a wraparound rear bumper and a curving tailgate. The side-hinged rear doors provide easy access to the load area and Citroen also offers the option of either a nearside or twin sliding side doors.
Once inside, you’ll be welcomed by a pretty pleasant environment. The first thing to be noticed is the huge amount of space offered by the cab and both the driver and passengers are treated with a royal amount of head- and leg-room.
The build quality is impressive and the materials are also surprisingly good for a commercial vehicle. We also like the neat design which maximizes the use of space and it’s very practical.
The dashboard received a two tones treatment and it’s fitted with round air vents and a lot of convenient storage places. Besides the dash mounted storage places and the useful door pockets, the passenger seat folds down to reveal a convenient desk and cup holders.
We’re quite fond of the center console as it has an easy to understand layout and all the controls are within easy reach.
Keeping it up with today’s trends, the gearlever is now mounted directly into the dash and falls easy into hand.
Besides the standard version, the Citroen Berlingo is also offered with two passenger seats fitted at the front, next to the driver. Given The Berlingo’s size the inclusion of a third seat is a bit exaggerated, as the dash mounted gear knob heavy limits the middle passenger legroom which should be kept only for kids.
However, the only useful thing offered by this additional seat is that it can be folded to increase the load length available. Moreover, you can also flip the seat cushion up to make a useful storage area on the cab floor.
Drivers will be happy to know that the all-around visibility is nothing short of excellent and the door mirrors are also up to the task keeping you well informed of what’s going on behind you at any time.
The driver’s seat is pretty comfortable and offers all the usual adjustments to permit you to find the favorite driving position.
The list of standard goodies is pretty long and you’ll find features like power steering, ABS, central locking, trip computer, electric windows, internally adjustable manual door mirrors and a radio/CD player.
Engines and performance
The Citroen Berlingo is offered with both petrol and diesel Euro 5 engines and all have a capacity of 1.6 liters. The petrol engine is also offered in Dualfuel guise and can run also on LPG. There is offered an efficient e-HDI version which is fitted with a Start & Stop system resulting in lower fuel consumption and smaller CO2 emissions. All engines are mated on a five speed manual gearbox.
The entry-level petrol engine develops 90 hp and can hit 100kmph in 15.3 seconds. Despite its limited power it feels pretty lively and merges well with the highway traffic. The 110 hp 1.6-litre is slightly faster and offers a great balance between performance and efficiency.
As it was expected, the diesel engines are the favorite choice. But unfortunately, the 75 hp unit feels sluggish and it’s best to be avoided, as it can hit the 100 kmph mark in merely 17 seconds with a top speed of 150 kmph. Luckily, the 90 hp diesel feels better and can keep up with the city traffic without too much fuss, while the 110bhp diesel is naturally the best performer.
Citroen Berlingo Engines Specifications
|VTi||110@ 6000||200 @ 3500|
Ride and handling
Unlike the previous Berlingo which felt a bit unsettled, the new model received a high tech suspension which gives it better road manners and a more comfortable ride as well.
It also has a significantly smaller body roll and now you can attack corners with more confidence. Though don’t expect to be able to make any sporty maneuvers as its tall stance still affects the road stability at high speeds.
Overall the handling and ride are at par with what you’ll usually find in this segment and we also like the power assisted steering which is pretty direct and offers a fair amount of road feedback.
The latest generation Berlingo is a nice evolution coming from Citroen’s commercial vehicles. The van keeps all the good attributes of its predecessor and also brings a host of new welcomed goodies on the table.
Its increased dimensions offer a bigger payload, while the upgraded interior has anything it needs to be able to compete with the best vehicles in the segment.
You also have a wide range of engines to choose from and except for the 75hp diesel unit, all of them offer a fair amount of power and also a good efficiency.
The Citroen Berlingo is also easy to drive around town, with good cornering abilities and a well balanced ride.