Let’s go Berlingo

28 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Let’s go Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo

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Week at the Wheel | Citroen Berlingo Multispace |

Inside Out:

There’s no mistaking the new Berlingo Multispace’s profile, as it shares the same basic shape as its predecessor, but there’s a more rounded look to the new car. It also has a more prominent nose to help with crash and pedestrian safety. As the Berlingo Multispace is all about practicality, it’s no surprise to find that the large front and sliding rear doors of the old model are retained for the new car.

It makes access to the front seats very easy and there’s no drop to the seats, so it’s ideal for drivers who find it tricky to lower themselves into and climb out of some cars. The sliding rear doors also work brilliantly in compact parking bays, making it simple to install the kids without worrying about bashing the neighbouring car’s paintwork. A latch holds the rear doors open and it only takes a light tug to pull them closed.

Inside, the Berlingo Multispace is brimming with storage spots, door bins, pockets, cubbies and boxes. If you cannot find somewhere to store small items in the Berlingo, you really need to de-clutter your life. For larger loads, the huge boot can cope with most items without the need to tip and fold or remove the three rear seats.

If you require this amount of cargo room, the seats are easy to tilt and lift out, leaving a vast load bed. The materials are tough throughout the cabin, though some are not as attractive to the eye as in the competitions’, but the Berlingo scores for its enormous rear tailgate that leaves a massive opening and handily doubles as a shelter when the rain is coming down.

Engine Transmission:

With only 90bhp on tap, we weren’t expecting great things from the Berlingo’s 1.6-litre turbodiesel. After all, it takes a leisurely 14.3 seconds to get from rest to 62mph, but on the move, the 1.6 HDi’s 159lb.ft of low- to mid-range shove makes itself known and pulls the car with surprising authority.

It makes for a relaxed drive too, as there’s no great need to hustle up or down the Citroen’s five-speed manual gearbox, which is just as well as the gear lever has a ponderous, long-throw action. Still, the gearing is well chosen and suits the Berlingo’s role of family estate, MPV and cargo van.

The turbodiesel unit is a happy, quiet companion in most instances, only making itself heard if revved right the way through to its limit, and there’s no benefit in this as the engine has long since given its best by then. Some wind noise from around the large door mirrors intrudes at higher speeds, and road noise filters through on rougher roads, but the Berlingo is reasonably refined for this type of MPV.

Ride Handling:

A cushy ride in a Citroen is something we expect but has not always been delivered in recent years. However, the Berlingo Multispace delivers with a soft-set ride that blots up rut-laden roads with ease. Add a few passengers into the equation and the Berlingo Multispace remains compliant and composed over any road surface.

It makes town driving a pleasure despite speed bumps, while gnarled country roads are easily glossed over by the Citroen. The downside to the plush ride comfort is a little too much lean in corners for our tastes, though passengers in the car during our test did not complain. More nagging is the relatively low levels of grip provided by the Berlingo’s 15-inch tyres.

There’s nothing untoward in the handling, with the front wheels washing wide if the car is pushed too hard through a corner. However, we expected a little more grip than we experienced. Not helping matters here is steering that is very light, but at least it makes the Berlingo Multispace as easy as pie to park.

Citroen Berlingo

Equipment, Economy Value for Money:

Our test car came in VTR trim, which includes twin front airbags, three-point seat belts for all five occupants and a brace of Isofix child seat mounting points in the rear. It also has a CD stereo, but that’s about your lot as standard and you have to pay extra for air conditioning and ESP traction control, which we consider essentials in any MPV. Our test car also came with the optional Modutop – which provides overhead lockers for even more storage – and optional roof bars for mounting a roof rack or cycle carrier to.

The 1.6 HDi turbodiesel serves up 49.6mpg combined economy, so the Citroen is as frugal as any in this class. Emissions of 150g/km also make it an appealing car for those worried about the environment, their road tax bill or both, and emissions at this level make the Berlingo a worthy contender for company drivers’ attention should they need a hugely practical business machine.

Overall:

We’re fans of the Citroen Berlingo Multispace. It’s by no means the last word in stylish four-wheeled travel, but there’s a simple honesty to way it provides acres of space for people and luggage. It reminds us of the original 2CV in this respect, though the Berlingo serves up good refinement, economy and emissions. It’s also reasonable to drive, though we still think it could do with a little more bite in the corners.

It also needs more standard equipment to elevate it from a three-star rating, so go on Citroen, throw in air conditioning and ESP to make us happy.

Alisdair Suttie – 4 Feb 2009

Citroen Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo
Citroen Berlingo
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