Have you forgotten about MPVs? If so, then we wouldn’t blame you as there’s been such a fevered popularity in SUVs in recent times. However, if you want a lot of space for a lot of people then a people carrier is certainly worth looking at and the Citroen Berlingo might just be your best bet.
The Citroen Berlingo, previously known as the Berlingo Multispace, has done such a good job that rivals such as the Vauxhall Combo Life and the Peugeot Rifter spawned off it. The trouble Peugeot had was that they couldn’t quite disguise the Berlingo’s origins from a van which is pretty clear to see. This is even more apparent when driving car based MPVs such as the Ford S-Max or Volkswagen Touran. It’s because of this that the 2019 Berlingo really does have its work cut out. However, it’s now aiming to offer more luxury and refinement than ever before as well as plenty of safety features too. So, could this Berlingo now be a smart buy?
The engine choice in the Berlingo is refreshingly simple. There’s a 1.2 petrol and if you’d prefer a diesel then there’s a 1.5 diesel engine available. Both engines come in various power guises. Even in its lower power guise the petrol engine still pulls quite well though if you want to drive it swiftly then you’ll have to get into higher revs. The diesel on the other hand is most impressive in the 128 break horse power (bhp) guise. It pulls really well and is perfectly suited for those who wish to transport lots of people and their luggage. You can opt for a manual or automatic gearbox. If you go for the manual gearbox then it’s fairly slick-shifting though it’s not as smooth as what you’d find in a Volkswagen Touran or Ford S Max. If you go for the automatic choice then it’s a little more hesitant when pulling away from traffic lights or merging onto roundabouts. That said, you do have some paddle-shifts that help you to take full control of your gears. The steering is accurate and light as lower speed to make parking and manoeuvring around town easy. The Berlingo offers a nicely relaxed ride with pleasantly little road noise especially when you take its big body into account. There’s a little wind noise especially around the wing mirrors and windscreen but this is also true of many of the Berlingo’s rivals. The Berlingo has a habit of leaning into the corners a bit and it’s an effect that’s heightened by the fact that the passenger seats don’t have a lot of side support though thankfully the driver seat does have a little bit more.
The Berlingo’s fuel economy is pretty competitive. The 74 bhp diesel has an official figure of 68.9 miles to the gallon (mpg) while the 128 bhp petrol comes in at 51.4 mpg. The Berlingo shouldn’t cost a lot to insure either and standard safety kit now includes automatic emergency braking and a lane departure warning system. The Field trim is our particular favourite as although it doesn’t include alloy wheels you still get the 8-inch touchscreen, air conditioning, cruise control and automatic headlights and wipers.
The Citroen Berlingo is a family car at heart which means that you’ll find some interesting textured materials especially around the dash. What’s good is that it’s all designed in a way that they can all be wiped clean. This ethos of being family friendly extends to the dials which are chunky and straightforward to use so you can easily adjust the air conditioning settings. You do get some luxurious touches for example the 8-inch touchscreen which at first glance looks impressive. However, once you start using it then you’ll soon discover that it’s quite tricky to use and some of the buttons have to be pressed twice before it does anything.
When it comes to space and practicality the Berlingo pretty much aces everything that you can throw at it. There’s plenty of room for tall adults sitting in the front and there’s also plenty of storage dotted around the cabin. All of the passenger seats fold down and lie relatively flat meaning that you can return the Berlingo to its van origins. It’s a massive space which allows you to store pretty much anything. Even with the seats raised the boot is still huge and few cars can come close to matching the Berlingo for the amount of luggage it can hold. We have to head one word of warning and this is that some of the storage solutions such as the overhead compartment above the boot are optional extras. The sliding rear doors are really practical as is the flat floor because it means that three adults can sit side-by-side relatively comfortably. If you have three children that need three separate child seats then there’s three sets of IsoFix points.
The Citroen Berlingo is a truly practical MPV. It offers unrivalled interior space, a relaxing ride and excellent value. If the Berlingo is something you might consider then take a look at some of the used Citroen Berlingo cars for sale on DesperateSeller.co.uk.