Citroen Berlingo e-HDi90 Airdream L1 625 LX road test
What is it?
CITROEN’s ever-popular Berlingo panel van has been around since 1996. It’s had updates of course, but the latest version – launched in 2012 – is a dramatic improvement on the previous model with far more style and sophistication about it.
Two wheelbase versions (L1 & L2) and four payloads (625kg, 725kg, 750kg and 850kg) are offered. There are three trim levels (X, LX & Enterprise), four engines (1.6i 95, HDi 75, HDi 90 & e-HDi 90), and five-speed manual or six-speed automated manual EGS6 gearboxes.
Our test vehicle was the L1 with the LX trim level. It’s powered by a 1.6-litre, 90hp diesel mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
The e-HDi tag denotes the Airdream micro-hybrid package, which includes Stop/Start, and a generator with regenerative braking to recover and store energy.
This – plus recent tweaking by Citroen’s engineers – helps the Berlingo achieve a stated combined fuel consumption figure of 58.9mpg, with emissions pushed down to 125g/km.
The test vehicle was equipped with an Enterprise pack, which adds aircon, Bluetooth/USB connectivity and rear parking sensors – at £600, this is a bit of a bargain. And the metallic paint costs another £320.
- The cab has seating for three, the Airdeam LX model being equipped with Extenso multi-function dual passenger seat with integral storage.
- The driver’s seat is height adjustable with under seat storage drawer. The seats are supportive and comfortable and the seat adjustment allows a good driving position to be attained easily.
- Visibility is generally good, helped by the large heated and electrically operated door mirrors, standard on this model.
- Instrumentation is straightforward and the controls are well sited. Standard equipment includes Trafficmaster satellite navigation and RDS stereo radio/MP3 compatible CD player with audio controls on the steering column.
- Standard ABS, electronic brake force distribution (EBFD) and emergency brake assist (EBA).
- Rear access is by single or, as an option, twin sliding side load doors and unglazed asymmetric (split 60/40) rear doors. The doors open to 177 degrees so the van can back up to a loading bay.
- The load area measures 1,800mm in length (extendible to 3,000mm), with a 1,620mm maximum width and 1,250mm in height. Load volume is 3.3cu m, extendable to 3.7cu m, and payload 670kg.
- It’s not the most sparkling of power units but it’s no sluggard – maximum torque of 215Nm helps keep things on the boil.
- Service interval at 12,500 miles seems rather frequent.
- There’s a lack of slickness about gear changes.
Business Vans verdict
There’s no doubting that the Berlingo has maintained popularity for a reason and the latest version does nothing to undo that. It’s stylish, practical and performs well, and is versatile enough for a broad range of business uses. If you’re considering a Berlingo, remember it has a ‘twin’ in the Peugeot Partner, so do your comparisons and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
What you need to know
|On the road price ex-VAT (as tested, includes optional extras)||£14,545|
|Load width (max)||1,620mm|
|Load capacity||3.3cu m|
|Towing capacity braked/unbraked||1,160/750kg|
|Engine||1.6-litre 4-cyl diesel|