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Citroen's popular Berlingo is leaner and cleaner than ever
The Berlingo: stylish and practical – and easy to live with

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.

Citroen's popular Berlingo is leaner and cleaner than ever
No problem with load access or accommodating a Euro pallett

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.

 

Citroen's popular Berlingo is leaner and cleaner than ever
Instrumentation is straightforward and the controls are well sited

What’s hot

  • 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.

What’s not

  • 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.

Citroen's popular Berlingo is leaner and cleaner than ever
Single sliding side door is standard, but two side doors can be specified as an option

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 length 1,800mm
Load width (max) 1,620mm
Load height 1,250mm
Load capacity 3.3cu m
Payload 670kg
GVW 1,990kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked 1,160/750kg
Engine 1.6-litre 4-cyl diesel
Power/Torque 90hp/215Nm
Economy (combined) 58.9mpg
CO2 emissions125 125g/km

 

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