What Car? says...
We say "one of" because the Berlingo Van is part of a gaggle of near-identical commercial vehicles that share a platform and have many of the same qualities. So, the Fiat Doblò Cargo, the Peugeot Partner, the Vauxhall Combo Cargo and the Toyota ProAce City are essentially the same except for different nose treatments.
The Berlingo Van also shares underpinnings with many Citroën and Peugeot passenger cars, and is available with a 1.5-litre diesel engine, available with 99bhp or 128bhp forms, or a 108bhp 1.2-litre petrol. (If you'd prefer an electric van take a look at our Citroën e-Berlingo Van review.)
You get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but the 128bhp diesel engine is available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox if you pay extra.
In the back, it’s business as usual, with a big, useful cargo bay. You can choose between a standard (M) body style or a long (XL) one, and there’s also a crew cab option that gives you seating for five.
You can upgrade your Berlingo Van from the basic Enterprise Edition version to the Driver Edition, which gets you alloy wheels and a few extra toys (unless you want a crew cab, which comes only in Enterprise form).
Want to know more? This Citroën Berlingo Van review will tell you what it's like to drive, what it feels like inside, how much it will cost to buy and run – and, of course, how much it can carry.
Once you've decided which van model is best for you, we can help you find the best leasing deals if you search our What Car? Leasing pages.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Citroën Berlingo Van's 1.5-litre Blue HDi diesel engine is also found in Citroën and Peugeot cars and is fairly sophisticated for a small van unit. What's more, the fact that the underpinnings have their origins in the car world ensures that its ride and handling are far better than those of the previous-generation model. Overall, comfort, refinement and drivability have all improved over its predecessor.
Depending on what you intend to use the van for – short trips, long trips, city or motorway driving – there are a number of configurations to consider. Combining decent power and torque with decent fuel economy, the HDi 100 engine is the one we'd steer most buyers towards, but if you intend to do lots of miles at higher speeds, the more powerful HDi 130 may be a better fit. It comes with a six rather than a five-speed gearbox, resulting in lower engine revs at speed for quieter motorway driving.
For those who expect to make a mixture of urban and motorway journeys, the 130 is also available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It's really smooth and fast in operation, and although eight gears seems excessive, it really isn’t in such a small vehicle.
Whichever engine you choose, this is a quiet and comfortable van to be in. The handling is sharp and it’s an entertaining vehicle to drive. Is it the most enjoyable on the market? Not quite, but it’s very close, even squaring up to the mightily impressive Ford Transit Connect in some regard.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Inside, the Citroën Berlingo Van shares many of its fixtures and fittings with the Vauxhall Combo Cargo. It looks smart and feels well put together, and for a small van it is also spacious. You’ll find 15 storage compartments dotted around, including under-seat trays and narrow but useful door pockets.
The Berlingo Van is available with either two or three seats up front, the central seat of the three-seat version can be folded down for use as a table. An 8in colour touchscreen is the central point of the dashboard, and is standard on Enterprise and Driver versions. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, and includes sat-nav too. It’s also angled slightly towards the driver, providing a better viewing experience than the very similar touchscreen in the Ford Transit Connect.
That screen helps the Berlingo's interior to feel very driver-centric, and it's all the better for it. Visibility is great both forwards and backwards, and is aided by the option of a live rear-view mirror display (essentially a wide-angled view of the rear parking camera) and a blind-spot camera for seeing down the sides of the van. On models without the touchscreen, you simply get a Bluetooth enabled DAB radio integrated into the centre console.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Two body lengths are available for the Citroën Berlingo Van – M and XL. M-length vans (L1) are 350mm smaller than the XL (L2) models, with an overall length of 4403mm, rather than the L2 van’s 4753mm length.
Maximum load length for an M van is 1817mm, compared with 2167mm for the XL. Width between the wheel arches is 1229mm. The Berlingo Van doesn't have the option of a high roof, but its maximum loadspace height is a decent 1243mm. The loading height for the rear floor is 548mm in the L1 and 620mm on the L2 model.
Maximum load volume is 3.3m3 for the M and 3.9m3 for the XL, however, with the addition of the FlexCargo folding partition bulkhead, an extra 0.5m3 is possible. Twin side doors are standard on the XL vans, while a single nearside door is fitted to the smaller M version. All vans get double rear doors as standard.
Payloads vary depending on model, with two-tonne and a 2.4-tonne different gross vehicle weight variants to choose from. The smaller vans can move around 650kg to 670kg, while the heavier version is capable of shifting 940kg to 1010kg. A hard plastic floor covering is standard on Enterprise and Driver models, and all vans get six lashing points in the load area.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Safety has been improved dramatically in the latest Berlingo van, with traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and a driver attention monitoring system all available.
Perhaps the most innovative new addition, though, is the inclusion of an overload indicator. It alerts you as you reach 90% of maximum capacity and again when the vehicle is overloaded.
The Surround View Mirror is also worth mentioning. It comes as standard on the Driver models and is an option for the others, and gives you a 5in screen with blindspot views as well as rear views of the vehicle. Another good feature of the Berlingo Van is its Magic Wash wipers, which form part of the Visibility Pack. They squirt the windscreen washer fluid from the blade of the wiper rather than from nozzles in the bonnet, increasing both coverage and efficiency.
If you are looking for the most economical van, then the middle-powered 99bhp diesel engine should be the one you opt for, but each is a frugal option nonetheless. Average MPGs range from 61mpg to 67mpg, which is the same as the highly efficient version of the Econetic Ford Transit Connect.
The Berlingo is covered by a three-year or 100,000-mile warranty, and servicing intervals are every 25,000 miles for the Blue HDi 130 model but every 15,000 or once year for the 75 and 100 vans.
Entry-level vans get a DAB radio, as well as electric windows, electric heated mirrors and automatic headlights. Enterprise models get considerably more, with an adjustable driver seat with lumbar support, automatic electronic parking brake, tyre-pressure monitoring system, rear parking sensors, cruise control and air conditioning. They also get the Extenso folding passenger seat with writing table and load-through bulkhead to increase carrying capacity, plus the 8in touchscreen infotainment system.
Driver spec models get more still, with features including sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, passenger side and rear cameras, automatic windscreen wipers and a multi-function steering wheel. Worker models get additional grip control and a 30mm increase in ground clearance to enable light off-roading .
We’d recommend the Enterprise trim level simply for the value it offers in terms of additional equipment, but, if you plan to cover many miles, Driver is a generous package too. The options list is fairly flexible, though, so you can pick a wide range of features on almost any Citroën Berlingo.
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The Berlingo Van has scored well in recent commercial vehicle reliability surveys, which suggests it’s a van with a good reliability record. Also, Citroën came a creditable 11th our of 32 manufacturers rated in our 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey (although that's based on car model data rather than vans).
It depends which model you go for, but as a rough guide, the lightest Berlingo Van is the Puretech 110 Enterprise Edition, which weighs in at 1,300kg. The heaviest is the electric van version in Crew Van form, which tips the scales at 1,848kg. To read about that, see our Citroën e-Berlingo Van review.
The standard M model is 4.4 metres long, 2.1 metres wide (including door mirrors), and 1.8 metres tall. Go for the XL, and the length increases to 4.8 metres, while the height goes up to 1.9 metres.
Towing capacities vary depending on the engine and gearbox combination fitted, as well as the length and configuration of the van, but if you’re looking for the Berlingo with the greatest towing capacity, you’ll need the M BlueHDi 100. There are two payloads available with this variant, and the 650 model offers the greatest towing weight, at 1,500kg for a braked trailer, or 730 unbraked, the trade-off being a relatively low maximum payload of 642kg. But if you’re willing to sacrifice some of that towing capacity for a greater payload, there’s a 1,000 version, which offers a 986kg payload with a 1,200kg braked towing capacity, or 730kg unbraked.