What's the used Citroën Berlingo Multispace estate like?
The Citroën Berlingo Multispace was a huge and unprecedented hit in its original, van-based form. It might have looked a little drab and a trifle rugged in its approach, but punters loved it for its versatility, usability and cheap pricing, and it sold like the proverbial hot cakes. It remained on sale for more than 10 very successful years, before it fully entered the used MPV space.
This all-new second-generation model, launched in 2008, had a lot to live up to. It could be, like the first one, bought as an almost identical Peugeot, the Peugeot Partner Tepee, and it could, like that car, be also purchased as a van. Indeed it was designed from the off to be both an MPV and a van, so think of it as more, much more, than just a tool for transporting fence panels and roofing felt – it had proper windows for people to see out of and it drove at least as well as a number of its contemporary cars.
It's noticeably larger than the old car, too, with the front proudly sporting Citroen’s corporate face of the time. Under that more fancy bonnet engine choices are a 93bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine or the perky 108bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre PureTech unit. There was a choice of two diesels, both 1.6-litre in capacity, but with outputs of 99 and 118bhp.
Trim levels were limited to just Feel and Flair. The entry-level Feel model came with 15in steel wheels, lots of body colour moulded body parts and split tailgate as standard, while the inside gained air conditioning, cruise control and Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Upgrading to the range-topping Flair trim gained you a few more luxuries, namely, a 7.0in touchscreeen infotainment system with DAB radio, parking sensors, heated and folding wing mirrors, rear picnic tables and 16in alloy wheels.
On the road, unless you’re really motoring on a strict budget the entry-level petrol and diesels are best avoided; they feel weak and lack the refinement of the more powerful diesels, reminding you a little too much of the commercial vehicle that lies within. The more powerful engines get along well enough, with the slightly gruff diesel producing plenty of low-down oomph.
The gearchange is a little agricultural, however, but the ride is surprisingly smooth, with an ease that mostly masks poor road imperfections, although it can get caught out by potholes and sharp ridges. In corners, the Berlingo is competent but not exactly what a keen driver would call fun. There’s a fair bit of body lean too, as you might expect of something rather tall and slab-sided, and the steering’s a little strange in its weighting, being oddly keen to self-centre.
Inside, if you can ignore a slightly compromised driving position, the Berlingo starts to make sense. There’s abundant space both front and rear, and the boxy proportions bring plenty of luggage space without compromising room for passengers, while if the original owner chooses to specify the removable seats the Berlingo will swallow more or less anything; otherwise there are 60/40 split/fold seats. The high roofline also means there’s space for all sorts of clever storage solutions. Ultimately, it’s not quite as versatile as a more conventional MPV, but it is spacious and comfortable.
If you're interested in buying a used Berlingo Multispace or any of the other MPVs mentioned here, check out our used car classifieds section here.
What used Citroën Berlingo Multispace estate will I get for my budget?
The Berlingo’s been around for so long that at the bottom end it’s possible to pay nearly anything for it. You could pick up a high-mileage early model for under £1000, and a good, clean runner for £1500. Spend £2000 if you can accept a mileage of around and above 100,000, or nearer £5000 if you want a 2011 car with an average mileage for the year. Up the dosh to between £6000 and £8000 for a 2012 car with a full service history, while £10,000 will net you a 2016 car with all the trimmings from a trader or independent dealer. Look to spend between £10,000 and £12,000 on a later 2017 or 2018 car.
How much does it cost to run a Citroën Berlingo Multispace estate?
Not surprisingly, the 1.6 HDI 100 diesel engine is the one to go for, if economy matters. Equipped with the automated manual ETG6 gearbox the official fuel economy figure is 67.3mpg, with corresponding CO2 emissions of 109g/km. As a manual, its official figure is 65.7mpg and 113g/km. The more powerful 1.6 diesel has a respectable 55.4mpg for 134g/km, while the best-performing petrol-engined Berlingo is the 1.6 VTi 95 with 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 148g/km.
Cars registered before the car tax changes of April 2017 came into force will have their annual VED tax based on the CO2 emissions, so these will be reasonable across the board and especially good for the diesel-engined cars. Those registered after that date will pay tax at the flat rate, currently £140 a year.
Insurance costs are reasonable, too, and servicing should be relatively cheap carried out at a franchised dealership, although there’ll be plenty of high street garages that will maintain a Berlingo, probably at a cheaper cost.
Which used Citroën Berlingo Multispace estate should I buy?
The 1.6 HDI 100 engine gives the Berlingo enough shove, even though it’s obviously no sports car. We’d avoid the jerky automated manual gearbox, though, even though this gives the car even more impressive fuel economy than the manual. We’d stick with Feel trim, although if you were to find a Flair car at a reasonable price we’d go for it.
Our favourite Citroen Berlingo: 1.6 HDI 100 Feel
What alternatives should I consider to a used Citroën Berlingo Multispace estate?
We like the look of the enormous Ford Galaxy. Not only taxi drivers will appreciate the Galaxy's enjoyable driving experience, nor its fine engines or third-row seats that are spacious enough to take actual people. It doesn't have any clever storage solutions inside, though, and misses out on sliding rear doors, too. There are plenty of them around, though, so finding a tidy one should be easy.
Alternatively, try a Volkswagen Sharan or its virtually identical sibling, the Seat Alhambra. Both of them are huge inside, have well-appointed interiors and the benefit of sliding rear doors that should prevent your passengers from opening them on a car parked next to you.