Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
First, you need to choose whether you want five or seven seats; the latter choice dictates your selection of the longer XL model and not the regular-sized M version.
Our favourite is the regular five-seater, which still offers a vast amount of passenger space for those with a smaller crowd to carry. There’s so much head room in the front and back that it's hard to imagine anybody struggling, and rear leg room is hugely generous, too. The rear bench is also wide enough to easily accommodate three adults, and the two outer rear seats feature Isofix mounting points.
There's also the advantage of rear sliding doors that make it a doddle for passengers to get in or out when you’re parked up next to a wall or another car. They're operated manually, though: there’s no option to add an electric sliding function as there is on some rival MPVs, like the Ford Galaxy.
You also get masses of stowage space, particularly in the front, and the cupholder on top of the dashboard is a nice touch; it’s easy to reach and doesn’t obstruct your view of the road. The rearmost windows don’t wind down on the entry-level Feel trim; they simply pop open a few centimetres. You get four electric windows on from the Flair trim.
When it comes to clever seating tricks, the Berlingo isn't quite so impressive. The five-seater's rear seats split in a 60/40 layout (you get three equal-sized seats on the Flair XTR trim) and can fold down flush with the floor of the boot, thanks to a nifty hinged seat base. However, you can’t slide them back and forth or recline them as you can in many conventional MPVs, such as the Touran. Opt for the seven-seat XL model and the third row of seats offer generous headroom, but leg room isn't as good as a Galaxy's third row.
As for boot space, there’s unsurprisingly loads of it. Even the regular five-seater has nearly 775 litres below the parcel shelf (1050 litre for the XL), which is massive. That’s more than a Volkswagen Touran or, indeed, pricier large SUVs, such as the Peugeot 5008 can offer. In the XL, the rearmost two seats can be completely removed from the car to boost boot space, and with all the rear seats down you get 4000-litres of cargo room. Or to put that into context: there'll be no need to hire a van when moving your kids up to uni.
The boot is square and has no obstructive lip at the entrance, and the aperture matches the width of the boot floor. The only annoyance is how enormous the tailgate is; it’s top-hinged so can only be opened when there’s a large gap behind the car (ie. not in most supermarket car parks). The Flair XTR trim gets around this issue by providing a separately opening rear window that's more useable.
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