Buyers expect the Berlingo to do well in the practicality stakes and, happily, Citroën has pretty much aced it here.
For starters, the amount of space you get inside is vast, with plenty of shoulder and leg room for five, and you’d need to be a giant to struggle for head room. The designers have even set the runners for the front seats far apart so that occupants behind can stretch their feet out under those seats. What’s more, you get a virtually flat floor in the back, so three can sit there comfortably. The rear is even wide enough to fit three child seats.
All the passenger seats fold down in a straightforward fashion with a lever and lie relatively flat when down. What little incline there is has been mitigated by a small piece of plastic trim that acts as a ramp to help you slide longer items into the vehicle.
The boot is massive at 775 litres for the standard five-seat model and can be increased to 3500 litres with the passenger seats folded. Few cars in this class come close to matching that. The Berlingo’s boot wipes the floor with all conventional MPVs’, and is bigger than that of van-based MPV rivals, too. The seven-seat version promises even more when it arrives in 2019.
There are numerous cubbies and cupholders dotted around the interior for your motoring detritus; some are much more useful than others, though, with quite a few of the claimed 28 compartments proving awkwardly small. That said, the space above the glovebox is particularly noteworthy. Since the front passenger airbag has been moved to the ceiling, the space left in the dashboard has been hollowed out to accommodate a 1.5-litre bottle. This space can be cooled, too, using air from the car’s ventilation system.
A word of warning, though. Some of the much-vaunted storage solutions, such as the Modutop system that brings an overhead compartment above the boot and the translucent arch that runs down the length of the roof, are optional extras. As part of that package, you also get a panoramic glass roof that bathes the interior in natural light and posh ambient lighting.