What's the used Citroën Berlingo estate like?
For what the boxy Citroën Berlingo lacks in suavity and style, it more than makes up for in substance. It's an MPV with practicality and space at the heart of its appeal, with some affordable buying and running costs sprinkled on top for good measure. It possesses some compelling ingredients, but how do they all come together – and does it make for a fine used alternative to a pricey SUV?
Well, if we start with engine choices, you'll see that there's a decent range to choose from. There's a 109bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel that comes in various states of tune: 74bhp, 99bhp and 128bhp. The petrol is nicely refined and remarkably capable of motivating even the larger seven-seat XL long-wheelbase version (there are two body styles, a regular five-seat Berlingo and a longer and slightly taller XL model), but it will struggle with a full complement of luggage and passengers. A five-speed manual is fitted to entry-level diesel models, with a six-speed alternative in the petrol and 128bhp diesel. A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox found in more powerful versions.
Take one look at the tall exterior of the Berlingo and it’ll come as no surprise to find that it isn’t the wieldiest of vehicles out there to drive. However, grip levels are still sufficient and body control is decent enough that it won’t embarrass itself in the bends by leaning over excessively. The steering is light and pretty quick for this type of car, and makes parking easy – especially relevant when the biggest XL version is 4.75m in length. Wind noise can be heard at motorway speeds due to the upright windscreen and big door mirrors, but road noise is well subdued. You can even take it on a long distance cruise without regret; the ride is really comfortable without being nauseatingly floaty over crests.
The Berlingo is ideal for families who need to travel with multiple child seats. When we tested the Vauxhall Combo Life (a car to which the Berlingo is closely related) we found that you could fit three separate child seats across the second row. However, the third row on XL models isn’t suitable for a child’s car seat, according to the experts at EuroNCAP. If you need to fit more than three safety seats, consider a Peugeot 5008 instead. Grandparents, meanwhile. should be happy enough in the third row – the seats can be moved forwards and backwards to increase leg room at the expense of luggage capacity.