Citroën Berlingo Van long-term test: report 8

The Citroën Berlingo Van promises car-like comfort and efficiency, and the practicality of, well, a van. Our photographer is living with one to see if it delivers...

Citroen Berlingo eco mode

The Car Citroën Berlingo Van Panel Driver Pro XL BlueHDi 130 EAT8 Run by Max Edleston, photographer

Why it’s here To show just how far modern vans have come

Needs to Serve as both a practical working vehicle and weekend leisure transport

Mileage 17,877 List price £24,995 Target Price £24,995 Price as tested £27,205 Test economy 48.7mpg Official economy 47.7mpg 

5 November 2022 – The eco-warrior

Whether it’s electricity, food or fuel, prices are only going up at the moment, and that means drivers are tightening their belts. For some, that means using their cars less and taking public transport or walking wherever possible – but for van drivers, that’s not an option. Thankfully, my Citroën Berlingo van is helping me to cut costs wherever I can.

Given the stellar mileage I cover on a monthly basis, I’m doing everything I can to maximise my fuel economy. That means taking sensible steps such as anticipating the road ahead, removing any unnecessary weight from my car and taking a light-footed approach to acceleration wherever I can, but I’ve also taken to using my Berlingo’s Eco mode.

Citroen Berlingo eco mode

Pressing the small Eco button brings about a big change in my Berlingo. For a start, it limits the engine revs to no more than 2000rpm wherever possible. It also activates the stop-start feature much sooner when I’m approaching a halt, and lets the automatic gearbox change into a higher gear sooner than it would otherwise.

Most of this can be overridden if I press my foot down and ask for a burst of speed, but it works rather well most of the time.

I say 'most of the time', because on the odd occasion where I need to get away from a roundabout or traffic lights quickly, the Eco mode can cause the automatic gearbox to be a bit dim-witted in its responses.

To get around this, I can take manual control using the paddles on the steering column, which let me change gear manually and hold a gear if I need to maximise my acceleration. You’d usually find such things on far sportier models than my van, but they’ve been useful nonetheless. 

Citroen Berlingo paddles

The result of my eco-mindedness has translated into real pounds and pence saved at the pumps, and I'm actually beating the Berlingo’s official average economy figure by a whole 1mpg. When was the last time you heard of a van – or any vehicle, for that matter – doing that?

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