Citroën Berlingo Van long-term test: report 9

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 van air conditioning dials

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 20,020 List price £24,995 Target Price £24,995 Price as tested £27,205 Test economy 48.7mpg Official economy 47.7mpg 

3 January 2022 – The simple solution

Some things in life work better with manual controls. You see, while I’ve said how much I’m enjoying the automatic gearbox in my Citroën Berlingo van in previous reports, because it makes the business of driving easier, I’m enjoying the manual climate controls for the same reason.

In some modern cars and vans, even the simplest of controls are hidden inside infotainment systems, and this means you need to prod the screen or delve into a sub-menu or two if you want to change the temperature. And doing that is inherently more distracting, I've found, than using a button or a dial.

Thankfully, my car uses rotary dials to control the temperature and fan speed, with chunky buttons to direct the air flow. Each is clearly marked, and each clicks, presses and rotates with satisfying precision when I use it.

Citroen Berlingo van instrument cluster

In the same vein, I’m pleased that my van doesn’t have digital instruments, because I prefer the simpler layout of information I get with my analogue dials. There’s a small readout to show me my range and fuel economy and other important information, and it doesn't overwhelm me with figures and graphics every time I look down. I’m no luddite, but in this case I think simpler really is better.

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