The side exterior of a blue Citroen Berlingo

Citroen Berlingo review

The Citroen Berlingo people carrier has enough room for up to five adults and is a great choice for families. It's well equipped and drives well with efficient engines.

Pros

  • The interior is huge
  • Low running costs
  • Very comfortable throughout

Cons

  • Its angular looks won’t appeal to everyone
  • Petrol engines are a little sluggish
  • Not an exciting car to drive

Summary

“If you want the ultimate in space and affordable running costs, then the Berlingo makes plenty of sense.”

The Berlingo may be based on a van, but because of its boxy lines and vast interior, it’s one of the most practical family cars money can buy.

There’s a choice of a standard five-seater or an XL seven-seater model. Both have well-designed interiors with plenty of useful storage and a spacious boot. The interior features some cheaper materials and lacks premium appeal, but bright colours and big windows combine to deliver a welcoming ambiance. There’s also plenty of equipment built into this versatile car, with everything you’re likely to need.

There’s a choice of petrol and diesel engines, with the punchy and economical petrol being the best bet. It’s not exciting to drive but the soft suspension makes it comfortable and relaxing.

The rear exterior of a white Citroen Berlingo

What's the interior like?

“Few rivals at any price can match the Berlingo for practicality and space.”

Both the standard and XL versions have roomy interiors that offer lots of head and legroom. There are three individual rear seats that all fold flat separately to provide even more space when needed.

The XL version is a little longer (350 mm) and has a pair of individual seats in the boot that can be removed entirely when you don’t need them.

In the standard Feel version, there’s a vast 775 litre boot which is big enough for four large suitcases. When the back seats are folded flat, this extends to a huge 2,126 litres which turns the Berlingo into a van that can hold large pieces of furniture or a couple of bikes. There’s also an impressive 186 litres of storage spread over 28 different boxes and cubbies, which is great for holding all the family’s everyday essentials. Versions with the Modutop roof set-up also feature airplane-style overhead lockers for even more storage.

There’s a touchscreen infotainment screen that sits on top of the dashboard so you can use it without looking down and taking your eyes off the road. Models with the automatic gearbox feature a simple rotary gear selector that frees up space where the gear stick would usually be for extra storage. 

Some of the plastics look low cost, but the Berlingo is robustly built and includes must-have kit, such as air con and smartphone connectivity in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The interior of a Citroen Berlingo with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“Soft suspension, light controls and excellent visibility make the Berlingo easy to drive.”

With its vast windscreen and high driving position, the Berlingo feels very straightforward to drive. The steering is accurate and has plenty of grip when going round corners.

Its soft suspension makes for a comfortable drive with it coping effortlessly on bumpy roads. It’s also quiet, with only the large door mirrors causing a little wind rush on the motorway.

The engine line-up is limited to one turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol and two 1.5-litre diesel options. The 99 horsepower (hp) entry-level diesel is smooth enough, but if you plan on carrying heavy loads take a look at the more powerful 128 hp version. 

The petrol is a great choice for most people with its combination of power and economy. A five or six-speed manual gearbox is standard, while a slick eight-speed automatic is only available on the most powerful diesel.

The rear exterior of a black Citroen Berlingo

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“You get plenty for your money with the Berlingo, plus it isn’t costly to run.”

The Berlingo offers more room for your money than most. The diesel versions are the most economical, with a claimed 68.9 mpg for the entry-level version, while even the 1.2-litre petrol will reach 50 mpg if driven sensibly.

Servicing costs are good while low insurance groupings mean that you won’t pay high costs for an annual premium.

The front exterior of a blue Citroen Berlingo

How reliable and safe is it?

“The Berlingo has all the latest safety equipment as standard, while overall owners are happy with their cars.”

On the whole, owners appear satisfied with the Berlingo, rating it highly for practicality and low running costs. Satisfaction surveys show up some concerns about build quality and minor mechanical faults.

Citroen has always taken safety seriously and the Berlingo is no exception. Not only is there the full complement of airbags, but it also earned a five star Euro NCAP rating when tested in 2018. More importantly, all models feature autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Gear stick shot of the Citroen Berlingo

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - BlueHDi 100

Best for families - XL BlueHDi 130

Best for fun - BlueHDi 130

There are three trim levels to choose from - Feel, Flair and XTR - which offer increasing equipment and style. The entry-level Feel has all the basics covered, with infotainment touchscreen and air con among the equipment list. The Flair adds better equipment and looks more upmarket thanks to its roof bars and contrasting exterior trim inserts. The more rugged-looking XTR features a reversing camera and parking sensors.

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