Citroen Berlingo Multispace

Practical and flexible van-based MPV

7.2
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 11 reviews
  • Very practical
  • Cheap running costs
  • Surprisingly good to drive
  • Doesn’t look very cool
  • Not a lot of standard kit
  • Rolls in corners
 

£16,190 - £20,345 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

44 - 67 MPG

Review

The Citroen Berlingo Multispace reviews are fairly good. It’s an incredibly practical family car that’s decent value for money. It’s spacious inside and the diesel engines are impressive.

The old  Berlingo was based on a van so was slightly crude but hugely useful. The new model was designed from the beginning as both a van and an MPV so it feels much more car-like to drive, even if it isn’t quite as good as some of the dedicated MPVs like the Ford S-Max according to the reviewers.

The unique selling point of the Berlingo is the storage and versatility that it offers – if you buy one it’ll take you weeks to figure out where all the storage bins and cubby holes are, and the high roof gives a feeling of spaciousness that few can rival.

Cheapest to buy: 1.6-litre VTi Touch petrol

Cheapest to run: 1.6-litre BlueHDi Start Stop diesel

Fastest model: 1.6-litre BlueHDi XTR 120hp diesels

Most popular: 1.6-litre BlueHDi ETG6 XTR diesel

Up front it’s standard mini-MPV fare, with an elevated driving position, gear knob that sprouts from the dashboard and plenty of equipment to keep the driver happy.

It’s in the back that it gets interesting with a variety of (mainly optional) storage solutions available including an interior roof rack and 50-litre locker, footwell compartments, drinks holders, and boot box. So innovative are the storage solutions that you can even carry skis – inside the car!

The driving experience is good too with little wind noise and decent handling, but its trump-card on the road is its supple ride. It’s not quite as good as a hydropneumatically-sprung Citroens of old but it’s not far off. The tall stance, upright driving position and acres of glass allow huge amounts of visibility delivering a commanding view of the road.

It resists roll reasonably well and grips hard no matter how loaded the car is, but it is always going to be a big ask to eliminate body roll with a vehicle this tall unless you spend an awful lot of money. The Berlingo may look alarmingly like a van, but thankfully it doesn’t drive like one.

The single petrol engine on offer here is fine for keeping up with the traffic, but only if you don’t have anything like a full load in the vehicle. If you regularly carry a lot of weight in your Berlingo, you’ll want to leave the VT95 petrol engine alone and go for one of the diesels.

The three diesel engines are reasonably refined and are powerful enough to keep up with the traffic without having to mercilessly thrash the Citroen. The most powerful 115 HDi will (obviously) give the best performance and is pretty economical too. However, the 75 HDi and 95 HDi also do a fine job and won’t leave you regretting buying either of them.

The 1.6-litre HDI 115 develops 113hp and is a little bit louder in use than the 89hp-version, according to one journalist, but it is faster, more fun – and a little bit more frugal. The problem is that it is only available in the top of the range XTR, which makes it expensive.

Its 177lb ft of torque helps mid-range overtaking as well as the 12.1 second 0-62mph time, compared to 14.7 for the 90hp model.

The official combined fuel consumption figure is 53.3mpg and owners shouldn’t have too much trouble in nudging 50mpg in normal use, helped by the extra dollop of torque that allows them to leave the car in a higher gear than they might otherwise be able to do.

The 1.6-litre four-cylinder HDI 90 engine has – surprise, surprise – 89hp and 159lb ft of torque. It’s no Autobahn-stormer and the woefully slow 0-62mph time of 14.7sec belies strong mid-range flexibility that means that it takes just 16.7sec to accelerate from 30 to 70mph through the gears, which is quite impressive. It also feels faster than it is according to the reviewers, finally running out of steam at 100mph.

It’s a quiet engine and is very refined for an oil-burner. The motoring journalists all agree that this is the pick of the bunch, especially as the 115 engine can only be ordered in the top of the range XTR model.

Everyday fuel consumption is likely to be around the 40-45mpg mark and the CO2 emissions are a not-terribly-good 139g/km.

These are general, non-engine specific reviews. They give a nice overview of what the car is like, without focusing on just one engine/version.

Citroen has a great reputation for building very safe cars, but although you couldn’t describe the Berlingo Multispace as unsafe, it falls short of what you would hope for.

MPVs inevitably end up carrying some very precious cargo in the form of family and friends, so this is the sort of vehicle where safety will be a serious consideration. Unfortunately, the Berlingo only scored three-stars in its 2014 Euro NCAP testing.

There is some good news in the fact that it scored highest for its child occupant rating with 74%, but its 56% adult occupant score and 48% for pedestrian safety dragged the overall result down.

The low purchase price is undermined by the fact that it costs so much to add all those clever storage solutions that drew you to the Berlingo in the first place. 

A few critics complain that it doesn’t get enough features as standard, and that adding options will make it too expensive. A vehicle like this is all about practicality, which inevitably means it will often be bought by families on a budget.

It may look like a perfect solution when you see one all tricked-out in the showroom, but the price of all those extras could be seriously off-putting.

Conclusion

The Citroen Berlingo is a fine MPV that offers unrivalled flexibility – at a price. Customers attracted by its low basic price will be disappointed to learn that they need to dig deep to buy the optional extras that make this such a versatile load carrier.

However, if you do decide to buy one you’ll appreciate its usefulness and very low running costs – and Citroen has been known to do the odd deal in the showroom too…

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