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Citroen Berlingo 1.5 BlueHDi 130 Plus XL 5dr EAT8 7 seat

  • Automatic
  • Diesel
  • 5 door estate
  • 150 g/km CO2
  • 150 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 129 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Try and picture a van-based compact people carrier. Bet you weren't imagining anything quite as nice as this. The improved version of the MK3 model of Citroën's remarkably civilised third generation Berlingo people carrier was further distanced from its predecessors' basic commercial roots in third generation form and in 2022 was put back on sale in combustion form, before in early 2024 getting the useful package of updates we look at here. With smart styling, plenty of equipment and efficient PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines, this value-for-money five-seater is still a vehicle that demands to be taken very seriously indeed. If you're after a budget family carry-all, it's well worth a look.

Background

Some cars aren't too precious about the lives they need. Take Citroen's classic post-war 2CV. You could drive it across a ploughed field, hose it clean, subject it to a fearful leathering, then pass it on like a family heirloom. It was uniquely French, uniquely Citroen and its modernday successor was the first generation of this car, Citroen's Berlingo. The Berlingo has been on sale as both a van and a van-based MPV for over two decades now, the MPV version previously badged 'Berlingo Multispace'. This third generation model, first launched back in 2018, is known simply as 'Berlingo'. Whatever you want to call it, this model line has been a successful one for Citroen (and for Peugeot whose previous Partner Tepee models and current Rifter MPV have been and are effectively a re-badged versions of the same design). So much so that there had only been two iterations of people-carrying Berlingo in 22 years until this MK3 model arrived. It left the UK market in 2021 in combustion form, only the full-EV e-Berlingo model remaining. But a year later the petrol and diesel Berlingos were back and here have been usefully updated.

Driving Experience

You'll probably be very pleasantly surprised by how the combustion Berlingo drives. The old bump, thump and reverberations that characterised much older versions have well and truly gone. We know it's a bit of a cliche when discussing this sort of MPV but there is a lot of truth in describing this boxy Citroen as 'car-like'. For what is quite a tall, high vehicle, there's none of the tippy feeling that characterised the pre-2018-era generation version of this design, helped in no small part by beefier anti roll bars. And a much improved suspension set-up. Which in turn has made possible the kind of ride quality you'd like to expect from a Citroën: in other words absorbent and very well tuned for our terrible roads. It's an important thing to consider, for we reckon that aside from safety and practicality, ride quality needs to be one of your key criteria when making a decision on an MPV-style vehicle. Too firm and you'll never manage to get the kids off to sleep on a long journey at night: too soft and they'll get car sick. The Berlingo strikes a good balance because it's a little softer than you might expect in compression and rebound - in other words, over the bumps - but a little firmer than you'd think in roll - in other words, around the corners. Engine-wise, combustion Berlingo MPV customers get to choose between a 1.2-litre three cylinder Puretech petrol unit with 110hp and 6-speed manual transmission; a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel with 100hp and 6-speed manual transmission; or a 1.5 BlueHDi diesel with 130hp and EAT8 8-speed auto transmission.

Design and Build

The updated version of this third generation Berlingo MPV adopts the more distinctive stubby front-end style the brand first showed us with the E-C3 supermini. That sees the company's new logo on a more overt front-end grille. The result is a look that's a little more expressive and distinctively Citroen than before. As before, this third generation Berlingo sits on the Stellantis Group's current EMP2 platform and gets a forward-set windscreen and chunky plastic panels protecting the flanks from supermarket scrapes. There are two wide sliding side doors and they feature electric windows. For combustion customers, there's only the five-seat two-row 'M' body shape: if you want the three-row 7-seat 'XL' body shape, you'll need the all-electric e-Berlingo model. Citroen claims exemplary interior versatility, with tray tables on the back of the front seats; and three individual seats in the rear that can be folded down with a simple movement using the 'Magic Flat' controls in the boot. Combined with a folding front passenger seat, this feature provides a perfectly flat floor and a load length of up to 2.70m for the 'M' version. There's a class-leading 775-litre boot volume. With top trim, the boot can be accessible thanks to the opening rear window in the tailgate; and there are two different height positions for the luggage cover. The 'Top Box' glove box is unique to the segment thanks to the 'Airbag in Roof' system. At the wheel, all the latest Berlingos benefit from the brand's 'Advanced Comfort' seats, which include specially engineered lateral supports that are enveloped in high-density memory foam. Apart from that, if you happen to be familiar with this third generation Berlingo, the main change you'll notice once inside is the addition of a larger 10-inch central screen, accompanied by a digital instrument cluster of the same size.

Market and Model

Let's face it, cash-strapped families don't want to spend too much on the car that'll move them about. The good news with this Berlingo is that they don't have to. Prices start from just over £23,000 for the PureTech 110 petrol version, from just over £24,000 for the BlueHdi 100 diesel variant and from just under £27,000 for the BlueHdi 130 EAT8 auto diesel derivative, the latter model around £4,000 less than the e-Berlingo. Berlingo petrol and diesel MPV variants are available across 'Plus' and 'MAX' trims. The 'Plus' models come as standard with rear parking sensors, a 10-inch fully digital driving instrument display, LED headlights, LED Daytime running lights, and programmable cruise control with a speed limiter to provide peace of mind on long journeys. This Berlingo is also available with numerous assistance technologies as standard including Adaptive Cruise Control with a Stop & Go function, an electric parking brake, a reversing camera with 'Top Rear Vision', and towbar stability control. Plusher 'MAX' versions benefit from the brand's 'Advanced Comfort' front seats, which offer lively colouring, specially designed lateral support and high levels of cushioning. In the rear of 'MAX' versions, you get three independent, sliding and folding seats. 'MAX' versions also come with 17-inch 'Topaz' alloy wheels, gloss black roof bars and a leather steering wheel.

Cost of Ownership

Day-to-day running costs are kept well in check. The 110hp 1.2-litre PureTech petrol variant most will want manages 51.3mpg on the combined cycle and 125g/km of CO2. For the 100hp BlueHDi diesel, you're looking at up to 68mpg on the combined cycle and up to 109g/km of CO2. For the top 130hp BlueHDi auto variant, you're looking at 65.7mpg and 113g/km. Of course, you'll have to do your bit as a driver in order to get anywhere near the published fuel figures. To help you, the centre dash infotainment screen's 'Trip Computer' section gives you read-outs for current fuel consumption and remaining range. Plus it will tell you how long the Stop & Start system has been functional for on any given trip - though we're not really sure why you'd ever want to know that.... Enough on engine efficiency. What about other financial considerations? Well, regular service intervals come round every 16,000 miles or 12 months, depending on which comes sooner. If you engage in what Citroen calls 'Arduous' conditions of use, then you'll seed a servicing visit every 10,000 miles or every year. The bottom line is that most owners will need to budget around an annual dealership appointment; there are plenty of Citroen outlets to choose from, so you should never be too far from one. So you can budget ahead, the French maker offers its 'Citroen Maintenance' scheme that lets you pay either a one-off fee or monthly instalments to cover the cost of the routine upkeep of your car for as long as three years and 35,000 miles.

Summary

Older Citroën Berlingo models tended to be enormously endearing. Like a faithful family hound, your people-carrying Berlingo wouldn't be flashy and could be a little agricultural in its manners but would never let you down. The improved version of this third generation design though, sets out to add a little pedigree to the breed and in doing so, changes the rules quite significantly, positioning this model as a more desirable family accoutrement. Spend enough on this MK3 version and it can be as stylish, safe and high-tech as you could possibly want. We're actually rather attracted by the way that in this improved MK3 form, this Berlingo has become more visually appealing without in any way bothering to hide its commercial vehicle ancestry. On the contrary, in many ways, this model celebrates that - as you will the first time you realise that awkward items like bikes, kayaks and chunky pieces of furniture that you'd huff and puff to get into an ordinary mid-sized SUV will slide into this Citroen without the need to break sweat. True, some models like those will drive better than a converted LCV like this - and of course look a bit sleeker - but for committed Berlingo buyers, that really won't matter. Nor should it.

  • Start/stop system
  • 10" HD touchscreen with voice recognition
  • 6 speakers radio with mp3 compatible
  • DAB Digital radio
  • USB type C socket for charging and data functions
  • Airbump
  • Black aero spoiler and door mirror caps
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured front bumper
  • Chrome chevrons front grille
  • Lateral bodywork protectors finished in black
  • Twin sliding side doors
  • White strip in fog light surround and on lateral bodywork protectors
  • 12V socket
  • Driver and passenger dashboard mounted cup holders
  • Electric power steering with reach and rake adjustable steering column
  • Fixing rings 4 in load compartment
  • Full width front overhead storage shelf
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Mesh bulkhead behind rear seats
  • Metropolitan cloth upholstery
  • Retractable parcel shelf
  • Standard grey interior ambiance
  • Top box glove compartment
  • Visibility pack - Berlingo
  • 3x Isofix child seat fittings in the second row
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Adaptive driver and front passenger airbags with passenger airbag deactivation function
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Driver and front passenger thorax airbag
  • Forward collision alert
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • Front and rear seats seatbelt unfastened on the move audible and visual alert
  • Front optimised safety headrests and rear retractable headrests (x3), height adjustable
  • Front three point retractable seatbelts with force limiters
  • Tyre pressure sensor
  • Automatic door locking when moving off
  • Deadlocks
  • Electronic code immobiliser
  • Remote central locking with 2 remote keys
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 150
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 170
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 143
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1499
  • Compression Ratio: 16.4:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 75
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 84.8
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 4.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 5.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 43.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 51.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 47
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 50.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 60.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 38.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 45.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 45.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 54.7
  • AdBlue: True
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Badge Power: 130
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: BlueHDi 130
  • Coin Series: Plus
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 15P
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 129
  • Engine Power - KW: 96
  • Engine Power - PS: False
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3750
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 221
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 30.6
  • Engine Torque - NM: 300
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • Top Speed: 114
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: False
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/60 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/60 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Wheel Type: 16" STEEL
  • Height: 1849
  • Length: 4753
  • Wheelbase: 2975
  • Width (including mirrors): 2107
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 53
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2300
  • Max. Loading Weight: 725
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1575
  • No. of Seats: 7
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.5