Space to relax
Famous for its utilitarian past, Citroen’s nod to back-basics motoring might still be Berlingo-shaped but it’s anything but rough and ready. Iain Dooley reports.
Citroen’s Berlingo Multispace has been part of the furniture for some time, but it serves a useful purpose if you need a spacious no-frills cabin and don’t want to break the bank. The gentle evolution of the ‘van with windows’ concept has also led us to a car that also fits right into the current trend for active lifestyle motoring.
The concept is a simple one; a spacious, lofty cabin is matched by comfort-spec suspension and a choice of modest engines. And in the case of this refreshed XTR model, throw in a tweaked exterior, more kit plus childfriendly cabin materials and the option of an abundance of oddment storage options and you’ve got car fit for anything an active lifestyle weekend could throw at it. Looks and image In XTR guise the Berlingo presents a more rugged face to the world. The concept is a little like Audi’s Allroad sub brand, what with the bashproof plastic exterior trim and hint of rough terrain abilities. Only being Citroen the experience comes at a significantly more affordable asking price. Space and practicality There’s no shortage of space in a Berlingo – it shares its underpinnings with a van after all. The car’s sliding rear doors are a welcome solution to loading and unloading in tight spaces, while its massive tailgate easily doubles as a shelter when its raining. The cabin’s five-seat layout offers ample space for an active family, and there’s no shortage of oddment storage either. Behind the wheel Don’t buy a Berlingo to be bowled over by its handling prowess as you will be disappointed. Citroen’s take on low cost, lifestyle motoring is not a car for keen drivers. Its strengths lie elsewhere, namely carrying people and their clobber in comfort for not a lot of money. Factor in a gutsy diesel engine and you’re all set for that camping holiday with the family. Value for money In broad terms the Berlingo Multispace easily qualifies for ‘budget’ status, although this more upmarket XTR version will cost you a little more money. The trade-off is a SUV-like rugged exterior and improved all-weather traction from its clever stability control system – remember, this is still a front-wheel drive car. Opting for a diesel variant if you plan on racking up the miles will be a smart move,
ONE WORD This car summed up in just a single word: Price: £18,540 Engine: 1.6-litre diesel unit producing 120bhp Transmission: sixspeed manual transmission driving the front wheels Performance: Top speed 109mph, 0-62mph in 11.4 seconds Economy: 64.2mpg combined Emissions:115g/km of CO2