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.

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Motors -

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

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