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The Top Gear car review: Citroen Berlingo

£13,155£18,485
6/10
Overall verdict

For: 

Space for many people and things, relatively cheap

Against: 

Is cheap, feels cheap. Base petrol struggles for pace
Epic value from Citroen here. The Berlingo majors on comfort, economical diesels and an enormous interior. Practical.

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Our choice

Citroen

1.6 HDi 115 XTR 5dr

£17,720
N/A
55mpg
12.10s
115bhp
134g/km

What we say: 

The latest Berlingo is a practicality tour-de-force. Big, square, and consequently hugely useful. Good job, Citroen

What is it?

Epic value from Citroen here. Odd to think you could go into one dealer and choose from either the box-like Berlingo or the stylised DS3, but there you go. The Berlingo majors on comfort, economical diesels and an enormous interior. Very practical.

Driving

The steering’s surprisingly good and like all things that feel like they’ve been derived from a van, actually quite perky. But the ride can be crashy when loaded and there’s way too much lean.

It’s capable of absorbing bumps well enough when not fully laden, but the aerodynamics of the average conservatory mean you get wind noise on the motorway. There’s also a general boominess inside the cabin thanks to a big space and the hard, reflective plastics that form it.

There’s a 1.6-litre petrol with 95bhp that gets to 62mph in 13.8 seconds, but best ignore it as it’s useless. Better to go for the range-topping 115bhp 1.6-litre Hdi diesel that hits 62mph in 12.1 seconds and 107mph. It pulls hard enough and though noisy, is capable of motivating the Berlingo at normal m-way speeds.

On the inside

A practicality tour-de-force, this is where the Berlingo really gets going. Shaped like a box and as useful, in other words, very. You can seat five easily, but the real deal is carrying capacity. Big square shape means that luggage space is huge at 675 litres, but fold the seats and you get 3,000 litres - more than most SUVs… Bike transport, dog transport. This is a car that can work for a living.

The Berlingo feels like it’s been put together with care, just from cheap materials. Still, the kids’ll destroy it anyway.

Owning

The diesel gets 53.3mpg (more than the smaller, slower petrol at 39.8mpg), so cheap to run and insure. But residuals drop hard.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
1.6 BlueHDi 120 XTR 5dr
11.4s 115g/km 64.2 120 £18,485
The cheapest
1.6i 16V VTi 95 Touch 5dr
12.8s 148g/km 44.1 98 £13,155
The greenest
1.6 BlueHDi 100 Feel Edition 5dr [Start Stop]
12.4s 109g/km 68.9 100 £16,935

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

7/10

Citroen C3 Picasso

£13,435£17,665
The Berlingo is a triumph of space over style. The Citroen C3 Picasso is plenty practical, but heaps more stylish