Citroen e-Berlingo Electric - long term review - Report No:2 2022 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Long-term review

Citroen e-Berlingo Electric - long term review

£31,995 OTR/£33,870 as tested/£519pcm
Published: 20 Sep 2022
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Citroen e-Berlingo Flair XTR M

  • Range

    174 miles

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    136bhp

Citroen e-Berlingo vs BMW iX: a TG Garage face-off

I’ve been a bit spoilt recently and lucky enough to spend some time in Jason Barlow’s BMW iX. And what a lovely thing it is too. And while the e-Berlingo is in no way a comparable car to the iX (mainly because it’s about 15 billion pounds more expensive) but really did highlight the restraints and restrictions there are in the Berlingo. I managed to get to Bristol and back in the BMW – a 320-mile roundtrip – on one charge and to rub salt in the wound it still had 50 miles left at the end.

OK, I did hypermile it back as I was feeling paranoid about the range, which then after a full charge gave me a whopping 393 miles on the range readout the next day. Now that is the kind of EV motoring that is becoming a gamechanger. Put that in stark contrast to the Berlingo, where I can only achieve about 150 miles on a tank. The same journey in the Citroen would have meant one and a bit ‘fill-ups’, assuming all the chargers worked.

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That’s not to say the Berlingo doesn’t have many good traits, size and practicality being among them. It easily swallowed all of Jason’s daughter’s university luggage – with all the seats down you get a whopping 2,107 litres of space.

It is basically an extremely practical family car that acts as a van too, very helpful when you need to transport parts for a Triumph Herald like I did. The more Jason and I discussed our cars at the changeover the more we agreed there were similarities we weren’t expecting.

They both feel rather large on the road, in the Berlingo’s case quite deceptive, less so for the more imposing brutalist iX. Even their looks could be considered similar, both polarising opinion in different markets, a little bit Marmite even.

And while inside the Berlingo isn’t a patch on the iX in terms of quality or its absolutely stunning and futuristic cabin (I really recommend you going to a dealer to see the inside) they do both feel really roomy and relaxing. I’ll confess I spent my entire time in the iX being paranoid about damaging the interior, but it has made me come to the conclusion that if future BMWs are as good if not better than this then the future is bright.

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All of which puts the Berlingo’s range into sharp relief. If ever there was a car – indeed, one with such an emphasis on practicality – that needed a long range for families to do big trips then this is it. It’s a real shame as I feel it’s going to hold this car back. But then maybe it won’t be that bad – what better thing to do than to test it camping with our very own Sam Burnett, who is going to take the Citroen while I’m off to the south of France. And no, I didn’t fancy taking the Berlingo…

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