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4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Masses of space in this flexible van-derived car

Citroën Berlingo MPV (18 on) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 39 photos

At a glance

New price £20,415 - £28,630
Used price £11,390 - £21,490
Used monthly cost £284 - £536
Fuel Economy 36.7 - 51.6 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 8 - 14 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Even more practical than before
  • Comfortable, relaxed to drive
  • Efficient range of engines
  • Decent build quality

CONS

  • Good value, but not a bargain
  • No disguising it’s a van with windows
  • Front-end styling not to all tastes

Citroën Berlingo MPV rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

Although the Multispace name has been dropped for the third-generation Citroen Berlingo, loyal fans of the spacious MPV will doubtless be thrilled to learn that third time around it’s even roomier, more flexible, comfier and packed with an array of technology that’s rare in this segment.

That’s all well and good, but is it an appealing enough vehicle to tempt buyers looking for a practical family car into something that is, to all intents and purposes, a van with windows?

Yes, is the simple answer. Naturally, there’ll be a significant proportion of consumers who will continue to find its commercial vehicle heritage deeply off-putting, but many should be won over by its many charms.

What else is like the Berlingo?

Having sold 1.7 million passenger-carrying Berlingos globally over the past two decades, the Citroen’s always been one of the more popular cars of this type, but competition is a little thin on the ground.

It goes toe-to-toe with the good-to-drive Ford Tourneo Connect, and has to contend with the badge appeal of the slightly more upmarket Volkswagen Caddy Life.

Beige 2018 Citroen Berlingo MPV front three-quarter

Arguably its main rivals are the two similar products offered by Citroen’s parent company, PSA. First is the Peugeot Rifter, the replacement for the Partner Tepee, which has an SUV-like appearance to it, while the newcomer is the more mainstream style of the Vauxhall Combo Life. A fourth version will become available in spring 2020 with the arrival of the Toyota Proace City Verso.

Mechanical components, large amounts of bodywork and much of the interior fixtures and fittings are shared between the four, with only the front grille, headlights and bumper assembly really setting them apart styling-wise, although the Peugeot's interior has been reworked compared with the others.

Petrol and diesel engines

Using the front-end underpinnings of PSA’s EMP2 platform – as used by the DS 7 Crossback and Peugeot 3008 to name but a couple – the Mk3 Berlingo was launched with a choice of familiar petrol and diesel engines.

Petrol fans are served by a three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech in 110 and 130 guises, while those needing the extra pulling power of a diesel can choose the four-cylinder 1.5-litre BlueHDi in 75 (discontinued in 2019), 100 and 130 forms.

2018 Citroen Berlingo MPV XTR pack dashboard

Depending upon the engine, you’ve got the possibility of a five- or six-speed manual, or a relaxed eight-speed automatic, with a novel rotary selector in place of a conventional gearlever.

None are particularly quick, but performance proves adequate in the punchier versions. We'd suggest that the lower-powered diesel is best-avoided unless you prize superior on-paper fuel efficiency over other considerations.

Will there be an electric Berlingo?

Citroen has confirmed that by 2023, 80% of its range will be available with some sort of electrical power, and we believe the Berlingo will be one such model. In fact, we expect two types to be available.

A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is most likely to arrive first in 2020 or 2021 combining a petrol engine with an electric motor giving a zero-emission range of around 30 miles.

That is likely to be followed by a fully electric version within 18 months, with a real-world range in excess of 150 miles.

How practical is it?

In a word: very. This time around it goes beyond a simple choice of five- and seven-seater versions, all available with individually folding chairs, because the Berlingo comes in two lengths.

The standard one – or M for medium – is expected to be the better seller, and is just 2cm longer than the previous-generation model, but new is the Berlingo XL, with an additional 35cm of bodywork behind the rear wheels, giving an even larger boot.

Beige 2018 Citroen Berlingo MPV rear three-quarter with a bike in the boot

While the front end of the Berlingo’s underpinnings are based on the EMP2 platform, the rear is an evolution of the Mk2 Berlingo’s arrangement, which goes some way to explain why the rear portion’s styling is similar – but not identical – to before.

What it also means are that the wide tailgate with an optional separate pop-out rear screen remain, as do the sliding side doors, which this time around incorporate wind-down windows on higher-spec versions.

Plus there are up to 28 interior cubbies providing a further 186 litres of storage capacity.

Which versions are available?

Citroen has opted not to bring a basic Touch specification Berlingo to the UK, so the range essentially starts at the mid-range Feel with the plusher Flair topping the line-up from the 2018 launch. 

Additionally, there’s an XTR Pack – which was replaced by the standalone Flair XTR trim during 2019 – offering jacked-up crossover looks, 17-inch alloy wheels and an array of orange accents among other detail changes. This also brings the Berlingo closer in-line with the look Peugeot has given the whole of its Rifter range.

An option Citroen expects many to go for is the glass roof and Modutop storage box that runs centrally along its length. It’s translucent and LED backlit so all sorts of odds and ends can be accessed easily, but without being too obvious to prying eyes. Note that this is only available on five-seat Berlingos and from 2019 was standard-fit on the shorter Flair XTR and unavailable across the rest of the range.

Read on to find out if the Citroen Berlingo is the MPV that your family needs

Citroën Berlingo MPV rivals

Other Citroën Berlingo models: