Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Dashboard feels more like a conventional car than before…
  • But the driving position betrays its commercial vehicle origins
  • Very easy to get comfy, though; excellent visibility

First things first: from the driver’s seat of the Citroen Berlingo, there’s no escaping the fact that you’re in a van-derived car. More so than the first two generations, you’re sat higher up and further forward, plus its width and the amount of space above your head reinforce the commercial vehicle feel of it.

That’s the bad news, because other than that, it’s a pleasant and – if you spec the optional glass roof – an airy place to be, with a fine, elevated view of the road ahead.

Visibility is a strong point, save for the thick bases of the windscreen pillars, but they more annoying rather than making you wonder if you’re missing seeing a pedestrian or bike rider.

Plastics on the dash and door panels aren’t squidgy soft-touch materials, but they are well-assembled, feel robust and attractively trimmed. Most Berlingos have what looks like a flecked stone finish, while XTR versions feature a green, rubbery coating on many of the surfaces.

2018 Citroen Berlingo MPV XTR pack dashboard

It’s a functional, typically Citroen layout with lots of storage cubbies and a few detail touches to make things easier to use – the USB port on the bottom corner of the 8.0-inch multimedia screen being a case in point.

The screen itself is responsive and generally attractive, although the sat-nav graphics look several years out of date compared with what you’ll see in a VW Caddy Life, but it works well and is compatible with smartphone connections such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Instrumentation is clear and can be complemented with an optional pop-up head-up display screen, also featuring sharp graphics.

You’ll not run out of space to store all your clutter either, with a decent top-mounted glovebox, overhead storage and cubbies all around the dash. You can also optionally add a deep central cubby between the front seats that links up to the lower portion of the dashboard. 

Comfy family transport

  • Ample space for up to seven adults
  • Flexibility of individual rear seats
  • Refined, well-judged ride quality

Citroen used to be synonymous with comfort and with the brand’s current philosophy, that’s back on the agenda.

Sadly, the Berlingo doesn’t feature either the sophisticated damper arrangement or the super-thick seat cushioning introduced on the revised C4 Cactus, but it nevertheless feels as though it’s been engineered to reinforce the relaxed nature of the driving experience.

It rides with a satisfying compliance whether at low-speeds over cobbles and raised ronworks, or over undulating B-roads. Even at high speeds on motorways, and despite its perpendicularity, it feels stable and unruffled by gusting crosswinds.

Standard wheels are 16-inchers, but even on the XTR Pack’s 17s, it remains pliant.

Getting in and out is easy enough thanks to the wide door apertures and high seating positions, with plenty of room for feet, legs, arms and heads, although taller passengers may find the optional Modutop roof box close to their scalps if they occupy the middle seat.

2018 Citroen Berlingo MPV XTR pack rear seats and Modutop roof

The front seats especially feel well-padded, although some additional side bolstering would be a welcome revision early in the Berlingo’s life-cycle – you find yourself bracing against the fold-down armrests on roundabouts and sweeping bends.

Those in the middle row will appreciate that wind-down windows are now available in the sliding doors at last, although the climate control system is more than able to cool the cabin sufficiently.

Adults in the seven-seater versions will be unlikely to struggle for space in the rearmost pair of chairs, but as the floor in front of them isn’t scalloped out, you sit with your knees high, consequently taller people may lack under-thigh support.