With over 1.5m sales globally of its previous generations, the third incarnation of the popular Citroen Berlingo has big boots to fill. The French manufacturer claims the Citroen Berlingo 2019 raises the bar in the small van segment for practicality and comfort, but does it live up to expectation?
Along with its sister van, the Peugeot Partner, the little PSA vans broke the mould at their launch in 1996 as they were the first purpose-built small vans; previously this segment comprised of small cars with a converted load area. The first generation was replaced in 2008, although production continued until 2013.
Cab and interior
The designers at Citroen have clearly put a lot of work and effort into the new cab. It’s spacious, all the controls are ergonomic, the touchscreen display is tilted towards the driver, its comfortable and there’s an abundance of storage spaces, including underneath 39 litres underneath the passenger bench, an overhead shelf and various compartments on top of the dashboard.
Citroen Berlingo 2019 specifications
Citroen now offers four trim levels on the Berlingo; the X, Enterprise and Driver, while a special ‘Worker’ model offers unique, commercially-related upgrades. Even for a base model, the X is pretty well specced with electric windows, remote control locking, automatic headlights, electrically-adjustable door mirrors, a 12v socket and a DAB radio with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connections.
Moving up to the Enterprise, customers also receive air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise-control with speed-limiter, heated door mirrors, tyre pressure monitor, a driver’s seat with height, lumbar, rake and reach adjustment, front fog lights, an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, and the ‘Extenso’ modular folding passenger bench seat with pivoting writing table and load-through bulkhead.
Flagship ‘Driver’ models are furnished with even more creature comforts like a ‘Comfort’ driver’s seat with armrest, automatic windscreen wipers, front and rear parking sensors, passenger side and rear cameras, satellite navigation, voice recognition and increased sound insultation. They also look the part, with 16-inch alloy wheels and colour-coded bumpers, handles and mirrors.
Meanwhile, Worker models feature everything on the X, but also with automatic electric parking brake, overload indicator (see section below), underbody protection, grip control with hill descent control, ‘Extenso’ load through, 220v socket, fog lights, mud and snow tyres and an LED light in the load area.
Citroen Berlingo 2019 load area and dimensions
There are two wheelbases and one roof height offered on the Citroen Berlingo, corresponding to load lengths of 1,817mm and 2,167mm. However, the Berlingo is capable of accommodation loads of up to 3,090mm (L1) and 3,440mm (L2) with the Extenso, although the hole in the bulkhead only measures 298mm wide by 612mm high.
The short wheelbase model has a load volume of 3.3 cubic metres and the long offers 3.9 cubic metres. There is a standard panel-to-panel load width of 1,630mm (1,229mm between the wheelarches), although the roof height on the long wheelbase is marginally higher (1,236mm and 1,243mm).
Customers also have an option when it comes to payload. Operators transporting light goods would probably opt for the cheaper 2.0-tonne variant, which offers payloads of between 667kg and 681kg, although those carrying heavier goods would be safer opting for the 2.4-tonne variant, offering payloads of up to 1,050kg.
Berlingos comes with a nearside side loading door as standard (both sides on the long wheelbase), a full bulkhead and six tie-down points. Enterprise models also receive a durable plastic cargo floor lining and there is the option of an overload indicator, while informs driver’s when the van is at 80% of payload capacity, and again when it has been exceeded.
Citroen Berlingo 2019 engine and driving characteristics
The Citroen Berlingo will eventually be offered with just the choice of either a 1.5-litre ‘BlueHDi’ diesel (130hp/300Nm) or a 1.2-litre ‘PureTech’ petrol (110hp/180Nm) – both of which are hooked to a 6-speed manual and have the option of an 8-speed automatic. However for a limited time, the veteran 1.6-litre ‘BlueHDi’ (75hp/230Nm and 100hp/254Nm) will also be offered with a 5-speed transmission.
We found that the lack of torque on the 1.2 petrol meant it struggled with the 350kg on board and, while the 1.6 75 didn’t struggle off the mark, we found it to be sluggish. The 1.6 100 was much more capable and comfortable on the motorway thanks to the extra gear, although our favourite was the spritely 1.5 130.
Apart from the notchy gearstick, we have very few complaints about the Citroen Berlingo. We found it remarkably effortless, thanks to its low centre of gravity, relatively light and accurate steering, and quiet cab environment.
Citroen Berlingo 2019 price and running costs
Priced from £15,825 plus VAT, the 2019 Citroen Berlingo is almost a £2,000 uplift on the previous model and £400 more than the segment leader, the Ford Transit Connect. The Berlingo is backed by Citroen’s relatively limited 3-year, 60,000 mile warranty and service intervals are set at 12,500 miles or every year.
Running costs shouldn’t cause you too many worries thanks to the efficiency of the new engines. The new 1.5-litre diesel returns up to 65.7mpg on the combined cycle according to NEDC figures, which is one of the highest in the segment.
Citroen Berlingo 2019 technical information
Engine: 1.2 (1,199cc) petrol, 1.5 (1,499cc) diesel, 1.6 (1,560cc) diesel
Performance: 109hp/200Nm (1.2 petrol), 74hp/210Nm, 99hp/250Nm (1.6 diesel) and 128hp/300Nm (1.5 diesel).
Fuel economy: 67.3mpg (petrol) and 64.2mpg – 65.6mpg (diesel)
Load lengths: 1,871mm/2,167mm
Load height: 1,243mm
Load width: 1,630mm
Between the wheelarches: 1,229mm
Payload range: 658kg – 1,021kg
Load volume range (m³): 3.3 – 3.9
Warranty: 3-years, 60,000 miles
Starting price: £15,825 plus VAT