Citroen Berlingo Multispace review
The Citroen Berlingo Multispace isn't the most stylish MPV around, but it is hugely practical
The Citroen Berlingo Multispace is a van-based MPV with sliding doors and a hugely roomy interior. It shares its platform with the Peugeot Partner Tepee, can hold up to seven people, and has room for up to 3,000 litres of luggage with the rear seats removed.
It’s certainly not the most stylish car, but as a practical, good value and cheap to run MPV, it’s more than up to the job. There’s a range of punchy diesel engines, as well as a single petrol option – along with a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. Our pick would be the BlueHDi 100, as it’s cheap to run and the only version available with seven seats.
The top-spec XTR comes with raised suspension, body cladding and Grip Control for optimum performance on mud, sand and snow. Lesser Touch, Feel and Feel Edition cars are also available, though none are particularly well equipped.
You’ll need to opt for the Feel model to get air-con, while only the top Feel Edition and XTR cars get alloy wheels. Bluetooth isn’t even an option on basic Touch and Feel models, but comes as standard higher up the range. Top spec cars come with a seven-inch touchscreen, while Mirror Screen technology will be available from November 2015.
Our choice: Berlingo Multispace BlueHDi 100 Feel
See our sister site Carbuyer's video verdict on the older model below.
Engines, performance and drive
Unfortunately, the fact the Berlingo looks like a van, means it drives like one too. Although it’s based on the previous generation Peugeot 308, the upright driving position and heavy steering make it difficult to get comfortable. The noisy diesel engines mean refinement isn’t great, but the supple ride ensures it is relatively comfortable on longer journeys.
There’s a range of punchy diesel engines to choose from, with all offering a good blend of low down torque and decent economy. We’d steer clear of the entry-level petrol, but any of the diesels are worth a punt.
If economy is key, go for one of the S&S (stop-start) enabled BlueHDi 100 models, but if you value performance, then the quickest car is the BlueHDi 120. It’ll do 0-62mph in 11.4 seconds and hit 109mph flat out. It’s no sports car, but it’ll keep up with traffic both in and out of town.
MPG, CO2 and running costs
There’s little to match the boxy Citroen when it comes to value for money. There’s only one petrol engine, but that's fine, as the diesels are the engines to go for.
The BlueHDi 100 will return 65.7mpg and emit 113g/km of CO2, or 68.9mpg and 109g/km if you choose the S&S stop-start model. That makes it the most economical Berlingo Multispace – regardless of whether you pick the manual of ETG6 automatic.
Go for the most powerful BlueHDi 120 and economy will slip – but only slightly to 64.2mpg/115g/km. It’s a small price to pay if you want maximum performance.
Interior, design and technology
No matter how you look at it, there’s no hiding the Berlingo Multispace’s commercial vehicle roots. It looks like a van from the outside, with its sliding doors, upright profile and high roofline, while inside the tall driving position and versatile interior all hint at the Berlingo’s previous life.
Modern MPVs like the Ford C-MAX and Citroen’s very own C4 Picasso are more ergonomically designed, with a more car-like driving position and logically calculated dash. The Berlingo won’t win any beauty contests, but as a functional, versatile people carrier, not much beats it.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
It’s when you climb aboard the Multispace, that its appeal becomes clear. Open the sliding rear doors, and you’re confronted with one of the biggest and most versatile cabins in the business. There’s plenty of stowage space thanks to deep door pockets, and there's even a neat aircraft-style overhead Modutop locker option.
You get a 675-litre boot and if you fold the rear bench flat you’ll free up an incredible 3,000 litres of boot space. Mid-spec Feel models with the BlueHDi 100 engine get the option of seven seats, too.
Reliability and Safety
All cars get ABS and ESC, as well as hill hold control and tyre pressure sensors. Unfortunately, only two airbags are standard on basic cars, while top-spec XTR models get front lateral airbags too. Curtain airbags are optional on some models – so check before you buy.
On the plus side, the Berlingo did manage to score a commendable four-star Euro NCAP rating, though it was tested a while ago now and the tests have become more stringent.
Citroen finished a disappointing 20th in the 2015 Driver Power survey, but that was a six place climb on its 2014 result, so things are looking up. Owners rank running costs as a positive, but build quality, performance, road handling and ease of driving are all areas for improvement.