Citroen Berlingo Multispace review
The Citroen Berlingo Multispace pioneered the budget MPV sector with superb space and car-like driving dynamics
Budget MPVs have an image problem, but the Citroen Berlingo Multispace is incredibly versatile, practical and affordable. It is closely related to the Peugeot Partner Tepee and comes with punchy diesel engines, the option of seven seats and even as a quasi off-roader with jacked-up suspension and underbody protection. Four trim levels are available; VT, VTR, Plus and XTR, the latter adding the chunky off-roader looks.
Our choice: Berlingo Multispace 1.6 HDi 90 XTR
While it looks like a van, the Citroen Berlingo Multispace doesn’t drive like one. It shares its platform with the Citroen C4 and Peugeot 308 hatchbacks, and is surprisingly agile. Turn into a sharp corner, and you’ll discover direct steering and strong grip. Also impressive is the supple ride, which easily shrugs off severe bumps and potholes. Better still, the tall driving position and large glass area help give drivers a commanding view of the road. Punchy diesel engines give a good blend of low down torque and decent economy, but we’d steer clear of the 125g/km eHDi Airdream model, as it only comes with Citroen’s jerky EGS automated manual gearbox.
Disappointingly, only two airbags are fitted as standard, unless you opt for the flagship model, so you’ll have to pay extra for side and curtain airbags. Worse still, electronic stability control isn’t even available on the entry-level VT, and is an option on the VTR and XTR. On the plus side, the Berlingo did manage to score a commendable four-star Euro NCAP rating.
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 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.
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 HDi 90 offers claimed fuel economy of 53.3mpg, while economy rises to 58.4mpg if you choose the eco-tuned Airdream model. If you want seven seats you’ll need to specify the Family Pack, which adds almost £1,000 and is only available on mid-range VTR variants. Irritatingly, electronic stability control is an extra-cost option.