Citroen Berlingo review - Engines, performance and drive
Typical family SUVs handle better and offer more refinement, but the Berlingo is comfortable and very easy to drive
The Berlingo’s platform is a mish-mash of PSA tech. The rear half is largely unchanged from the old model, allowing for a similarly huge load area, while the front is based on the Peugeot/Citroen EMP2 platform. This section has allowed Citroen to install the latest suite of safety tech and chassis refinements.
The result is that, for the most part, the Berlingo drives more like a car than a van. The steering is light, the turning circle is tight and, while the high centre of gravity makes itself felt during hard cornering, body roll is controlled well enough. There's decent grip and the brakes feel strong and reassuring.
The ride is smooth enough, though the harshest bumps vibrate around the cabin. There’s quite a lot of wind noise at motorway speeds – particularly around the bulky door mirrors.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
Under the bonnet, there’s a choice of a 1.2-litre petrol with either 108bhp or 128bhp, and a 1.5-litre diesel in one of two power outputs: 99bhp and 128bhp. The most powerful diesel offers up a useful 300Nm of torque – handy when carrying a full complement of passengers and their luggage. The top-end diesel accelerates from 0-62mph in 11 seconds and on to a top speed of 114mph. The entry-level diesel is a little bit slower on paper, as Citroen says this version has a 0-62mph time of 12.7 seconds.
Whichever fuel you go for, the Berlingo remains fairly smooth and refined; the petrol model is ideal for those who cover shorter distances, while the diesel is great for regular longer trips or towing duties. The 108bhp petrol model’s 11.5-second 0-62mph time translates into decent real world performance, while the linear power delivery makes the Berlingo easy to control at low speeds. Citroen doesn’t quote performance figures for the 128bhp petrol, though we expect this version will be a fair bit faster, as its identically-powered Peugeot Rifter sister car has a claimed 10.9-second 0-62mph time.
Available gearboxes include a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic, though the one you’ll be able to have depends on which engine you go for. The manual is the only gearbox offered on the 108bhp petrol and 99bhp diesel; in contrast, the 128bhp only comes with the auto.
In this review
- 1Citroen Berlingo reviewBargain MPV remains one of the best value ways to transport a growing family and everything that goes with it
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingTypical family SUVs handle better and offer more refinement, but the Berlingo is comfortable and very easy to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFrugal engines and low CO2 emissions keep running costs low, but popular crossovers will hold more value
- 4Interior, design and technologyChunky exterior design matched with hard-wearing interior – though it can’t fully hide its humble commercial origins
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThere’s not only a vast amount of space, but brilliant design ensures that it’s exploited brilliantly
- 6Reliability and SafetyPlenty of safety kit by van-based standards, but the Berlingo comes with just a standard three-year warranty