Citroen Berlingo review - Interior, design and technology
Chunky exterior design matched with hard-wearing interior – though it can’t fully hide its humble commercial origins
In typical Citroen fashion, the Berlingo takes a slightly quirky approach to its styling. The external ‘airbump’ panels not only break up the vast metal panels along the side, but bring the added bonus of protecting the paintwork from car park dings. Feel models are equipped with wheel trims, while Flair XTR models come with larger 17-inch alloy alloys. The double-decker headlights keep faithful to the current Citroen family look and colourful highlights add character to the boxy body that the Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life arguably lack.
Like the outside, much of the trio’s cabins are shared with one another. That means there’s a large, raised dashboard which houses the gear lever (or gear selector in automatic and electric models), and a simple layout which prioritises ergonomics and storage space over style. The Berlingo gets traditional dials, unlike the Rifter, which uses Peugeot’s i-Cockpit setup that places the dials above a small-diameter steering wheel.
Design and build quality has taken a significant leap forward over the previous-generation Berlingo, though those used to the squidgy plastics and damped switches of more conventional cars might still find it a little agricultural. However, while the plastics are hard, they do feel sturdy and more than capable of withstanding anything life as a family car might throw at it.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
All models are equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The system itself looks smart enough, but some on-screen buttons are quite small and fiddly, and it's quite laggy. Built-in navigation only comes as standard on Flair XTR models, though it is optional on base models. In reality, most people will just use the navigation apps from their phones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, both of which are standard across the range.
Sound quality from the six-speaker hi-fi is reasonable, but it won’t impress any music-mad MPV/SUV buyers. Many other Citroen models integrate heating and climate controls into a touchscreen, but the Berlingo keeps physical buttons and switches which, in our opinion, are much easier and less distracting to use on the move.
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 driveTypical family SUVs handle better and offer more refinement, but the Berlingo is comfortable and very easy to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsBuyers have a choice of frugal petrol and diesel engines, or greener electric power, but regardless of which you choose, running costs should be low
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingChunky 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