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
Keeping true to the Citroen brand, 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 the Flair adds 16-inch alloy wheels and Flair XTR models coming with even larger 17-inch 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 rotary selector in automatic models), and a simple layout which prioritises ergonomics and storage space over style. The Berlingo gets traditional dials, unlike the Rifter, which places its 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.
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. Built-in navigation only comes as standard on Flair XTR models, though it is optional on Feel and Flair, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard throughout the range. Smartphone functionality is improved further with an optional wireless charging plate. Sound quality from the six-speaker hi-fi is reasonable, but music-mad MPV/SUV buyers would be better served by the likes of the optional Canton system available in the Skoda Karoq.
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 CostsFrugal engines and low CO2 emissions keep running costs low, but popular crossovers will hold more value
- 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