Citroen Berlingo review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
There’s not only a vast amount of space, but brilliant design ensures that it’s exploited brilliantly
Most MPVs are designed with practicality at the forefront, but few others (Rifter and Combo Life relatives aside) execute this thinking as well as the Berlingo. In every interior dimension, the Berlingo is huge: head, leg and shoulder room are vast, and there’s enough width to the second row that three child seats can be fitted across its width. The large sliding rear doors make it easy to get in, too.
Then there’s the storage space. A total of 28 cubbies offer up a whopping 186 litres of volume – similar to the entire boot of some city cars - and they’re topped off (literally) by a clever roof storage system. Citroen calls it Modutop, and it’s got an airline-style locker at the back, with a long, translucent shelf running ahead of it through the centre of the cabin. Paired with a panoramic glass roof, it’s available as an optional extra on five-seater versions of the Flair and Flair XTR models.
The front overhang and bumper are shorter than on the old Berlingo, which improves forward visibility. Combined with the high driving position it means that drivers get a great view of the road ahead. Kids will enjoy the back seats, too; the huge areas of glass mean that it’s easy to see out.
The Berlingo M measures 4,403mm long, which makes it slightly shorter than a C4 SpaceTourer. The XL is 350mm longer, or roughly the same length as a compact executive saloon like an Audi A4.
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Width and height are unchanged from the old Berlingo, and 2,107mm (including door mirrors) and 1,849mm.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
It doesn’t matter which of the five seats you find yourself in, there will be little to complain about when it comes to space. The high roofline makes headroom acceptable for the tallest top-hat fanciers, and legroom is just as generous.
Young families will like the fact that each second row seat gets ISOFIX mounting points – hidden behind zipped covers – as standard. The cabin is wide enough to accommodate three child seats together, too. Access is easy, thanks to huge sliding doors and a flat interior floor.
XL models add a third row of seats. These aren’t quite as spacious, but passengers of average height or below will be happy enough. Access is possible from the second row, which can slide and fold forwards.
That impressive cabin space is backed up by a vast load area. The M model’s 775-litre boot equates to 100 litres more than the old Berlingo Multispace in standard guise, and the XL gets a faintly ridiculous 1,050 litres. Folding the seats takes a simple flick of levers in the boot or on the seats themselves, and all three individual chairs drop into the floor for a near-level load area, via levers in the boot if necessary. If fitted, the sixth and seventh seats are removable altogether.
The front passenger seat folds flat and almost completely level with those behind which, according to Citroen, means the Berlingo M can take objects up to 2.7 metres long, and the XL 3.05-metres – enough for a whitewater kayak. The boot door is huge, which is great for loading but a pain in tight spaces, where the glass hatch that can open separately comes into its own. It comes as standard on the Flair and Flair XTR trims, but can’t be specified at all on the entry-level Flair spec.
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 technologyChunky exterior design matched with hard-wearing interior – though it can’t fully hide its humble commercial origins
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThere’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