ROBUST, versatile and highly economical with a splash of French style.
You might think I am talking about a car, but I am referring to a van.
The latest Citroen Berlingo is a classic case of how to mix the comfort and looks of a car within the remit of a useful load carrier.
The Berlingo is one of a modern generation of light vans that have finally kicked into the long grass that outmoded assumption that a van has to have a stone age specification and few creature comforts.
It comes in optionstat includea crew van or the normal van configuration known as a platform platform cab.
The platform or conventional cab version I drove recently was the more powerful Blue HDi 120 and cost £15,180 plus VAT and delivery.
It came over immediately as a light commercial loaded with good ideas to help the driver. These included Teletrac Smartnav colour-screen satellite navigation and lots of storage places in the cab, including over-windscreen pockets with map reading lights and much more.
The vehicle also included a number of extra-price options including air conditioning (£600) and rear parking sensors (£200).
The 1,560cc high pressure four-cylinder diesel under the bonnet of this van is one of the more powerful options of the range and in its Blue HDi format offers amazing economy with a combined economy figure of 64.2mpg.
The BlueHDi engine is the latest generation of Citroen diesel technology and complies with Euro6 emission standards to deliver exceptional economy combined with performance, and not forgetting a low CO2 readout of 114 g/km.
And with a top speed of 108mph and a 0-62mph sprint of 10.7 seconds this is a slick deliverer.
On the road, the smooth six-speed manual transmission suits the engine admirably and plays its part to make this a van that does not hang about.
And as far as operation goes, a neat side sliding door system on this LX model, in addition to rear hinged access makes life for the driver very simple.
The LX also includes remote central locking, modular folding passenger bench seat and even cruise control.