Citroen Berlingo

Flair BlueHDi 1.5

Citroen Berlingo, 2018, front
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, side
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, side, action
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, side, static
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, rear
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, interior
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, loading
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, boot
Citroen Berlingo, 2018, boot, maximum

CITROEN'S Berlingo is arguably the most practical and versatile family motor on the market.

The third generation model I have been spending time with went on sale back in August and although it looks a lot better than its predecessor it still retains all the Berlingo's best features.

It may be based on a van but the Berlingo now looks more like a regular people mover and is an ideal family lifestyle vehicle.

A French icon, it has racked up over 1.7 million sales during the decades it has been on sale and the latest version sticks with the tried and trusted formula that has served it so well.

That means an astonishing amount of space, five seats, with the rear three being able to fold individually, a massive 775-litre boot, huge tailgate, umpteen storage options and cubbies - if that is not enough a seven-seat version will arrive early next year.

Powered by a choice of petrol or diesel engines in a variety of outputs, the Berlingo is priced from £18,850 to £24,000 and with manual or automatic gearbox.

The Berlingo features the new Citroen grille and black windscreen pillars and is available in Feel or Flair trim. If you want to make it funky you can add an XTR styling pack which will give you larger alloys and some macho exterior trim.

I sampled the 101bhp 1.5-litre diesel version combined with a five-speed manual gearbox and found it to be ideal for the Berlingo. It provides bags of grunt and is good for 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds before going on to a respectable 112mph - not that you would ever want to do that.

It turned out to be very economical with stop/start helping me to get very close to the claimed combined 65.7 mpg figure.

As you would expect the ride and handling are designed for comfort rather than performance, but the Berlingo has accurate steering, an excellent high driving position, good all-round visibility and the ability to deal with our neglected roads.

Inside the cavernous cabin is very comfortable and well equipped with clear switches and dials and a further 186 litres of useful storage space. A touchscreen controls the infotainment and navigation system and you can connect easily to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto depending on your needs.

There is a good level of standard safety equipment and buyers can also add optional extras like intelligent cruise control, lane keep assist, a reversing camera and head-up display.

FAST FACTS

Citroen Berlingo Flair BlueHDi 1.5

Price: £21,875

Mechanical: 101bhp, 1,499cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 12.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 65.7

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 112g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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