Berlingo for those

heading to the hills

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

WHO remembers Campari? Very popular in the late 70s and possibly I think may have represented the high point of gurning.

One mouthful of this aperitif would have you joining a Morris dancing school for lip activity.

The average face did four rounds of the housing estate and rent many a flared trouser suit.

But you were supposed to like it on grounds of style and sophistication. It went with the Ford Capri and contrived buffet dishes. Umm, avocado, mushy peas and sliced frankfurter. Or a tasty fondue.

These are people who would never consider a Citroen Berlingo but would be thrilled by the excesses of Ikea.

And that's the thing. Appreciate the Berlingo for the French-chic practicality it boasts and you will not be left with a bitter taste. Dump your MPV prejudice and appreciate this car's style for what it is.

What you will have is the storage of those units with unlikely names like Fritids, Tingsrid and Bodbyn, which is not a bin for bodies.

Right. Before moving on to its reason for being the technical bit, which won't take long.

The 2.0-litre BlueHDi 130 diesel automatic is an able thing. It reaches 62mph and around 12 seconds, fine for everyday use. Citroen would like you to beat 60mpg. I didn't. Emissions are around 113g/km.

The expected modern electricals, leading up parking sensors and sat nav are standard. The interior finish is about durability and while the car is refined enough it is expected to take the buffs and scrapes of a full life.

Expect to pay around £20,000 for the basic 130.

Handling isn't something top of your agenda here. It won't fall over but is hardly the thing for rallying up and down the Honister Pass on a damp day.

No, at 50mpg my suggestion is that when the Brexaclypse of which everybody speaks clogs the streets up this is the ideal car for slinging theGaz stoves, storm lamps and camping gear in the back of before being chased out of town by political chimpanzees.

This is the sort of adventure wagon which would suit my neighbour Dave who has more tents, bikes, canoes and climbing gear than the average sports shop. He lives alone with his pet hiking boots and may well be the secret son of Captain America.

I tried to compete with couple of night's trout fishing, camping out of the tailgate, which is massive as befits a well fitted out cave on wheels. Dave would have drained the lake with a Billy can.

As it was I found a clear and concise cabin with nothing to confuse even with all the storage. It is a comfortable drive if you don't reach for the stars and also a comfortable sleep. That's one you don't consider very often but with the passenger and rear seats full folded and an air mattress in this make an able short-stay camper.

When it comes to daytime activities roof and floor storage is beyond the normal. Well-lit by a frosted sunroof the overhead arrangement is slightly areoplane other cubbies pop to hand as you need them and two sliding doors open the whole living space up. Any valuables can be shoved under the font seats and the driver has access to storage slots above the windscreen just like a real wagon driver.

If there is one word of warning it is enthusiasm. Control it. I loaded so much stuff, getting sorted back at base was an expedition in itself.

The Berlingo XL is a bitter-sweet experience for those who lack the credentials to make full use of one. To the right person it is the outdoor life's perfect partner.


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