First Drive: Citroen Berlingo Blue HDi 100

Date: Monday, April 04, 2016   |   Author: James Dallas

Citroen launched the facelifted version of its big-selling Berlingo light van in July last year.

Since then it has been available in Euro5 and Euro6 derivatives but with the September deadline for the new emissions legislation looming, the Euro5 versions will be phased out in May.

We tested the Euro6 Berlingo Blue HDi 100 S&S (start/stop) manual L1 (short wheelbase) in LX trim.

Citroen achieves Euro6 compliance with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to reduce NOx emissions. This required the installation of a 17-litre Adblue tank.

The Blue HDi 100 is the most efficient and environmentally friendly model in the line-up with official fuel consumption of 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 111g/km.

The fourth generation of VW’s Caddy claims official fuel consumption of 65.7mpg with CO2 output of 114g/km for the Bluemotion model, while the Econetic version of the Ford Transit Connect posts 67.3mpg and 109g/km CO2.

On the urban routes we drove in the Berlingo, however, the trip computer display on the seven-inch touchscreen told us we were averaging 47.8mpg.

The Berlingo’s dashboard is no frills but functional with all the controls well laid out and easy to use but the preponderance of hard, dark plastic is a bit grim. The addition of DAB radio as part of a £400 Touchscreen Audio Pack was welcome (Enterprise trim gets it as standard) and the £200 optional rear parking sensors also came in handy. These are also included in Enterprise versions, as is the £600 air conditioning our van had, but, as yet, the 100hp engine is only available in LX trim.

The driving position leaves a lot to be desired. The clutch is awkwardly positioned and forces the driver to rest their left foot on a raised platform to the left of the pedal when not using it, which is uncomfortable.

The middle seat is pointless, as no one could have enough space to sit on it, and it means access to the handbrake between the seats is tight.

The driver’s seat is not very manoeuvrable - although the back rest is adjustable and there is a limited tilt function, but the steering wheel is adjustable for both height and reach.

The gear stick is a bit of a reach from the driver’s position but the five-speed box is slick enough, although not a match for the best in class.

Storage provision is good, with an overhead shelf and trays on the dash as well as a couple of cup holders underneath the gear lever. There is also a handy stowage box underneath the central seat.

The load bay is accessed via twin rear doors and a nearside sliding door and our van it had full ply-lining protecting an interior that features six tie down points.

By swinging open the bulkhead on the nearside and folding down the passenger seat the L1 van can accommodate a load of up to three metres long.

 

Verdict

The Berlingo is not the most sophisticated light van on the market but it is a competent and frugal load lugger.

 

Citroen Berlingo Blue HDi 100 L1 625
 
Price (ex VAT) £14,395
Price range (ex VAT) £12,515 - £15,690
Insurance group 3E
Warranty 3yr/100,000mls
Service intervals 16,000 miles
Load length 1800mm
Load width(min/max) 1230mm/1620mm
Load height 1250mm
Gross payload 653kg
 


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