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Home / Technology / Citroen Berlingo: "In a simple way you can do it" | Martin Love | technology

Citroen Berlingo: "In a simple way you can do it" | Martin Love | technology



Citroen Berlingo
Price
£ 21,345
Maximum speed 109mph
0-62mph 11.5 seconds
MPG 4505 / km

Driving in the garden center I think next to a very unusual car. It is a hearse. "What are you doing here?" I ask myself. "Pick up a few flowers at the last minute," my son advises, "or maybe an extra shovel and some body bags …" As we sunbathe in our hilarious mood, the owner of the hearse returns. He is not a mortician, but a stupid guy who wanted a cheap bike. "It cost me £ 650 on eBay," he says, lifting some fence posts in the back and placing them on the pedestal where the casket normally rests. "I bought it because there is plenty of room for my mountain bikes," he adds. How convenient: two seats, the largest trunk, the low mileage and you can park anywhere, as long as you wear a black suit and look grim.

Most of us only ever want to make a trip with the hearse. But to benefit from this wealth of practices, you do not have to buy a hearse. Instead, one could opt for the life-affirming counterpart: a Citroën Berlingo.

Just over 20 years ago ̵

1; and more than 1.7 million vehicles – Citroën created a previously unknown vehicle class – and named it Berlingo. It's a low-cost, van-based MPV designed to be the ultimate recreational vehicle, with tons of space, a massive trunk and an exciting personality. It was short, wide and big, which made parking very easy. There were swallowable rubber mats and wipeable plastics. The rear doors were sliding so access was easy. It was the family car that was functional, and because it worked so well, it got unexpected kudos. It could not be described as stylish and yet it had its own style. It was so successful that there were only two repetitions in 22 years. The Berlingo proved that if you build something that people need, you'll soon have one, no matter how strange it looked.

  The story of the Berlingo: The Berlingo has a lot of interior space. There are three rows of seats, all of which can be folded flat



Inside Story: The Berlingo has plenty of interior space. There are three rows of seats, all of which can be folded up

Now comes the third generation Berlingo. There are two versions: a standard 4.4-meter model with five seats and a completely new XL version with seven seats, which is 35 cm longer. If either of you thinks that's familiar, it's because Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life bring a lot of their basics – all three come from the same PSA group. Whether you choose the five- or seven-seater, you will find much to find in this redesigned car. It looks strong and reasonable, but has a playful sparkle.

The grille is taller and shorter than before and is framed by two two-ply headlamps. The massive windshield is set so far forward that you can not reach it from the driver's seat. This makes the car feel wonderfully spacious and bright – tomatoes in a greenhouse enjoy more shade. The whole thing is rounded off by a pair of slim roof rails, ie when a luggage carrier for bicycles, boards, skis or a box can be easily added. The Berlingo also offers convenient handling and storage to organize the condition of Marie Kondo: It has 28 separate compartments with a total of 186 liters of additional storage. Then there is the trunk, which swallows another 775 liters of load.

It is powered by a 109hp version of PureTech's award-winning 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with six-speed manual transmission. There is also a larger 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel available. The gasoline unit is smooth and sparkling. He is surprisingly little curvy, because he has a high body and a soft suspension. With its simple style and ability, the Berlingo can escape from everyday life, whether camping, hiking or cycling. It is definitely one thing to enjoy before we start to raise daisies …

Email Martin to martin.love@observer.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @ MartinLove166


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