Need to know
Exterior and Interior Styling
The Berlingo Multispace might never be the most fashionable MPV in town, but its 3000 litres of storage gives it unrivalled levels of everyday usability. The large and comfortable interior will easily accommodate five adults, while high trim models can be upgraded to seven-seaters. However, as with many van-based MPVs, the extra (and cramped) seats are only suitable for small children.
The Berlingo Multispace is offered in four trim levels - Touch, Feel, Feel Edition and XTR - but none are particularly lavish. The entry-level Touch is sparsely equipped and excludes body coloured bumpers, Bluetooth phone connectivity or air conditioning. The mid-trim Feel versions are far better, with most essential kit included as standard. A seven-seater is available as an option on Feel trim too, albeit it limited to the 100PS 1.6 diesel.
The interior of the Berlingo Multispace reflects its van-origins, with lots of cheap and hard plastics. The dashboard is lacking in any aesthetics, but is simple enough to use with clear buttons and dials for the radio and ventilation. Most models get a basic black and white screen above the dashboard - which displays the radio station and outside temperature - while range-topping XTR models get a seven-inch colour screen.
Getting in and out is easy, thanks to twin-sliding doors, which means you can get children in and out without fear of bashing the doors against a nearby parked car. The high roof line also gives the interior a vastness that few family cars will match. As a result you can carry five adults in comfort, while seven-seaters will transform the Berlingo Multispace into a school bus.
Both the front and rear seats are comfortable, supportive and hardwearing. Like the van, the seats sit high and upright and this makes them ideal for older drivers and passengers. However, the rear windows don’t open fully, which means the passengers in the back can get a bit hot and stuffy if you choose a basic version without air conditioning.
The Berlingo offers huge levels of storage. In fact there is 3000 litres on offer with the rear seats flattened. Mid-spec models feature independent folding seats and operating them is easy with a small leaver or tag. There are lots of stowage points for loose items, with a large centre console box and numerous cubby holes. Admittedly, everything feels cheap, but it is hardwearing with it. This means the boxy Citroen should stand up well against family life.
What to look for
The Berlingo Multispace is offered with the choice of one petrol and two diesel engines. All are 1.6-litre in size and power outputs range from 95PS to 120PS. The best all-rounder is the 100PS 1.6 HDi diesel. It returns an official 68.9mpg with 109g/km of CO2 when specified with engine start/stop. Performance is decent too, with 254Nm of torque from just 1750rpm.
A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard and provides smooth changes, while a six-speed automated manual available as an option, lowering economy to 67.3mpg. A more powerful version of the 1.6 HDi with 120PS is also available, lowering economy to 64.2mpg and 115g/km of CO2, but provides more lower-gear push. As a result the Berlingo feels more relexed when joining a busy motorway.
The sole petrol option - a four-cylinder 1.6-litre with 95PS - lacks performance and economy. Indeed, with a mere 152Nm of torque, the petrol struggles with hills and is lethargic through all of the gears. Officially it will return 44.1mpg and 148g/km of CO2, but in reality the figure will be far lower as you work the engine hard to obtain meaningful performance.
Obviously, the Berlingo Multispace isn't designed for performance, but its handling is responsive enough to push it through a series of bends at pace. There is lots of front-end grip to waddle around at speed, but the high level of travel in the suspension can make it an uncomfortable experience, with lots of body lean.
In town the Berlingo is surprisingly nimble, with a compact turning circle that makes it easy to park or make a three-point turn. The six-speed manual box is easy to use at slow speeds, while the soft pedals allow the driver to apply the throttle without rocking the vehicle when stopping and starting.
If you live in a rural area, or need some soft-road ability, then there is also an XTR version, with raised suspension, underbody cladding and grip control. It's not a proper 4x4, so won't be able to go proper off-roading, but will easily cope with icy or snow dusted roads.
What we think
The Berlingo Multispace is starting to feel its age - it was launched back in 2008 - but it is still good value, with its low running costs and cavernous interior making it great, affordable transport. Some might be put off by its van-like looks, but few MPVs can rival Citroen's big box on wheels for budget practicality.