LEARNING THE BER-LINGO (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Citroen's third generation Berlingo van is bigger than you might expect - and more sophisticated. Jonathan Crouch reports
Ten Second Reviewword count: 72
Citroen's much improved third generation Berlingo remains one of the market's best selling compact vans, offering a usefully large payload capacity and a maximum load volume of up to 4.4m3. It's now smarter looking than before and gets some extra hi-tech, plus there's a fresh range of clean and frugal Euro6 BlueHDi diesel engines. The idea is to rejuvenate this model's buying proposition and on paper at least, the prospects are promising.
Backgroundword count: 186
Think of a compact but spacious van and it's really quite likely that you'll find yourself considering this one, Citroen's Berlingo. It's the kind of van you buy if your business needs a compact LCV that isn't quite as small as a modern cityvan-sector model would be - something like Citroen's own Nemo. Vehicles like that are based on superminis: Berlingo-type models, in contrast, sit upon the more spacious platforms originally developed for family hatchbacks or small MPVs. The platform in question in this MK3 Berlingo is the PSA Group's modern 'EMP2' chassis, which also now underpins two of this model's closest segment competitors, Peugeot's Partner and Vauxhall's Combo, both rivals that also share this Berlingo's engine range and much of its design technology. It's Citroen though, that has the most heritage in this sector. This was the first brand to introduce a diesel powered LCV, the first to launch a van with an integrated load area and the first to launch an LCV model with three seats in the cabin. Building on this strong heritage, this MK3 Berlingo Van marks the renewal of a best-seller.
Driving Experienceword count: 195
This time round, the Berlingo van sits on the PSA Group's more sophisticated, lighter 'EMP2' platform and uses an efficient set of diesel engines. There's the familiar 1.6-litre BlueHDi unit as before, offered in 75 or 100hp guises. More modern though, is the 1.5-litre BlueHDi powerplant, which comes if you're able to stretch up to a 130hp output. The top 130hp engine is offered with the option of EAT8 auto transmission. Citroen reckons that this is the most comfort-orientated compact van you can buy, thanks to its 'Advanced Comfort programme' development. This is based around special cushioned seats, top-level acoustic treatment and special suspension settings designed to filter out bumps you'd really feel on rival models. Another clever touch is the 'Magic Wash' function that maintains visibility during window washing and halves the amount of liquid required. As before, a Grip Control option is available on some models to increase traction, incorporating hill-start assist. We like the new 'Flankguard' feature which informs the driver of the proximity of objects to the side of the manoeuvring vehicle by memorising the data recorded by sensors located in the front and rear bumpers, combined with the vehicle trajectory.
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