CITROËN has been using the slogan ‘ready, willing and able’ to sell its vans recently – and after a six-month stay at Fleet News, the Berlingo certainly lives up to this claim.
In that time I have built up an enormous respect for this van – it’s a model that rarely gets fêted publicly but plugs along faithfully doing a cracking job week-in, week-out.
Our test vehicle is a rather rare example of the genre – loaded to the gunwales with optional extras such as twin side-sliding doors, metallic paint and air-conditioning.
In fact, there probably isn’t another one like it in the UK. I’d certainly consider the paint and air-con if I was buying a Berlingo as the cost would almost certainly be recouped at selling time, but the side doors haven’t really been used a great deal.
In its time with us, the van has behaved impeccably apart from suffering a cracked windscreen, which was hardly its fault. It has proved comfortable and practical in everyday use and has managed to return an admirable 49mpg average during its time here, which is pretty good going in anyone’s book.
This engine variant – a 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit pumping out 90bhp – isn’t available any more, having recently been replaced by a 1.6-litre Euro IV-compliant common-rail diesel offering the same output.
The fact of the matter is that diesel technology has come on at such a pace that you don’t need all those cubes any more to maintain a reasonable speed. The smaller unit does the job just as well and doesn’t pump out as many noxious gases either.
This van isn’t a bad little mover on the roads either. Even weighed down with cargo it proves a nimble performer.
Costs have been limited to the price of a service at 12,000 miles.
Price (ex-VAT): £10,695 (as tested £11,920)
Final mileage: 14,102
Combined mpg: n/a
Test mpg: 49.6
CAP Monitor RV: £2,675/23%
Total expenditure: £125 (service)