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Citroën Berlingo Multispace MPV (2008-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

The Citroen Berlingo isn't the fastest thing around, but a recent engine update has pepped things up

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.1 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

'Capable' is the best way to describe the performance of this workaday vehicle. It’s not the fastest thing around, but it’s steady, solid and can be surprisingly lively when the conditions – and driver – allow. The engine range was updated in 2015, so even the slowest Berlingo has more power than it used to, but the diesels are still gruff, noisy and unrefined.

Nobody buys a car like this for supreme performance or adrenaline-fuelled B-road blasts. The Berlingo is a straightforward packhorse that has more in common with a van than a car – and this shows in how it drives. The larger engines have enough power to feel safe on slip roads, but you definitely know you're driving a light commercial vehicle as opposed to a modern car.

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The fact that modern cars, especially SUVs, have such well-sorted handling in comparison to old-fashioned vans like the Berlingo means it feels uninspiring to drive in comparison. A sixth gear would be helpful for high-speed cruising, so the fact that six-speed manual transmission is only available on the most powerful top-spec model is a bit of a shame. As you’d expect, the Berlingo's tall body does lean when hustled hard through bends, but not to the extent where the tyres feel like they’re about to lose grip.

Citroen Berlingo Multispace petrol engines

If you’re on a budget, the entry-level 94bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine isn’t impossible to live with, but it needs to be worked quite hard to make progress and takes 12.8 seconds to go from 0-62mph. Upgrading to the 108bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol is recommended, as this engine is peppier and more economical.

Diesel engines

The Berlingo Multispace is best suited to the diesel engines’ more relaxed nature. We'd go for the 98bhp BlueHDi 100 diesel. This gets the Berlingo from 0-62mph in 12.4 seconds, while returning 65.7mpg fuel economy. The top-spec 118bhp BlueHDi 120 diesel reduces the 0-62mph time to 11.4 seconds, but its higher price isn’t really justifiable given the Berlingo’s budget-friendly nature.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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