Citroen have, in the past, developed an unwarranted reputation in the UK of manufacturing cars and vans that were not exactly substantial. Any driver of an age will scoff when you mention the 2CV, a much ridiculed car, but quietly smile inside with a certain fondness at its amiability.
The French manufacturers have come a long way since those ‘pram on wheels’ days, with the AX GT a much sought-after boy-racer car in the late eighties, early nineties. And the Picasso is an absolute best-seller the world over in more modern times.
Their van enjoys a similar demand (although from an altogether different market) in as much as the Berlingo is a model that does exactly what it says on the tin, and then some. It truly is a light commercial vehicle , with engines designed to maximise fuel efficiency to suit your business and fleet budget, taking into consideration ongoing fuel costs and fleet van insurance outlay. There is also a choice of petrol or turbo diesel fuel and manual, stop-start or EGS gearboxes which you can choose when you’re configuring your van to further help you derive the best from performance to stay on top of your costs.
There are also a whole host of features that you can tag on, many of them that van insurers will be looking out for. To help you save further on your van insurance and improve you visibility, there are configurations for the bulkhead to improve visibility available, rear parking sensors to avoid any van insurance claims for backing into someone and an alarm pack for £330 which will, over the life of the van, no doubt pay for itself.
If you’re looking for a van that, like the 2CV or Picasso, stands out physically as being different from other vehicles in its class, you won’t find this in the Berlingo. In either the panel-van or crew-carrying versions, it is just what you’d expect to see in a light commercial vehicle. The bonus with the popular Citroen van is the space you get for the money, especially if you go for the longer of the two models currently on the market (3.7m compared to 3.3m).
If this sounds like a minivan that would do justice to your business, it may be worth holding fire for a short while as the standard crew-carrying version is due a facelift and its about to get one. Improvements in headlight configuration with LEDs as an optional extra are on the cards as well as a more prominent radiator grill. Internally, and perhaps why the amendments are only scheduled for the passenger version Multispace, higher grade materials and new, chic colours are being incorporated into the choices when buying new.
The model will no way rival the AX GT for pulling (off) power, nor will it be quite as luxuriant as the Picasso. But, if you’re looking for a van that’s fuel efficient, tasteful and likely to avail you of cheap van insurance, you could do much worse than the Berlingo.