Quirky looks, good reliability, low running costs, generous technology and safety equipment made the Citroen Berlingo the UK's ninth bestselling van last year (and eighth so far this year). Spacious enough to carry plenty of equipment, yet small enough to be as manageable on the road as a car, it combines capability with personality and has won multiple awards, including best small trades van in the Business Van Awards 2019.
Built on the same platform as the Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo, the Berlingo first entered the market in 1996, and more than 1.5 million first and second-generation vans have been built since. The third generation arrived in June last year, which should mean even better deals on used Citroen Berlingo vans from before then.
The Berlingo is large for a compact panel van and available in a variety of configurations, with a flexible, practical cargo area that can swallow a payload of up to 4.1 cubic metres or 856kg. The 1.2m wide load bay is big enough for a euro pallet, and the Berlingo can also tow up to 1,250kg. A passenger-side sliding door is standard on all but entry-level models, and tie-down points keep cargo secure. The Berlingo is available in two lengths and several trims, and also as a crew van, a platform cab and the Berlingo Multispace, a sought-after MPV which seats up to seven.
The cabin is spacious, with plenty of storage, including large door pockets, and good visibility. On the road, the Berlingo is quiet, comfortable and easy and enjoyable to drive even on long journeys, thanks to durable, supportive seats, an absorbent suspension, and power steering in most models. The Euro 6 compliant 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel engine comes in a range of power outputs and uses AdBlue, a liquid which causes harmful nitrogen oxide to be converted into harmless water and nitrogen, to reduce pollution. Some versions also have stop-start technology to increase efficiency, and fuel economy gets up to 68.9mpg in the 98bhp version.
There's also an electric Berlingo, which has an official driving range of 106 miles and a payload capacity of up to 636kg, and was named best green van in the 2019 Business Van Awards. This model is eligible for the government's plug-in grant to help with the cost of buying electric vehicles, which covers 20 per cent of the price, up to a maximum of £8,000.
Standard safety features across the range include electronic stability control, hill start assist, ABS and a driver's airbag.