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New Citroen Berlingo - The comfort of a saloon and the practicality of an MPV

January 19th, 2008


New Berlingo reinvents the leisure activity vehicle

Citroën launched the Berlingo in 1996. This highly innovative vehicle concept started a new trend in leisure activity vehicles.

Building on this trailblazing concept, Citroën consolidated its international performance. Since 2003, the Marque has occupied the enviable position of unchallenged European leader in the leisure activity vehicle segment, with market share of more than 26% at end-November 2007 (Europe 27). This segment still has potential since sales volumes in Europe are continuing to grow steadily. Adapting to all situations, the Berlingo meets a growing need for freedom and versatility in use. It is thus attracting a growing number of buyers. Overall at end-2007, the Berlingo had sold in more than one million units worldwide.

The New Berlingo will go in sale in the second quarter of 2008. It will be sold alongside the current Berlingo, which will still be available in some countries as an entry-level offering called “Berlingo First”. With the Nemo Combi, Berlingo First and the New Berlingo, Citroën has developed a full range of leisure activity vehicles with complementary styling and features. This policy will enable it to meet the highly diverse needs of its customers.

  • Dynamic and robust styling

The New Berlingo is stylish, dynamic and robust. Designed for both town and country, it encourages a wide variety of uses.

  • Greater versatility

The New Berlingo is still an eminently practical family car, but it gains a range of new features including independent, removable seats, a redesigned Modutop®, an overhead interior rack and a tailgate with a window that opens.

  • New comfort features

Further underlining its character, the New Berlingo gains remarkable comfort functions in terms of both acoustics, and suspension, including the running gear of the C4 Picasso.

  • A range of high-performance engines that respect the environment

The New Berlingo reflects Citroën's environmental commitments, particularly the version with the HDi 110 engine and particulate filter, which carries the Airdream eco-label.

The New Berlingo includes features inspired by MPVs and saloons, but it is very much a leisure activity vehicle and thus highly versatile. The best way to see what we mean is to spend a day on board.


Saturday, 7:00 am. It is still dark.

We decide to take the family for a day of outdoor activities. Our new Berlingo takes us into the countryside for a day of tree-climbing and hiking.

Step one: load up the car.

With the independent seats, it is easy to fold the central rear seat and load the children's mountain bikes, the icebox with the picnic and the camping table. We put a change of clothes into the rear compartment of the Modutop®, which is accessible from the boot.

At the front, we put road maps in the drawer under the passenger seat and a water bottle in each front door, with CDs in the removable central stowage console. At the back, we store the children's favourite games in the boxes under the floor.

Almost forgot the afternoon snack! The opening rear window gives us direct access to the rear compartment of the Modutop®.

The car is loaded up and we are ready to go.

Generous dimensions

To enhance comfort and versatility, the New Berlingo is bigger: 24 cm longer (4.38 m) and 8 cm wider (1.81 m), with 3.5 cm added to the wheelbase (2.73 m). This makes it the benchmark in the leisure activity vehicle segment for its width and wheelbase. It provides:

  1. - record knee-space for passengers at the rear (24.5 cm);

  1. - and a boot of even more generous dimensions: 675 litres under the parcel shelf, or 51 litres more than the Berlingo First. Capacity can reach 1,350 litres up to the roof and even 3,000 litres when the seats in row 2 are removed.

The overall exterior height remains unchanged, to maintain aerodynamics as well as for access to underground car parks.

A wide range of winning combinations

The New Berlingo adapts to all types of use. Citroën is offering a multitude of body style combinations, with a range of door, window and equipment configurations, so that customers can customise their vehicle according to needs. The vehicle is available with:

  • One or two sliding side doors.

Customers can opt for one or two sliding side doors with a useful width of 65 cm for easy access to rear seats.

  • Tailgate with an opening rear window

This is a major innovation on the New Berlingo. The opening rear window provides easy access to the boot without opening the tailgate. This is a particularly useful feature when the vehicle is parked in a tight space. It is also possible to carry long objects such as surfboards, while ensuring that the registration plate remains visible.

  • Asymmetric swing doors

The rear end can be equipped with 60:40 type swing doors, with the narrowest door on the right. This makes it easier to access the back of the vehicle when space is limited. The doors can also be easily opened to 177°. This system makes it easy to carry long objects, since the vehicle can be driven with the smaller door open. The registration plate and third stop light are on the larger door. A hinged rear roof flap, available with the swing doors, makes it possible to carry long objects with the doors closed.

Enhanced interior versatility

The New Berlingo is a friendly and functional car. These qualities are particularly visible in the modular design of the seats, which are built to withstand a wide range of sometimes extreme uses, while making no concessions on comfort.

  • Mobile seats

The seats in row 2 are generous, ergonomic and designed to maximize on-board relaxation and comfort. They also contribute to the modularity expected of a leisure activity vehicle since they can be tumbled forward or simply taken out. In this last case, the useful length available behind row 1 increases to two metres.

The backrest of the front seat can also be folded down. This modular design makes it possible to carry large objects and thus encourages a variety of uses that is particularly wide for a passenger vehicle.

  • Rear seats

In row 2, depending on the trim, the New Berlingo has either three identically sized independent seats or a 60:40 bench. The three independent seats have reclining backrests, allowing each passenger to select the most comfortable position. The backrest of the central seat includes a housing that can be used as a shelf, an armrest or cup holder. With the independent rear seats, the backs of the front seats are fitted with aircraft style trays, ideal for books or games.

Endless stowage

The New Berlingo boasts a wide range of stowage – with a highly original design in some cases – to make life easier for passengers. Examples include:

  • New Modutop®

The New Berlingo has naturally maintained and further upgraded its Modutop®. This innovative and practical multifunctional roof concept is designed for family use and has attracted widespread praise since its invention. Alongside a new-look design, the Modutop® gains a number of useful, clever stowage solutions: overhead stowage, central compartments in rows 1 and 2, a handy rear box with dual access, and exterior roof bars that can be placed lengthwise or crosswise. It also indulges the senses with additional ventilation on the roof and a scented air freshener as well as longitudinal glazing and a translucent central stowage that makes the interior even brighter.

  • Interior rack

Modular interior loading bars make maximum use of headroom when the Modutop® is not fitted. Users can thus carry long objects (up to around two metres in length) such as skis or DIY equipment, without affecting the aerodynamics of the vehicle. At the same time, the risk of theft is minimised.

  • Removable central stowage console

Included in the children's pack, this console locks onto a base between the front seats. It features a removable 13-litre stowage compartment and two cup-holders. The console adapts easily to the needs of the moment.

Alongside the above, the New Berlingo features: a high-mounted glovebox behind the wheel (4.1 litres), overhead stowage (12.5 litres), drawers under the driver and passenger seats (8.5 litres each, availability depending on trim) and boxes under the floor at the rear (each of 7 litres, availability depending on trim).

The New Berlingo thus boasts up to 170 litres of stowage space, depending on trim.

Driving pleasure and travelling comfort


It's time to leave. The children climb into the back of the New Berlingo. Each one has a sliding side door and a seat adjusted to the preferred settings.

Since the New Berlingo is comfortable and easy to drive, I decide to take the wheel.

We set off. The ergonomic driving position makes the vehicle easy to get used to. All the controls are within easy reach, particularly the gear lever.

We take the motorway. My passengers soon fall asleep, lulled by the silence and comfort of the New Berlingo. The driving aids, such as the speed limiter and cruise control, make it easy for me to drive smoothly.

We arrive on a trunk road. Despite the many bends and the poor road surface, the children are fast asleep. The New Berlingo, equipped with the running gear of the C4 Picasso, ABS and ESP, sets high standards in road manners and safety.

Comfort in the broadest sense of the word

Citroën has always been known for comfort, and the Berlingo is no exception to the rule. The New Berlingo maintains and enhances these qualities, for improved passenger comfort.

  • Driving comfort

To provide optimal comfort on all types of roads, the New Berlingo features the running gear of the C4 Picasso. This system has clearly demonstrated its excellence.

  1. - The MacPherson-type front suspension features lower wishbones and an anti-roll bar. The New Berlingo thus combines pin-sharp steering with driving comfort.

  1. - The rear suspension is based on a transverse beam and an anti-roll bar. Its originality lies in its inclined shock absorbers, positioned to optimise the volume of the wheel arches and free up more space widthways. The sizing and stiffness are tailored to a full range of driving situations, with impeccable handling that prevents unpleasant sensations of pitch and roll. The rear suspension is also fitted with hydraulic mounts to maximize comfort.

  • Acoustic comfort

Travelling comfort is also about acoustics. Calm and relaxation are the key words onboard the New Berlingo. Considerable attention and detail went into designing and assembling the exterior parts. As a result, the New Berlingo optimises aerodynamics while minimizing noise. At the same time, the engine is encapsulated in an acoustic cocoon, the floorpan has received gravel-chipping protection and the cabin features a wide range of absorbent materials (cowling, dashboard, roof).

An ergonomic and stylish driving position

Taking its inspiration from SUVs, the New Berlingo features an efficient and stylish dashboard. Comfortably seated, the driver has all the controls, including the dashboard-mounted gear lever, within easy reach. The seat is height-adjustable and the steering wheel adjustable for height and reach, allowing the driver to find the best driving position. An armrest provides relaxation for long journeys.

The New Berlingo aims to provide a relaxing drive, first by ensuring excellent visibility for the driver. Standing 1.80 m high, the vehicle features a large glazed area of 4.6 m², with the panoramic windscreen, side windows and rear quarter lights. It also features a saloon-type driving position. The wide exterior door mirrors also contribute to visibility for the driver.

A wide range of equipment

  • Efficient driving aids

To make driving easier, a wide range of equipment is available, including rear parking assist, a speed limiter, cruise control and automatic lights (included in the visibility pack).

Hill start assist is also standard on the New Berlingo. This new function is systematically associated with ESP when it is present. ESP automatically maintains the vehicle in position for a short period (up to two seconds after the brake is released), so that the driver has the time to calmly move a foot from the brake to the accelerator, without the vehicle moving forwards or backwards. This function is active from a gradient of 5% (forward uphill or backward downhill).

  • Modern functions

A wide range of possibilities are available to maximise passenger comfort. The New Berlingo can be fitted with an onboard computer featuring a multifunction screen, an audio system with steering-wheel controls, compatible with mp3 files, an auxiliary input to connect portable systems such as an mp3 player, a Bluetooth hands free kit or, depending on the country, a five CD stacker.

The New Berlingo can also be equipped with a 12V socket and a hand-held torch in the boot, doubling as an additional boot light. The torch provides around 45 minutes of power. It recharges as soon as it is replaced in its housing and the engine starts running.

Exemplary road manners

Feeling that you can safely take the family anywhere on any type of road is also part of an enjoyable driving experience. Reflecting this need, the New Berlingo features:

  • A class-beating braking system

The braking system features ABS as standard, along with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency braking assistance. To improve braking safety, the New Berlingo features four large-diameter disc brakes, including two vented at the front, with a function that automatically lights the hazard warning lights in the event of strong deceleration.

  • Excellent roadholding

The New Berlingo can be fitted with traction control and ESP. It is also available with a low tyre-pressure warning system – a first in this segment. Like all Citroën models, it is shod with Michelin tyres as standard – a guarantee of quality.

  • Remarkable stability

With its longer wheelbase, 15’’ (205/65 R15) or optional 16’’ wheels (215/55 R16), wider tracks and running gear that illustrates Citroën's expertise in road manners, the New Berlingo boasts a level of stability that is remarkable for this segment.

  • Possible adaptation for extreme requirements

The New Berlingo can be fitted with an off-road pack that upgrades its ability to travel over poor road surfaces. The pack includes raised suspension, 16" tyres and a skid plate under the engine. The suspension is also raised on the XTR version, by 10 mm at the front and back.



The sun is starting to rise. It is beating down on the tinted side and rear windows.

Finally, it lights up the top of the vehicle, making our New Berlingo sparkle. The natural light passes through the translucent stowage compartment and longitudinal windows of the Modutop®, showing off the vehicle's modern and robust looks.

The bright light gently wakes the children. Looking through the large windows and roof, we can admire the scenery with a sense of freedom and infinity…

Exterior styling that is dynamic, modern…

Viewed from the front, the New Berlingo is immediately identifiable as member of the Citroën family with its distinctive double chevron chrome badge. The wide steeply raked windscreen is similar to that of an MPV, enhancing the vehicle's modern, elegant looks. This large glazed surface area lets the light flood into the cabin.

The same dynamic styling can be seen elsewhere. Viewed from the side, the front and rear windows take on an original shape. The doors flow in a smooth line to the rear lights, underlining the vehicle's aerodynamic looks.

… and also robust

The New Berlingo has a many-faceted personality, since it is also a robust, "go anywhere" sort of car.

Viewed from the front, its deep wraparound bumper, assertive headlamps, generous door mirrors and curved bonnet reflect its new character.

Viewed in profile, the taut side lines and strong wheel arches, large, wide wheels and side guards, clearly illustrate its off-roading abilities.

The design of the rear is in the same vein, with its cubic lines and elegantly curving tailgate, well protected by a wraparound rear bumper.

When the New Berlingo is equipped with rear swing doors, the hinges are seamlessly integrated and concealed to underline the impression of rugged design. Considerable attention was devoted to the angles of the New Berlingo.

Refined interior styling

The New Berlingo boasts refined interior styling that is both modern and hard-wearing. Citroën has used premium materials that give the cabin a prestige feel. The vehicle is available with carpeting and a door trim, as well as fabric-lined door armrests.

Several trim levels are available, allowing users to vary the interior ambience – from the simple to the most elaborate – so that they feel at home. With, of course, the Modutop® version for a fun approach and the XTR version for adventure.


It is 9:00 am and we have arrived at the tree-climbing centre.

We don all the equipment we need to avoid taking risks: harnesses, helmets, ropes, snap hooks, and so on.

Safety is a key consideration, just as it is on our New Berlingo. With its six airbags and reinforced structure, our New Berlingo makes for a relaxing journey.

A complete, dependable range of features to protect all the occupants

  • Zero risk

- The New Berlingo is equipped with a driver's seatbelt warning and alarm.

- An electric child-lock, activated from the dashboard, is available with the child pack.

  • Uncompromising on safety

- The New Berlingo can be fitted with six airbags. The driver's and front passenger's airbags are standard. The vehicle is also available with two side chest airbags and two curtain airbags.

- Seatbelts at the front are height-adjustable with pyrotechnic pretensioners and load limiters to reduce pressure on the chest in the event of impact. At the rear, the three seatbelts are of the three-point inertia-reel type.

- The front passenger seat and two rear side seats are fitted with Isofix anchor points and also have a third anchor point at the back of the seat.

- To satisfy the most stringent safety assessment standards, the structure of the New Berlingo has been reinforced, particularly the rear and centre pillars. These modifications make the body sufficiently stiff to protect the occupants, and sufficiently flexible to soak up minor impacts.

Protection against theft and break-in

To protect the passengers, the doors and boot of the New Berlingo lock automatically as soon as the car starts to move.

The New Berlingo is also well protected against theft, with deadlocks available in some countries. This makes it impossible to open a door from the inside after a window has been broken, for example,

A perimetric and volumetric ultrasonic alarm is available as an option or accessory depending on the country. This alarm is designed to detect movement inside the cabin or when a window, door or tailgate is opened. The volumetric alarm can be disabled from a switch positioned bottom left of the steering wheel. This can be useful, for example, when leaving an animal in the vehicle, since it maintains the perimetric alarm,


FOR THE environment

While we prepare the picnic, the children ride their mountain bikes along the muddy tracks nearby. Fortunately, our New Berlingo is equal to anything with its washable hard-wearing fabrics and coatings.

We sit back and enjoy the scenery as we eat our picnic.

Then we decide to move on for our hike through the forest. We load the vehicle up again and get back on the road. With its raised suspension and 16" wheels, our new Berlingo XTR easily deals with the rough earth tracks. Above all, it is fitted with the new HDi 110 DPFS engine, designed to deliver performance and fuel economy, while also respecting the environment. The New Berlingo is the ideal partner for staying close to nature.

High-performance engines…

From launch, the New Berlingo will be available with a range of engines – three diesel and two petrol – mated to a manual 5-speed gearbox. Customers will be able to find the engine that best corresponds to their requirements in terms of economy, performance and the environment.

  • Petrol engines

- The new 90 bhp 1.6i 16V engine is the entry-level option for petrol versions. This engine places the emphasis on torque at low speeds (132 Nm at 2,500 rpm) in order to maintain efficiency (66 kW EEC at 5,500 rpm). It thus establishes a compromise between satisfactory performance and limited cost-in-use.

- The 110 bhp 1.6i 16V engine is the top-of-the-range option for petrol models, delivering power, response and a smooth drive. It features a 16-valve aluminium cylinder head and a double overhead camshaft. This engine develops 80 kW EEC at 5,800 rpm (110 bhp DIN) with maximum torque of 147 Nm at 4,000 rpm.

  • Diesel engines

- The indispensable HDi 75. This diesel entry-level engine delivers sufficient torque at low and average engine speeds – up to 185 Nm at 1,750 rpm – to ensure comfort in use while keeping running costs on a tight rein. It develops 55kW EEC (75 bhp DIN) at 4,000 rpm.

- The 92 HDi engine, delivering more torque (215 Nm at 1,750 rpm) and more power (66 kW EEC at 4,000 rpm).

- The new HDi 110 DPFS engine. This upmarket diesel engine, equipped with the particulate filter, sets high standards of performance while respecting the environment. It features a second-generation injection system and a variable-geometry turbocharger. It develops 80 kW at 4,000 rpm (110 bhp DIN) for torque of 240 Nm at 2,000 rpm. Seventy percent of torque is available from 1,250 rpm. Torque can be bumped up to 254 Nm with the “overboost” function that increases turbo pressure for short periods.

… that respect the environment

Citroën has long sought to develop and market vehicles equipped with ecologically sound technologies. From launch, the New Berlingo is available with the HDi 110 diesel engine fitted with the diesel particulate filter system (DPFS). The DPFS will also be available in the longer term on the HDi 92 engine. Berlingo models fitted with the HDi engine and DPFS satisfy the environmental criteria required for the Airdream eco-label given to the cleanest vehicles in the Citroën range.

At the same time, the HDi engines available with the New Berlingo, can run on a fuel blend containing up to 30% biodiesel, with no modifications necessary. This technology reduces CO2 emissions and promotes the use of renewable energy.

Along with generous load volumes and class-beating space, the New Berlingo ranks among the best in the segment for its aerodynamics, thus contributing directly to fuel economy.

Limited cost-in-use

With the New Berlingo, cost-in-use is low for several reasons:

  • Economical engines

The New Berlingo's engines are designed for fuel economy.

  • Appropriate servicing intervals

The servicing frequency is 20,000 km or two years on diesel versions, and 30,000 km or two years on petrol versions in normal use.

  • A longer service life for wear parts

The New Berlingo has opted for wear parts with an extended service life. For example, the timing belt is replaced after 240,000 km or every ten years on the diesel engine in normal use.

  • Servicing operations accessible to users

The under-bonnet layout is designed to provide easy access to tanks, so that users can conduct certain operations themselves.

  • Robust, washable materials

  • Running and servicing costs are reduced by using robust, washable materials for the seats, carpeting and synthetic mats. The New Berlingo is designed to stand up to intensive use.

Now it's time to go home. The children get their snack out of the handy box, accessible from their seats. On the journey home, they busy themselves with the games hidden in the many rear stowage compartments. The backrest of the central seat acts as a table.

This family day out reveals just a few of the many combinations offered by our New Berlingo. One example among many…

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