Citroen unveils third-generation Berlingo
Citroen has unveiled its third-generation Berlingo compact van that is under study for Australia by its local importer Inchcape Australasia – and is expected to be given the green light for release here in 2019.
Shared with other PSA Group brands including Peugeot (Partner) and Opel/Vauxhall (Combo), neither of which are expected to be sold Down Under, the redesigned Berlingo is based on the French manufacturer’s modular EMP2 platform and will be produced in two sizes – M and XL – in similar fashion to the current L1 short body and L2 long body variants.
The M version measures 4400mm long with a 2780mm wheelbase, while the XL version stretches 4750mm while resting on a 2970mm wheelbase. Width is 2100mm (including mirrors) and height 1800/1850mm on M/ML respectively.
Three-seat ‘Extenso’ and five-seat crew cab versions will also be available, and in overall terms the new Berlingo is slightly bigger than the current generation. This translates to improved load capacity, especially in the XL where up to 4.4 cubic metres of volume is available, plus a higher payload range of up to 950kg.
Minimum load volume on the M is 3.3 cubic metres, while payload goes up to 1t. The load width between the wheel arches remains at 1230mm. Maximum towing capacity is listed at 1500kg across the range.
Citroen says the new platform provides the basis for improved dynamic performance and extra comfort and security, pointing to the inclusion of some 20 driver-assist safety systems and four connectivity technologies on its latest van.
The driver assistance features include an ‘overload’ indicator (monitoring payload) and surround rear vision system (covering the passenger side of the vehicle and rear end) – both claimed to be firsts in this segment – as well as a colour head-up display, automatic electronic park brake, adaptive cruise control (with stop function), active lane departure warning, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, auto-dipping headlights, cornering lights and an ‘active safety brake’ device.
Count on keyless entry/start, hill start assist, side park assist, trailer stability control, grip control with hill descent assist also being part of the package.
The new connectivity highlights include wireless smartphone charging and Citroen’s latest 3D connected navigation and telematics unit, which might be restricted to the European market. The infotainment system seen at the international launch combines an 8.0-inch touchscreen with voice recognition and smartphone mirroring (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink).
The cabin has come in for a full-scale workover, with Citroen pointing to the modern design, more upmarket (and hardwearing) materials, improved ergonomics and clever new storage solutions. A variety of sliding doors and rear panel, tailgate or glazed swing door options are available, the latter including a hinged rear roof flap that is designed to assist electricians and other tradespeople when carrying long objects such as ladders.
The powertrains available in Europe are a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol – producing 82kW when combined with a six-speed manual, or 97kW with an Aisin-sourced eight-speed automatic – and two BlueHDi diesels: a 97kW 1.5-litre offered in manual and automatic guise; and a 1.6-litre unit in 56kW and 75kW tune, both restricted to a five-speed manual only.