Citroen Berlingo Airdream Review

Citroen Berlingo Airdream

Citroen Berlingo Airdream

Fuel prices may be falling at the moment, but most industry experts are predicting that they will rise again by the end of the year. Van operators will therefore look to the longer term when considering their purchases, and fuel economy will still be near the top of most buyers' purchasing criteria. Van manufacturers are only too aware of this, and they are going to great lengths to make sure that their vans squeeze every last mile out of a gallon of petrol. In short, many vans these days are all about lugging the maximum amount of stuff around at the lowest possible cost, and the Citroen Berlingo Airdream is aimed squarely at this market. The result is a van that can offer an impressive 3.7 metres cubed of load space but can still manage 60mpg on the combined cycle.

Not Just Frugal

The Citroen Berlingo Airdream might be focused on saving fuel, but it is also kitted out with an impressive list of equipment. The Trafficmaster Smartnav satellite navigation system, for example, is standard fit. In addition to carrying out its navigation duties, this clever little piece of kit also works as a stolen-vehicle tracker and a helpline to assist in the event of a breakdown. It also provides the driver with useful information, such as the location of the nearest service station. The Citroen Berlingo Airdream version also gets electronic stability control, ABS brakes, electric front windows, air-con, remote central locking and cruise control, all as standard. If you go for the Enterprise pack, you also get rear parking sensors, metallic paint and grip control.

Drivetrain Specification

That equipment list is certainly impressive, but it gets even more interesting when you look under the bonnet of the Citroen Berlingo Airdream. There you will find a 1.6 litre turbo diesel engine with common rail fuel injection. This unit pumps out 159 lb-ft of torque and 90bhp. This engine is connected to a six-speed EGS automated manual gearbox, which means that there is no clutch to worry about and gear changes are made by simply flicking the paddles on the steering column. This set-up, unlike standard automatics, doesn't burn more fuel, and when it is used together with the stop-start engine cut-out system, it results in the impressive fuel consumption that the Citroen Berlingo Airdream manages. CO2 emissions are also impressively low at just 118g/km. The van also has a braking energy recovery system.

The original Berlingo was such a hit when it was launched in 1995 that it claimed numerous awards and accolades. The new model takes that reputation and adds a far smoother engine, giving a more relaxing drive. It is also bigger than the original as Citroen has squeezed in the smaller Nemo into the range. The cabin is pretty innovative, too, with a third seat that you will not find elsewhere in the sector. That third seat also folds down to create a useful desk. There is a sliding door to the rear and ample load lashing eyes. With the passenger seat folded down, the Citroen Berlingo Airdream can also take loads up to three metes long, which is quite an achievement for a small van.

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