The Citroën Berlingo Multispace’s headline sticker price is tempting and seems competitive for those who need the Berlingo’s space and flexibility but have only a supermini budget.
The trouble is, it’s priced like a van: it comes with a basic specification onto which you pay to add luxuries. That also applies if you want to make the best of the clever storage; you need to raid the options list. First you’ll want the Senerity pack (standard on the Flair model). That bags you the folding and heated mirrors and rear parking sensors, but chokingly its an additional £210 to include the front sensors too. And if you want to trick out your range-topping Flair Berlingo then there is the option to endow it with sat nav, a reversing camera and active emergency city braking safety system - altogether setting you back an additional £1000.
In fact, spec up a 1.6 HDi 90 Flair to the level of our test car and that bargain MPV suddenly makes some proper MPVs seem cheap. A basic diesel-engined, seven-seat Vauxhall Zafira Tourer Energy costing only a couple of hundred pounds more.
On the other hand, there’s no denying the Berlingo’s low running costs. It’s cheap to insure, fairly easy on tax, and even though we managed only 38.1mpg over the course of our measured run in the 1.6 HDi, that includes all our performance testing. In reality, the Berlingo should deliver 40mpg plus in everyday driving, even if the official claimed figure is 53.3mpg for all three diesel versions. The official average for the petrol is a shade under 40mpg.