The flexibility and practicality of its interior should be an MPV’s star turn, and the Citroen Berlingo – mostly – delivers. The boxy proportions bring plenty of luggage space without compromising room for passengers, while if you choose to specify the removable seats the Berlingo will swallow more or less anything.

The high roofline also means there’s space for all sorts of clever storage solutions. One option available is interior roof bars. Alternatively, the Modutop option brings overhead air vents and shelves, a 50-litre locker hanging above the boot and glass panels that run the length of the roof.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The rising front window line means leaning your elbow on the window sill, van man style, is uncomfortable

The problem is that although the boxy shape offers plenty of space, the basic Berlingo offers nothing like the versatility of conventional MPVs. You need to specify the Modutop system and the removable rear seats to achieve anything like the flexibility of more conventional MPVs. Otherwise you just get a 60/40 split/fold rear bench, although thanks to the high roofline there’s still plenty of space for bulky loads.

But conventional MPVs tend to do most things better. Step up half a class and you’ll find the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, whose seats fold flat into the floor. By comparison, the heavy, fiddly rear seats in the Berlingo can be awkward. At least the seats themselves – both front and rear – are well padded and supportive. While Ford and Volkswagen both offer elongated versions of their commercial-vehicle-cum-MPV in the shape of the Grand Tourneo Connect and Caddy Maxi Life, both offering a conventional seven seater set-up and removeable seating.

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So the Berlingo is always spacious and comfortable, but to get the best from it you need to be prepared to take a long, hard look at the options list, which leads nicely onto the standard equipment you get with the Berlingo Multispace. The entry-level Feel model comes with 15in steel wheels, lots of body colour moulded body parts and split tailgate as standard, while inside gains air conditioning, cruise control and, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Upgrading to the range-topping Flair trim gains you a few more luxuries, namely, a 7.0in touchscreeen infotainment system with DAB radio, parking sensors, heated and folding wing mirrors, rear picnic tables and 16in alloy wheels.

And although this latest Berlingo is a big step on from the previous model, interior quality is still some way off the likes of a conventional MPV and its nearest rivals from Ford and Volkswagen; it’s clearly been designed with White Van Man in mind rather than school run mum or dad.

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