The Magazine for LCV Fleet Operators
Citroën's Berlingo Crew van offers a carry-all capability with a sliding bulkhead, says Dan Gilkes. People and Goods

In most cases, having a second row of seats behind the driver, with a bulkhead to protect rear passengers, results in a greatly reduced load volume. That needn’t be the case with the Berlingo Crew van, as it attempts to offer the best of both worlds.

Load carrying capacity 

Based on the long wheelbase Berlingo, the Crew van has a second row of seats behind the driver and comes with twin sliding side doors for easy access. There is comfortable seating for three in the back, with a sturdy steel mesh bulkhead behind the seats to protect occupants and to provide a mounting for the middle rear seatbelt. 

With the seats in place, you get 1.8m3 of load volume. You can fold the left-hand seat to reveal a load-through door in the bulkhead, or fold all three rear seats flat. With the seats down, it is then possible to release the bulkhead and slide it forwards, on runners built into the roof of the van, to sit behind the driver’s seat. This lifts the load volume to 3.5m3. Open the load-through hatch and fold the front passenger seat and that grows even further, to a full 4.0m3.

Maximum payload is a healthy 854kg.

Powertrain

The Crew cab is available with a 110hp version of Citroën’s PureTech petrol engine, with a six-speed manual gearbox. There are two diesel options on offer, a 100hp version with a five-speed manual gearbox and a 130hp with an eight-speed automatic.

While the higher-powered engine and the auto box will no doubt appeal to owner drivers, the 100hp diesel with the manual is likely to be the most popular option. Despite only having five forward gears, the van copes well, happily keeping pace with motorway traffic, or tackling urban stop/start journeys.

In the cab

The Crew van is based on the Enterprise trim level, which includes air conditioning, rear parking sensors, cruise control, electronic parking brake, electric folding mirrors and an 8” touchscreen with smartphone connectivity. 

While you want for very little in everyday use, the interior is unremittingly black, with hard plastics everywhere. To allow customers to reclaim VAT, the Crew van doesn’t have windows behind the driver, so things are even darker in the second row, though there is plenty of leg room for taller passengers. 

On the road

As mentioned, unless you are running fully laden or with five people aboard all the time, the 100hp engine and five-speed manual offer plenty of power for most situations. The van is comfortable and commendably quiet, even though the bulkhead has a mesh upper. This is in part due to the extended headlining that runs above the rear passengers.

Conclusion

Some crew van conversions can feel like a bit of a compromise, offering little in the way of load carrying volume, with less than comfortable seating for those in the back. The Berlingo Crew manages to avoid both problems, with the innovative sliding bulkhead helping to meet both buying criteria.

VanUser rating: 4.0

Van specifications: 

Citroën Berlingo Crew BlueHDi 100

Basic price £21,335 Engine 1,499cc
Power 102hp @ 3,500 Torque 250Nm @ 1,750rpm

Weights (kg)

GVW 2,325 Kerb weight 1,471 Payload 854 Towing 1,050

Dimensions (mm)

Load space length 1,450 Load space width 1,550 Width between wheel arches 1,229
Load space height 1,243 Load space volume (min-max) 18-40

Cost considerations

Fuel tank capacity 50 litres Fuel consumption 46-55mpgCO2 154-148g/100km
Service interval 2 year/25,000 miles Warranty 3 years/60,000 miles