Citroen Berlingo 2014 Review
Citroen has been making passenger-car-based vans for decades and the latest Berlingo benefits from this as it's on the same platform as a Citroen people mover.
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We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?
What is it?
Renault's little parcel van, but it ain't so little anymore. This one has a back seat for the kids with oodles of room leftover for carrying stuff. Looks a little goofy from the front but do not be deceived by the looks because the Kangoo is all business.
Prices start at $19,990 for the entry level short wheelbase petrol model rising to $27,990 for the our test vehicle, the top of the line long wheelbase Kangoo Maxi Crew Diesel with Manual Transmission. The only version that comes with an auto is the short wheelbase petrol model.
What are competitors?
If you're interested in one of these then you should have a look at the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and probably the Volkswagen Caddy. All come in short and long wheelbase form for around the same kind of money.
What's under the bonnet?
The 1.6-litre turbo diesel delivers 81kW of power and 240Nm of torque and is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Renault Kangoo Maxi and Crew provide an extra 384mm of load area, with an extra three seats in the case of the Crew - all with three-point seat belts. The two rear doors are sliders with barn doors down the back.
How does it go?
Like a rocket. It's hard to believe that something that looks like this could be so much fun to drive. Maybe it is because the driver has low expectations and the car has few pretensions?
Is it economical?
Very. It's rated at 4.7 litres/100km and we were getting 6.6 litres/100m after about 400km which means you are probably going to crack 1000km out of a single 60 litre tank of fuel.
Is it green?
Gets four out of five stars from the Government's Green Vehicle guide (Prius scores five). There's even a fully electric model that is being trialled by Australia Post. The Crew version features a fuel saving feature called ECO mode. It reduces engine torque and alters the accelerator pedal mapping for more conservative throttle response, with claims of up to 10 per cent better fuel consumption in the city.
Is it safe?
Kangoo gets four out of five stars for safety from the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). With two airbags and optional side airbags, along with electronic traction and stability, plus anti-lock brakes with brake assist.
Is it comfortable?
It's not uncomfortable but by the same token we wouldn't like to be chalking up any long trips behind the wheel. The steering wheel lacks reach adjustment and we could not find any lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat.
What's it like to drive?
Surprisingly nippy but vision is limited in some situations. The short, high-mounted gear shift it easy to use and changing gears is not a chore and hill start assist prevents the car from rolling backwards.
Enhanced soundproofing makes this model quieter and wind noise has been reduced thanks to an acoustic windscreen and different profile door mirrors. The design of the engine mounts has also been revised to minimise vibrations. Sadly, there is no reverse camera and rear parking sensors are optional. A full size spare is provided.
Is it value for money?
The Crew can carry a 1.3 cubic metre or 740kg payload, with eight tie-down points in the cargo area.
With the rear seats folded the capacity extends to 4.0 cubic metres or 830kg.
Comes with cloth trim, climate air, 15 inch alloys, auto lights and wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth for phones and audio devices as well as USB/AUX inputs and column mounted audio controls as is the norm with European vehicles.
Would we buy one?
It's amazing how useful these little vans can be if you are always carting stuff around. The addition of a second row of seats adds an extra dimension and means you can pick up the kids if the need arises - a real win-win.
|1.6 SWB||1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$6,800 – 10,560||2014 Renault Kangoo 2014 1.6 SWB Pricing and Specs|
|Maxi||1.5L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$8,900 – 13,420||2014 Renault Kangoo 2014 Maxi Pricing and Specs|
|Maxi Crew||1.5L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN||$10,800 – 15,840||2014 Renault Kangoo 2014 Maxi Crew Pricing and Specs|