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Citroen Berlingo 2015 review

Citroen's two-pedal van takes a leisurely tack but it's a long time between drinks.

You don't expect gearshift paddles in a commercial van yet there they are on the steering column of Citroen's Long Body Berlingo compact. Normally the stuff of sporty cars, the paddle-shifters control the van's six-speed automated manual.

Citroen Australia introduced the ETG transmission to the Long Body Berlingo late last year, slotting it next to the existing manual long and short body counterparts.

Don't think this is some kind of high-performance hauler. On Citroen's figures, it will take you all of 15.7 seconds to get from rest to 100km/h. That is positively pedestrian, even for a van, and is a full 2.3 seconds slower than the manual version which has the same engine.

The automated model has a remarkable official fuel consumption average of just 4.7L/100km

Instead, the automated Berlingo is all about saving fuel and making life easier for the driver. The automated model has a remarkable official fuel consumption average of just 4.7L/100km, a litre less than the manual long body and significantly more frugal than the regular version's 8.2L.

Automated gearboxes like the Berlingo are not true automatics as they don't have a torque converter. Instead they are manual gearboxes with clutches controlled by the car's computer, not the driver, and there is no clutch pedal.

They do not over-rev the engine the way many human drivers do and always pick the right gear, consequently improving fuel efficiency.

Yet another factor drives down the Berlingo's fuel consumption - the ETG versions have engine stop-start, killing the revs when you come to a halt and cranking up the engine when you take your foot off the brake.

Reducing the idle time may save a lot of fuel but it can also be annoying, especially if it kills the engine as you pause briefly at a stop sign. Thankfully it can be switched off.

CarsGuide climbed into a long-body version to see how the automated transmission copes with everyday driving.

It goes along quite well - until it changes gear. Then it seems someone has jammed on the brakes before the gear is selected and power is resumed. The changes are slow and it is frustrating.

I soon abandon the full auto mode and shift gears myself. It still isn't perfect but I can at least ease off the accelerator before the changes and ease back on afterwards to make the change smoother.

Priced at $28,990, the automated model is some $4000 more than the manual and $9000 dearer than the shorter petrol model.

Citroen fits electronic stability control as standard to the automated model but not the others. The Berlingo gets just one standard airbag for the driver - passenger airbag and driver and passenger side airbags come as an option, as do reversing sensors and rain-sensing wipers.

Long body models have 3.7 cubic metres of cargo space and can take one Australian pallet (1165mm x 1165mm) or two smaller Euro pallets (800mm x 1200mm). The payload of 750kg is 100kg less than the petrol model.

The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel has outputs of 66kW/215Nm.


All up, the auto Berlingo is pretty easy to live with and there is a lot to love, as long as you are prepared to drive in manual mode.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

1.6 HDi ETG Long 1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $12,800 – 18,480 2015 Citroen Berlingo 2015 1.6 HDi ETG Long Pricing and Specs
1.6 HDi Long 1.6L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $10,100 – 15,180 2015 Citroen Berlingo 2015 1.6 HDi Long Pricing and Specs
1.6 Short 1.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $7,900 – 12,210 2015 Citroen Berlingo 2015 1.6 Short Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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