Last Friday we collected the Citroën ë-Berlingo from Charles Hurst on the Boucher Road and set off on another weekend EV test.
Accommodation & Equipment
There are two trim levels available in the ë-Berlingo line-up, the starter ‘Feel’ spec, plus the top ‘Flair XTR’ we had for this test.
Sharing a platform with a van, it’s unsurprising that this car feels large and airy inside. Its huge windscreen and large windows mean there’s fantastic visibility all round. There’s a pleasingly high driving position too with lots of legroom (and headroom) throughout. In the rear you can fit 3 adults and all three seats have Isofix points for child seats too. There are sliding doors on both sides and this trim option includes electric windows in the rear as well as the front. While there are plenty of hard plastics in the cabin, nothing feels out of place in this value proposition.
This 5-seater ‘M’ version has a big brother too. The ‘XL’ is around a foot longer and with its third row of seats, becomes probably the most affordable 7-seater BEV currently on sale. The 3rd row seats in the XL version are removable too, allowing a bigger loading space when you don’t need to transport the whole family. Even in this shorter M version, the rear seats fold down to create a massive loading space that would easily swallow bikes, surfboards, camping equipment or cope with the Ikea run with ease.
This XTR spec includes cruise control, AirCon and lane-keeping assistance. The satnav system on our test car usefully displayed the maps inside the drivers binnacle behind the steering wheel. Our demo car also had the useful optional reversing camera. The 8″ touchscreen in the centre of the dash supports wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too.
Performance, Handling & Ride
The 100 kW (134bhp) motor drives the front wheels, and there are the usual 3 driving modes, Eco, Normal and Power, along with a ‘B’ switch to enable regen braking. With a 0-62 time of around 11 seconds, this is not going to win the traffic light grand prix. But who cares, this is a functional vehicle that’s made to transport families and their belongings.
Even with this van based platform, Citroën has engineered in the usual comfortable french ride and while it’s not something you’ll want to throw at corners its handling is well judged for this type of family vehicle.
It’s never going to hide its boxy van shape, but Citroën have done a good job with the styling, particularly on this XTR version. That striking front end design, the orange accents, roof bars, 17″ alloy wheels and rear privacy glass all combine to soften the utilitarian look and bring some charm.
Charging & Efficiency
All models in the range have a 50kWh battery (45kWh usable) and our leisurely 100 mile weekend test took place in a mild October with temperatures between 13 and 15 degrees. Travelling mostly on A and B roads, with a little motorway and dual carriageway to,o we saw an average of 3.5 miles per kWh…
3.5 miles/kWh x 45 kWH Usable = 157 mile range
Citroën quotes a range of between 152 – 182 miles WLTP while the EV Database shows real world range of 125 miles for the M and 120 miles for the XL which seems a little pessimistic compared to our experience.
The ë-Berlingo has an on-board 7.4 kW AC charger (optionally upgradable to 11 kW) with 100 kW capabilities on the DC side. The CCS charging port is on the left rear wing.
The e-Berlingo has a 3 year, 60,000 mile warranty, with the battery being covered for 8 years and 100,000 miles (guaranteeing at least 70% of original capacity).
Citroën has succeeded in converting this workhorse platform into something with personality and practicality. If you are looking for full battery electric transport for your entire household, especially in 7-seater guise, then the ë-Berlingo is one of the most affordable and functional family transport options you can find.
Prices for the Citroën ë-Berlingo start from £31,495. Many thanks to the Charles Hurst Group for the loan of the car for this review.