We waited. We were patient. And this is what Santa's French cousin brought us: a tiny utility van. We were hoping the predictions were wrong and that with its "C-Reveal" new product page, Citroen might give us something a little more exciting, like maybe the C5 Cabrio. But instead we got the Berlingo.
The new Berlingo is available either as a passenger vehicle (or Leisure Activity Vehicle, as Citroen imaginatively calls it) or as a slab-sided Light Commercial Vehicle. Citroen sold over 1.76 million examples of the outgoing Berlingo, which has been on the market since 1996 (with a facelift in 2002) and which will stay on in the meantime as the lower-priced Berlingo First. The new Berlingo uses running gear from the bigger, more civilized C4 Picasso minivan. It also grows in size over the old model and gets one of those new HDi particulate-filter diesels the French are so good at.
If itty-bitty European vans are your thing, you can check out all the juicy details in the press release after the jump, and stay tuned for the Partner version of the Berlingo from PSA sister-company Peugeot.
New Citroën Berlingo
With the Berlingo, Citroën created the leisure activity vehicle segment and launched a new concept in compact vans. Its innovative qualities appealed to private and professional customers alike, making it a huge commercial success. It has been the clear leader in the leisure activity vehicle segment in Europe (17 countries) since 2003. Worldwide, Citroën has sold more than 1,760,000 Berlingos (cars and LCVs) since launch in 1996.
The New Berlingo will go on sale in second-half 2008. It will be sold alongside the current Berlingo model, which will be available in some countries as an entry-level offering called "Berlingo First". This strategy will enable the Marque to better meet the highly diverse needs of its customers.
New Citroën Berlingo car: The comfort of a saloon and the practicality of an MPV
Adapting to all situations, the Berlingo meets customers' growing needs for freedom and versatility in use.
The New Berlingo retains the ultra-functional, family-friendly character of the original and strengthens its personality with dynamic, upmarket styling that also identifies it immediately as a Citroën. It boasts saloon-like levels of comfort – acoustics in particular – and MPV-style practicality (tailgate with opening window, three independent removable seats in row two, a redesigned Modutop® and an overhead storage rack). It is also a great car to drive, thanks to a longer wheelbase and C4 Picasso running gear.
And with its 110 bhp HDi diesel engine fitted with a particulate filter (DPFS), the New Berlingo carries the Airdream environmental signature that denotes the greenest models in Citroën's range.
New Citroën Berlingo LCV: Practical and functional, yet strong on styling and comfort
The compact van version of the New Berlingo is big on load volume, payload and versatility, which are key features for professionals. It has a huge loading area (3.3 m3, up to 850 kg of payload and 1.8 m of useful length) that can take two Europallets width-wise, and is available with an Extenso® modular cabin, able to transport loads up to 3 metres long and increase useful load to 3.7 m3 or seat three people at the front.
The New Berlingo also offers passengers saloon-like levels of equipment for comfort and driving pleasure, including hill start assist, a height- and reach-adjustable steering wheel, C4 Picasso running gear and ESP. The New Berlingo is a modern working tool that confers prestige on its owners through its robust and dynamic styling.
The launch of the New Berlingo follows those of new Jumper, new Jumpy and Citroën's latest compact van, Nemo. Citroën thus offers professionals the largest and most complete line-up of light commercial vehicles in its history, covering a wide range of needs, from 2.5 m3 to 17 m3 of load volume and up to two tonnes of payload.