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Citroen Berlingo bounces in

Handy helper: Citroen says its updated Citroen Berlingo is one of few light vans that can swallow a full-sized Australian palette in the rear.

New safety and connectivity tech for Citroen's top-selling Berlingo van

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Citroen logo24 Nov 2015

CITROEN'S facelifted Berlingo compact commercial van has arrived in Australian showrooms, bringing with it “segment-first” standard safety, new connectivity features and a subtle make-over.

The French car-maker's new-look van is slightly more expensive than the outgoing version, with a $1000 premium for each variant, kicking off from $21,990 plus on-road costs for the short body petrol-powered version, when combined with a five-speed manual gearbox.

In long body guise, the Berlingo is a diesel-only option, with the manual priced from $26,990, while the six-speed semi-automatic is $30,990. It is available with driveaway pricing until the end of December.

Rivals in the class include the segment-leading Volkswagen Caddy priced from $22,600, the Renault Kangoo from $20,990 and the Fiat Doblo that starts at $22,000.

The powertrains carry over unchanged from the outgoing model, with the 1.6-litre petrol producing 80kW/147Nm and offering fuel consumption of 8.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, while the 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with idle-stop pumps out 66kW/215Nm and consumes 5.7L/100km in manual or 4.7L/100km in auto guise.

Local distributor Sime Darby Motors is offering the refreshed van with an Australian-developed version of its 7.0-inch touchscreen that is fitted with a reversing camera as standard, a feature the company says is a first for the light van sector.

The touchscreen also houses the Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink for Android connectivity systems as well as Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth and USB and auxiliary jacks.

New standard safety gear includes an electronic stability program, traction control and hill-start assist.

The updated Berlingo was revealed at the Geneva motor show in April this year and carries a restyled front end with a new grille and bumpers, while a new metallic grey colour option – Gris Shark is available. The cargo area now has a standard moulded floor protector.

An optional $800 'look-pack' for long-wheelbase variants adds LED daytime running lights, foglights with cornering function, colour-coded bumpers, wing mirrors, door handles and side strips, and new 15-inch Airflow wheel covers.

The Berlingo also features dual sliding doors on both sides of the van, barn doors at the rear with 180-degree opening, electric windows and a payload of 750kg for the long body or 850kg for the short body.

The car-maker also says that the Berlingo is one of few light-commercial vans that can swallow a full Australian-sized palette in the rear.

Premium paint adds $800, a third extension seat with a passenger airbag costs $1000, while park assist adds $500 to the price. The only non-premium colour choice is white.

Citroen Australia national sales manager Shaun Mackle highlighted the Berlingo's history in the local market and said the new version offers good value for buyers.

“We were the first to offer a car-based van 20 years ago and now we will be the first to offer significant standard safety specification for professional drivers,” he said.

“We believe the addition of touchscreen, reverse camera, stability control and other safety equipment will appeal to sole traders and fleet managers alike – particularly those that value safety and running costs.”

The runabout van is Citroen's top seller in Australia so far this year, with 252 examples sold to the end of October, just ahead of the Grand C4 Picasso people-mover's haul of 220 units.

In its light-van segment, the Berlingo is running fourth behind the soon-to-be-replaced VW Caddy which has found 1620 homes and owns a massive 47.5 per cent share of the sector, the Renault Kangoo has shifted 970 units and the Suzuki APV on 447.

The Fiat Doblo has struggled since its launch late last year, with just 110 units sold.

2015 Citroen Berlingo pricing*
Turbo-petrol SWB$21,990
Turbo-diesel LWB$26,990
Turbo-diesel LWB (a)$30,990
*Excludes on-road costs

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