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Low-key Australian launch for new Berlingo

Bigger: The new Citroen Berlingo is based on the C4 Picasso.

Citroen’s redesigned Berlingo arrives Down Under, priced from around $23,000

16 Mar 2009

CITROEN has ushered its redesigned Berlingo light commercial van into Australian dealerships where it will be positioned between the French brand’s LCV flagship, the $30,000-plus Dispatch, and the superseded Berlingo 1.4 sliding-door model.

Wearing a new “Berlingo First” badge, the latter will continue to be priced at $17,990 until Citroen’s all-new small van, the Nemo, arrives here with a similar starting price in October.

The bigger new Berlingo, meantime, opens its account with a higher base price of $22,990, for the entry-level petrol-engine short-body (L1) variant, which at 4380mm is 240mm longer and 80mm wider.

Priced at $26,490, the turbo-diesel long-wheelbase version will be the flagship of the new Berlingo model range, which comprises two engine and two body options.

Based on the C4 Picasso people-mover’s larger platform (rather than the original Berlingo’s Xsara-based platform), the new Berlingo offers significantly more cargo space – up from three to 3.3 cubic-metres.

That can be extended to 3.7 cubic-metres via a load-increasing variation of the current model’s optional folding passenger seat which doubles as a table.

For the first time, the Berlingo is also available in long-body (L2) guise, which when combined with the folding seat increases cargo volume to 4.7 cubic-metres.

33 center imageBoth Berlingo variants ride on a 350mm-longer 2728mm wheelbase, but the L2 has a 248mm-longer rear overhang. While the original Berlingo offered an 800kg payload, the new L1’s is 750kg and the L2’s is 850kg.

In detail, load compartment lengths measure 1800mm (L1) and 2050mm (L2), while both versions offers 1229mm between their wheel-arches and a total width of 1620mm.

The Berlingo’s rear load sill height is 584mm for the L1 and 612mm for the L2, while both side-hinged rear doors (split 60/40) feature a heated window and wiper, and open out to 177 degrees.

A ladder-frame bulkhead protects the drive from loose loads in the cargo area, which is fully panelled to its waist rail.

All of this is augmented in both variants by a total of 61 litres of storage space within the passenger cab, including a locker between the seats, a driver’s-side glovebox behind the instruments and a roof-mounted tray above the occupants’ heads, plus a shopping bag hook.

Two 66kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines are available for both bodystyles, opening with a 16-valve ‘16i’ petrol engine and closing with the ‘1.6 HDi’ turbo-diesel. The former produces peak power at 5500rpm and 132Nm of torque from 2500rpm, while the latter delivers 215Nm from 1750rpm.

Citroen says the HDi diesel can run on up to 30 per cent biodiesel without any technical modification or loss of warranty, and also features a new cam belt that requires changing only every 200,000km or 10 years.

Standard Berlingo equipment includes fabric-lined door trims, in-cab floor carpet, a driver’s airbag, a rake/reach adjustable steering wheel, cloth seat trim, driver’s seat height adjustment, a driver’s armrest, trip computer, cruise control, air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric windows/mirrors, an AM/FM/CD sound system and an outside temperature display.

Major options include a Bluetooth hands-free phone kit, rear parking sensors, a visibility pack comprising automatic wipers and headlights, traction/stability control, tyre pressure sensors, side airbags, a removeable PVC load compartment mat and the Extenso® centre seat, which folds flat to create a desk with writing surface, document retaining strap and 7.6-litre secure storage bin.

Like the Picasso, the new Berlingo McPherson-type struts with lower wishbones and an anti-roll bar up front, while a rubber-mounted rear suspension system comprises a twisting transverse beam with anti-roll bar.

The 2009 Berlingo employs 283mm ventilated front brake discs and 269mm solid rear brake discs within 15-inch steel wheels with disc brakes with 195/65-sectioon Michelin tyres. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) is standard.

More than three million examples of the original Berlingo were sold globally, making it one of the world’s most successful commercial vehicles.

In Australia last year the Berlingo found 335 customers (45.7 per cent down on 2007 figures), trailing direct rivals like Volkswagen’s Caddy (1725 sales), Holden’s Combo (928), Suzuki’s APV (542) and even Renault’s Kangoo (408).

“The original Berlingo pioneered what’s now known as the high-cube van sector,” said the general manager of Citroen Australia, Miles Williams.

“The fantastic new Berlingo retains all the successful key ingredients of its predecessor, which were valued by discerning van customers and builds upon these to redefine the benchmark in this all-important sector.

“Citroen has worked closely with business operators around the world to ensure that the new Berlingo provides the optimum combination of load-carrying efficiency, driver/passenger comfort and safety, performance and economy,” said Mr Williams.

Read more:

First look: Bigger Berlingo bowls in

Stylish new Berlingo

GoAuto can help you buy a new Berlingo

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